05/22/2012 04:00 EDT | Updated 07/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadian hopes Montana governor will ignore recommendation to kill her dad

CALGARY - The daughter of a Canadian man on death row says she's praying the governor of Montana will save her father from execution.

Carmen Blackburn and her family hope to meet with Gov. Brian Schweitzer to plead for Ronald Smith's life.

On Monday, the state's board of pardons and parole recommended that Smith be denied clemency for killing Thomas Mad Man Jr. and Harvey Running Rabbit near East Glacier, Mont., in 1982.

The decision by the three-member board was unanimous, but its recommendation is not binding and Smith's life is now in Gov. Schweitzer's hands.

Smith, now 54, admitted to shooting the men and originally asked for the death penalty, but then changed his mind and asked to live.

He told the clemency hearing he was "horrendously sorry" for his actions, but the victims' families testified he should die.

The board wrote that both sides will suffer no matter what the governor decides, but that it's ultimately Smith's fault.