Tag Archives: Governor John Kasich

Clemency for Arthur Tyler

From Ohioans to Stop Executions:

Urge Governor Kasich of Ohio to grant clemency to Arthur Tyler.

The state of Ohio will execute Arthur Tyler on May 28, 2014 unless the Governor intervenes.

The co-defendant in this case, Leroy Head, has confessed no less than eleven times that he killed the victim, Sander Leach.

Today Leroy Head is a free man while Mr. Tyler awaits the death penalty.

The clemency phase is Mr. Tyler’s last chance to receive a fair sentence. In a case so riddled with doubt and inconsistencies, the Governor would be more than justified to ensure the integrity of our criminal justice system by commuting Mr. Tyler’s sentence.

Write Governor Kasich today and urge him to grant clemency for Arthur Tyler.

See you along the Trail.


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Thank you, Governor Kasich

Again, I find myself thanking Governor John Kasich of Ohio. In early June, the governor issued a reprieve for Abdul Awkal. The Ohio Supreme Court, on June 18,  indefinitely postponed the Awkal’s execution following a “lower court’s ruling last week that he could not be executed because he is mentally incompetent.

This time, I thank Governor Kasich for granting clemency to John Jeffrey Eley and commuting his sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

An editorial appearing in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland notes:

… a former prosecutor, detective and judge had all raised questions about the extent to which Eley was manipulated in the 1986 murder by alleged accomplice Melvin Green taking advantage of Eley’s “borderline intelligence.” Eley used Green’s gun to rob and shoot to death 28-year-old grocer Ihsan Aydah while Green waited outside

The Plain Dealer editorial affirms its opposition to the death penalty and closes with the observation that:

A just society cannot ignore such mitigating factors. Kasich acted appropriately.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty provides an opportunity to thank Governor Kasich and to ask him to “impose a moratorium on future executions pending the outcome of the Ohio Supreme Court study and the implementation of its recommendations.”

I grieve at the death of Ishan Aydah. My heart goes out to those who mourn for him.

But executing Eley is not the appropriate answer. I have sent my thanks – and request for a moratorium on executions – to Governor Kasich.

See you along the Trail.

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Not in my name, Governor Kasich

Ask Ohio Governor John Kasich to grant clemency to John Jeffrey Eley.

Unless Governor Kasich acts, the State of Ohio will execute Eley on July 26, 2012 for his role in the 1986 murder of Ahsan Aydah.

Ohioans to Stop Executions urges Governer Kasich to grant clemency because:

Prominent individuals connected to the case support clemency for Mr. Eley because they no longer feel his case necessitates his execution. These individuals include:

  • Gary Van Brocklin, the prosecuting attorney who tried the case.
  • The Hon. Peter Economus, one of the three judges who sentenced Mr. Eley to death.
  • Retired detective Joseph Fajack, the lead investigator on the case who secured Mr. Eley’s confession.
  • Guy Trammel, a probation officer familiar with Mr. Eley who prepared the presentencing report.

In addition to the unprecedented support of these prominent individuals, Mr. Eley is developmentally disabled (in the past, this was termed “mentally retarded”). The United States Supreme Court has disallowed the execution of anyone with such low intellectual function.

Three parole board members recommended clemency based on the following facts:

  • The prosecuting attorney supports clemency.
  • Mr. Eley suffers from a developmental disability, which the parole board affirmed, stating, “he is intellectually challenged.”
  • Mr. Eley was influenced to commit the crime by his accomplice.
  • Mr. Eley exhibits extremely low intellectual functioning.
  • Mr. Eley was offered a plea bargain.
  • Mr. Eley’s crime is not the “worst of the worst.”

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center of Cincinnati offers the following (slightly edited) report on Eley’s case and recent clemency hearing:

Eley was convicted for murdering 28-year-old Aydah during a robbery of a grocery store. Eley told investigators at the time that he shot Aydah after the shopkeeper reached under a counter for a gun. He said he was aiming at the victim’s shoulder and did not intend to kill him, though the gunshot entered Aydah’s head inches above the earlobe.

The Ohio Parole Board rejected a plea for clemency for Aydah by a 5 to 3 vote on June 20, 2012. Federal public defender Vicki Werneke argued Tuesday during the hearing that Eley is an intellectually disabled, easily manipulated man who followed the lead of another, Melvin Green, the real instigator of the robbery who put the black, snub-nose gun in Eley’s hand the day of the crime.

Public defenders pointed out other mitigating factors — Eley’s impoverished childhood, a history of alcohol and drug abuse and head injuries, and likely brain impairment — as reasons for a sentence commutation. And a psychologist presented as an expert in mental retardation said he believed Eley is mentally disabled and, if tried today, likely would not qualify for a death penalty.

But Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Ralph Rivera called Eley a career criminal with a lengthy record who “has never learned from his mistakes” and who “denies all responsibility for the crime,” despite his earlier confession.

“It was the defendant who chose to go with Melvin Green, and he chose to end Mr. Aydah’s life,” he said.

Those words contain truth. I grieve for Ashan Aydah and for all who love him. I grieve that violence cut his life short.

But executing John Jeffrey Eley will not bring Ashan Aydah back to life. It will not protect the people of Ohio any more effectively than we would be by Eley serving the rest of his life in prison.

An execution would be an act of vengeance that perpetuates violence within our culture.

So I call on Governor Kasich to grant clemency: no executions in my name.

See you along the Trail.

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With an aching heart and a reeling mind

I grieve for Raymond and Doris Montgomery. In 1986, they were murdered in their own home in Trumball County, Ohio. Reports state that Raymond Montgomery, age 77, was stabbed five times with a butcher knife; 80-year-old Doris Montgomery, who was bedridden, was stabbed nine times.

Charles Lorraine was convicted of the murders of Raymond and Doris Montgomery and sentenced to death. The Montgomerys had paid him to do odd jobs. That adds to the horror.

Ohio will execute Lorraine on January 18 unless Governor Kasich commutes his sentence.

The vulnerability of the Raymond and Doris Montgomery makes my heart ache. Their willingness to help their killer deepens that ache. The brutality and cruelty of the crime makes my mind reel.

The pain and grief borne by the family and friends of Raymond and Doris Montgomery surpasses my imagination. My aching heart goes out to them.

There appears little evidence of doubt.

And yet, I have signed a petition asking Governor Kasich to take the step of commuting this death sentence. Executions dehumanize our society. Repaying violence with violence gets us nowhere; killing to demonstrate that killing is wrong makes no sense to me. It cuts off any possibility for reform or restoration. My opposition is to the state killing. It does not depend – it cannot depend on the person subject to execution.

I pray for Doris and Raymond Montgomery. I pray for all who love them.

I pray for Governor Kasich and all who make decisions of life and death on behalf of the state – on behalf of us all – on my behalf.

See you along the Trail.


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