OHIO (USA): GOV. KASICH COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE
September 26, 2011: Ohio's Republican Governor John Kasich today commuted the death sentence of Joseph Murphy, 46, white, to life without the possibility of parole, his 2nd such action in the past 3 months.
In commuting his sentence, Kasich called Murphy's murder of Ruth Predmore, 72, "heinous and disturbing," but the death penalty inappropriate given a brutal upbringing and relatively young age at the time of the crime. Murphy was 21 on February 1, 1987 when he stabbed Predmore during a home robbery. His execution had been scheduled for October 18 and the Ohio Parole Board had recommended that his sentence be commuted.
Murphy was diagnosed as borderline mentally retarded. The governor said in a statement: "After examining this case in detail with counsel I agree with Chief Justice Moyer, the National Association of Mental Illness and the Parole Board's unanimous 8-0 decision that considering Joseph Murphy's brutally abusive upbringing and the relatively young age at which he committed this terrible crime, the death penalty is not appropriate in this case.
"Thus, I have commuted his sentence to life in prison with no chance for parole. I pray for peace for all who have been impacted by this crime." Predmore's niece was among the clemency advocates. (Sources: Reuters, USA Today, The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, 26/09/2011)