And so it ends.
Really, I can't say it was a surprise. The Parole Board went out on a limb. The Governor, a likely entry into the Republican presidential nomination sweepstakes in 2016, didn't.
Oh, he's not going to kill Tyler. There's too much opposition to that and too little support for it.
But the prospect of allowing the Parole Board to let him out on the street someday? The guy who may or may not (probably not, but there are only two people who really know) have actually killed Sander Leach? The guy who juries twice said should be killed?
Oh, sure. There were letters. But many, maybe most, just asked for LWOP which is what Ohioans To Stop Executions was pushing. (OTSE didn't like my blog post urging a chance for parole some day, tried to talk me into changing it and urging only LWOP.) Don't kill him, but really, let's hold actual compassion for a likely innocent man in check.
Which he did. Today, just a day after the Parole Board said to give him a chance. Reminding us again that the Board can recommend whatever it wants and the Governor has carte blanche to ignore that recommendation if he's so inclined.
There's this new study that shows that something like 4.1% of those we sentence to die in this country are factually innocent. It won't likely convince anyone who doesn't already believe it. And maybe nobody much cares about percentages anyhow. But Arthur Tyler isn't a percentage. He's a man. Who's just spent 30 years in prison and now learns that he's going to die there even if the state won't be expediting that death. And for a crime he likely didn't commit.
But the Gov took the easy way. Did what the county prosecutor said. Gave him the sentence that wasn't available at the time:
Death in Prison.
Life without Hope.
Way to go, John.