The Cleveland Plain Dealer posts, "Parole board recommends against clemency for murderer, despite urgings of Cuyahoga prosecutor." It's by Robert Higgs. Here's an extended excerpt from the beginning:
The Ohio Parole Board today recommended against clemency for convicted murderer Billy Slagle, despite urging by the prosecutor in the county where he was tried.
But a vote of 6 to 4, the board urged clemency be denied. His execution is now scheduled for Aug. 7.
Slagle murdered a neighbor, 40-year-old Mari Ann Pope, in August 1987. He stabbed her 17 times with pair of scissors he found in her home on Clinton Avenue in Cleveland during a burglary. Two children she was babysitting, ages 6 and 8, witnessed the crime and said they heard Pope praying before the attack.
Staff for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty appeared before the parole board last week urging that Slagle’s sentence be commuted to life in prison without parole.
McGinty said prior to the hearing that his recommendation was not meant to minimize the horrific nature of Slagle’s actions. But he cited changes in Ohio law and in the way he and his team now assess potential capital cases.
“While in no way do these factors excuse or mitigate the crime and need for appropriate punishment in this case, they would likely have led a jury to recommend a sentence of life without the possibility of parole had that been an option” in 1988, which it wasn’t,” McGinty wrote to the Parole Board.
Defense lawyer Joe Wilhelm, who also appeared at the hearing, argued then that Slagle had been exposed to alcohol “from womb to the crime” and that his substance addiction led to his impulsive crime.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is not bound by the recommendation, and he will make the final decision on whether to commute Slagle's sentence.
Earlier coverage of Billy Slagle's case begins at the link.