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Board rejects mercy for killer despite a jury member care

COLUMBUS, Ohio the Ohio Parole Board on Friday again rejected a request for mercy from a condemned killer who fatally a man two decades ago, despite an ex-member of the jury of the revelation that he now regrets his vote in favor of a death sentence.

The court ruled 8-1 against saving death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts, set to die in October for the killing of Fred Hicks on Hicks in Cincinnati at home in 1997.

The board of directors of the ruling, said clemency is not warranted.

“The cruel and unnecessary murder of Fred Hicks immediately after the brutal murder of Judith Sue Crawford was so awful that the limitation presented do not outweigh the aggravating factors, in this case,” the council said.

The republican Gov. John Kasich has the final word. A message was left with his spokesperson.

Tibbetts’ attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Erin Barnhart, said in a statement Friday that Tibbetts faces execution because the jury “did not receive complete and accurate information about his background during the sentencing proceedings.” The governor has the power to “prevent an unjust death sentence is carried out, in general, the name” Barnhart added.

The debt of Tibbetts, 61, is never in doubt. In addition to the death penalty Tibbetts received for Hicks’ killing of the detainee also received life imprisonment for fatally beating and stabbing his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, during an argument about Tibbetts’ crack-cocaine habit.

The 67-year-old Hicks had hired Crawford as a carer and allowed the couple to stay with him.

The impact of Tibbetts’ traumatic and chaotic childhood on the subsequent behaviour was on trial before the Ohio Parole Board during a January 2017 to hear. The board of directors recommended against mercy by a 11-1 vote.

Tibbetts is not earning the forgiveness, in part because Hicks’ killing was “senseless and unnecessary,” the council said at that time. The council has also said that the psychological link that Tibbetts’ lawyers claim that between his traumatic childhood and the murders is “belied by the fact that Tibbetts was mostly able to refrain from violence for many years prior to the murders.”

After that decision, a man who was employed in Tibbetts’ jury saw information about the detained youth and realized that it was much worse than the members of the jury were to hear the trial.

Last week, ex-judge Ross Geiger said Tibbetts’ education was presented as a debate between his lawyers, who said that his background was terrible, and the officer of justice, who said that it’s not so bad.

So, Geiger said he was surprised when he came across information that the council last year that documented horrific facts about Tibbetts’ beginning of the years, that jurors never heard of.

“It was just a different story,” Geiger told the board of directors June 14, in a rare follow-up of the grace to hear.

When Tibbetts was a boy, he and his brothers were tied up to a bed in the night, were not fed properly were thrown down stairs, had their fingers slapped with spatulas and were burned on heating registers, according to Tibbetts’ application for the mercy of last year.

The only hints of Tibbetts’ childhood on the process came from the only witness who was called to talk about the factors that could go against a death sentence, Geiger said. The witness was a psychiatrist who spoke briefly to the members of the Tibbetts’ family.

“I was just touched, and frankly angry that the information available was not even addressed, other than in very summary fashion,” Geiger said.

The council said in its ruling Friday that while he believes Geiger came forward with the best of intentions, ” members are not convinced that his decision would have been different had the information presented in the same way on the test.”

A message seeking comment on the board of directors and the decision was left Friday for Geiger and the Hamilton County prosecutor.

County prosecutors have previously argued that Tibbetts’ background do not outweigh his crimes. That includes stitches Crawford, after he had her beaten to death and then repeatedly stabbing Hicks, a “sick, defenceless, hard-of-hearing man, in whose house Tibbetts lived,” they told the parole board.

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Associated Press writer Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

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