NEW VOICES: Ohio Prosecutor Now Seeks Clemency for Death Row Inmate

Timothy McGinty, the Chief Prosecutor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is encouraging the Ohio Parole Board to recommend clemency for death row inmate Billy Slagle (pictured). Slagle was sentenced to death in 1988 for the murder of his neighbor, Mari Ann Pope. At the time of the murder, Slagle was only 18 years old, which, along with Slagle's problems of substance abuse and his record of good behavior in prison, has now led the county prosecutor to support a commutation. In his statement to the Parole Board, McGinty said, "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." At the time of Slagle's sentencing, the maximum available sentence other than death was life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Slagle's clemency hearing is scheduled for July 8. His execution is scheduled for August 7. Governor John Kasich has the power to grant clemency even if the Board does not recommend it.

(P. Galbincea, "Prosecutor McGinty asks Ohio Parole Board to commute Billy Slagle's death sentence in 1987 murder," Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 2013.) See Clemency and New Voices.