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Crime and Courts


Ohio parole board recommends against clemency for Cleveland area man who killed police officer
Parole board unanimously ruled against clemency
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Gov. John Kasich will now have to decide if Harry Mitts will be executed next month.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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In The Region:

The Ohio Parole Board has recommended against clemency for a death row inmate convicted of killing a Cleveland area police officer nearly 20 years ago. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports the fate of prisoner Harry Mitts Jr. now lies with Gov. Kasich.

LISTEN: Mitts' unsuccessful argument

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It was 1994 in an apartment building in Garfield Heights.  A resident in that building, Harry Mitts, shot and killed a man after making racist comments then later shot and killed a responding officer. He fired shots at two other police officers and the SWAT team eventually arrested him. 

Mitts was later convicted of the two deaths and attempted murder. At his recent clemency hearing, Mitts’ attorneys said he wasn’t represented properly by his attorney at the time of conviction.  They told the parole board Mitts is not a remorseless, racist cop killer. And Mitts’ lawyers said clemency is warranted because the state is about to change its death-penalty protocol. 

But the parole board unanimously ruled against granting clemency. It’s now up to Gov. Kasich to decide whether to accept the parole board’s recommendation.

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