DEATH ROW: Ohio Inmate Found Hanged Days Before Scheduled Execution

On August 4, Ohio death row inmate Billy Slagle was found hanged in his prison cell, three days before he was scheduled to be executed. Slagle did not know that prosecutors had recently revealed that their office had been prepared to offer a plea deal to avoid a death sentence at the time of his trial 26 years ago. That deal was not conveyed to Slagle by his attorneys. This new information was part of a request for a stay of execution sent to the Ohio Supreme Court and unopposed by the prosecutor’s office. Slagle apparently took his own life, not knowing of this development. Governor John Kasich declined to commute Slagle’s death sentence last month, despite the recommendation from prosecutor Tim McGinty, head of the office that prosecuted Slagle, that his sentence be reduced to life without parole.

(K. Palmer, “Ohio death row inmate found hanged days before execution,” Reuters, August 5, 2013; A. Johnson, “Death-row inmate who killed self didn’t know of new hope,” Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 6, 2013). ). See Death Row and Arbitrariness.