"Traditional legal foes back clemency for condemned Ohio killer, differ over reasons for mercy," is by AP Legal Affairs Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins, via the Tribune.
Lawyers on opposite sides of capital punishment have found common ground in the case of a condemned Ohio inmate they agree should be spared, though for different reasons.
Attorneys for death row inmate Arthur Tyler told the Ohio Parole Board Thursday their client is innocent and should be freed based on statements by a co-defendant. Cleveland prosecutors planned to argue that Tyler's sentence should be commuted to life without parole because of questions about the conviction.
Tyler, 54, is scheduled to die May 28 for the 1983 killing of Cleveland produce vendor Sander Leach during a robbery.
"Death-row inmate to argue for clemency before Ohio Parole Board," is by Jeremy Pelzer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Tyler denies killing Leach, and there are questions about whether the gun was fired by a co-defendant who testified against Tyler at trial but later told authorities that he lied to avoid the death penalty.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors still assert that Tyler was the one who shot Leach, but they have also recommended sparing his life. They say Tyler should receive life in prison without parole – a sentencing option that wasn’t available under Ohio law in 1983.
Following the hearing, the parole board will make a recommendation to Gov. John Kasich, who has the sole power to grant clemency.
"Cuyahoga prosecutor is asking Ohio parole board to change death sentence," is by M.L. Schultze of WKSU-FM.
Prosecutor Tim McGinty has filed a statement that says he still believes Tyler was the triggerman, but the case today would not merit the death penalty. He says carrying out Tyler’s death sentence “may undermine public confidence” in the criminal justice system.
Both Tyler and his co-defendant, Leroy Head, gave shifting accounts of what happened the day that the 74-year-old Leach was killed. And McGinty is underscoring that he does not believe Tyler should be released from prison.
Last summer, McGinty unsuccessfully pushed for clemency for Billy Slagle. Slagle then committed suicide on the eve of his execution.
More recent, unrelated, news from Ohio is also available.