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Ohio Parole Board Denies Clemency for Convicted Killer

parole board
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state parole board has voted 11-1 to recommend Gov. John Kasich deny clemency to Alva Campbell Jr., the next inmate scheduled to be executed in Ohio. The recommendation follows the clemency hearing for Campbell last week.

Public defender David Stebbins told the parole board Campbell’s upbringing included some of the worst abuse he’s ever heard, and that the defense didn’t fully present that to the jury.

“These gaps were filled with inaccurate narratives that were used to justify Alva’s death sentence.”

Campbell, who was convicted of a 1972 murder, carjacked and killed 18-year-old Charles Dials during an attempted escape from the Franklin County courthouse in 1997. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien tried the case.

“I will tell you this: Mr. Campbell is the most violent criminal, without question, of any case I have worked on.”

One member of the parole board agreed with Stebbins, but the rest recommended against clemency. Campbell has admitted guilt, but his attorneys are also arguing he’s too sick to lie flat on the execution table. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.