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Parole board to hear former member of the jury of the death penalty, sorry

COLUMBUS, Ohio the Ohio Parole Board on Thursday is scheduled to hear from a judge who recommended that a convicted murderer be sentenced to death, but now believes he should be spared.

At issue is the case of the death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts, who is set to die in October for the killing of Fred Hicks on Hicks in Cincinnati at home in 1997.

After the parole board voted 11-1 last year against mercy for Tibbetts, ex-judge Ross Geiger came forward and said jurors were not enough information about Tibbetts’ tough childhood.

In Jan. 30 letter to the Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Geiger said that he believes that he and the other jurors were misled about the “truly horrific circumstances” of Tibbetts’ education.

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.

“After reviewing the material, from the perspective of an original member of the jury, I have deep concerns about the process and the way it happened,” wrote Geiger. “This is the reason why I ask you have mercy.”

In response, the Republican Kasich delayed Tibbetts’ implementation to give the parole board the chance to hear directly from Geiger and consider his claim.

In addition to the death penalty for the murder of Hicks, the 61-year-old Tibbetts also received life imprisonment for fatally beating and stabbing his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, during a quarrel on the same day about Tibbetts’ crack-cocaine habit.

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

Hamilton 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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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

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