Ohio Governor Grants Death Row Inmate Clemency

Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio has granted clemency to death row inmate Jeffrey Hill (pictured), who was scheduled to be executed on March 3. “After the review of extensive material associated with this case, I concur with the unanimous rationale and recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board,“ Strickland said in a statement. The Board had voted unanimously for Hill’s commutation in part because of the victim’s family’s testimony that they wished Hill’s life be spared. The Governor explained in his statement, “The Parole Board cited five basic reasons for its recommendation: the views of the victim’s family, the lack of adequate representation by counsel at Mr. Hill’s sentencing, the remorse demonstrated by Mr. Hill regarding his actions, the lack of proportionality of the sentence of death in this case when compared with similar murder cases, and the expressed views of two justices of the Ohio Supreme Court which reviewed this case on appeal.”

(“Death Row inmate Jeffrey Hill’s sentence commuted by Gov. Strickland,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 12, 2009; Associated Press, “Strickland grants mercy for death row inmate,” February 13, 2009). See Clemency. Hill is the 245th death row inmate to receive clemency since 1976 and the 11th in Ohio. Gov. Ryan of Illinois commuted or pardoned the death sentences of 171 inmates in 2003.