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Parole Board Recommends Against Clemency for Death Row Inmate Convicted in Cleveland Killing

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 6:25 PM

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The Ohio Parole Board has recommended against clemency for a death row inmate convicted of killing a Cleveland resident Mari Anne Pope in her home in 1987. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

In a 6-to-4 vote, the Ohio Parole Board ruled Billy Slagle should be executed as planned on Aug. 7. 

Slagle’s attorneys argued he was abused as a child and was on drugs and alcohol at the time of the killing. They also said he has been a well behaved prisoner for the past 25 years.The attorneys argued Slagle’s Native American mother’s relocation to Cleveland from a reservation in 1960 caused intergenerational trauma. They also said there are problems with the way his trial was handled, and added his crime not severe enough to warrant the death penalty.

But prosecutors said Slagle received proper treatment in court. They also contended the murder Slagle committed was brutal enough to qualify for the death penalty, since he was convicted of stabbing Mari Anne Pope 17 times in a botched burglary at her home.

The majority of the parole board found the intergenerational trauma argument unpersuasive. And they said the killing was brutal enough to qualify for the death penalty. It’s now up to Gov. Kasich to decide whether to accept the parole board’s recommendation or to grant clemency to Slagle anyway.

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