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November 19, 2010

Out-going Ohio Governor giving focused attention to clemency requests

As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Gov. Strickland plans to decide on 1,200 clemency requests before leaving office," Ohio's out-going governor is planning to get through a huge pile of clemency petitions before he is out of his job.  Here are some details:

Before leaving office Jan. 9, Gov. Ted Strickland said he hopes to make decisions on all 1,200 applications for clemency now piled on his desk. “I’ve been working through them. I’ve been spending hours and hours and hours.  I spent about three hours this morning working on them,” Strickland said on Thursday.

He said these days he is spending the majority of his time on the clemency applications and he expects to rule on a batch of clemency requests within a week or so.  Strickland, a former prison psychologist, said some applications aren’t good candidates for extensive consideration while others are more complex....

A year ago, Strickland granted 68 pardons, commuted 10 sentences and denied 218 other requests for clemency.  During his tenure, he also granted commutation to five death row inmates but signed off on the executions of 17 men....

“I’m trying to be fair and deliberative in my decision making.  I don’t want to just start picking and choosing what I look at based upon, I mean, A lot of people are calling about a lot of cases: ‘Can you look at this?’...I don’t think that’s the way this process ought to be handled,” he said.  “I think it ought to be handled carefully and deliberatively and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

During his eight years as governor, Republican Bob Taft granted 77 clemency requests, or 5.7 percent of the 1,355 applications received and processed.  And in his final days in office in 1991, Democrat Richard Celeste sparked headlines when he commuted the sentences of eight death row inmates to life without parole and granted pardons for 25 women who blamed their crimes on battered women syndrome.

November 19, 2010 at 07:33 AM | Permalink

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