Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, "Gov. John Kasich has been a nationwide leader in death-row clemencies." It's by Jeremy Pelzer. There is a chart at the link.
While Gov. John Kasich has been much more sparing than his predecessor overall in granting clemencies to criminals, it's a different story when it comes to inmates facing execution.
Since he was sworn into office on January 10, 2011, Kasich, a Republican, has granted five of the nine death-row clemencies issued nationwide in death-penalty states.
It's also the same number of times Kasich's predecessor, Democrat Ted Strickland, has shown mercy to a death-row inmate.
In each of the five cases, Kasich commuted a murderer’s death sentence to life in prison.
When granting clemency, Kasich has offered a number of reasons for sparing their lives. For Shawn Hawkins and Arthur Tyler, they had questions raised about their guilt. Joseph Murphy had been abused as a child, while John Eley had a limited mental capacity. Ronald Post’s attorneys made sloppy mistakes and dubious decisions during his trial.
"How often does Gov. John Kasich grant clemency to criminals? We break down the numbers," is also in the Plain Dealer, and also written by Pelzer. There is an infographic at the link.
During his 3 ½ years in office, Kasich has pardoned or commuted the sentence of 54 people, the majority of whom were convicted of low-level crimes such as theft or drugs, according to administration records. He also temporarily postponed the executions of five death-row inmates.
Kasich, however, has rejected 1,184 clemency requests through June of 2014, including 86 cases in which the Ohio Parole Record recommended leniency, according to state data. Twelve people have been executed under his watch.
None of the clemencies granted by Kasich have resulted in an inmate being immediately freed, according to gubernatorial spokesman Rob Nichols.
Kasich declined to be interviewed for this story. Nichols said the governor, in considering whether to grant a clemency, weighs the interests of the applicant, those affected by the criminals' actions, and the general public.
Related posts are in the clemency category index.
In 2005, Texas Appleseed and the Texas Innocence Network published, "The Role of Mercy: Safeguarding Texas Justice Through Clemency Reform," which examined best practices in executive clemency. The Appendix contains comparative state information.