Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fuck Hope

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.


  1. Now Jeff, don't be trashing OTSE so quickly. They weren't asking for lwop. We weren't asking for lwop. We were asking that the sentence be commuting. We told the parole board that Arthur should be released immediately, or at the least be given life with parole. Unfortunately, there were some people circulating letters and petitions who were associated with OTSE or the legal team who were asking for lwop. But in the end, I don't think any of that made a difference with Kasich frankly. Its just a bittersweet result. I am grateful that I don't have to go watch Arthur be murdered on May 28, but that's about all I'm grateful for right now.

    1. I should have proofread that comment better. I meant to say there were some people NOT associated with OTSE for the legal team who were circulating letters and petitions.

  2. Vicki,

    I certainly know you weren't asking for LWOP. But OTSE? You know I have a long connection - and mostly a very positive one - with OTSE. But in this case, they did in fact specifically ask me (beg might be a better word than ask) not to urge anything more than LWOP. And I know that's a message they sent to some others, also.

    You also know my broader position: The state should never kill. So yeah, I'm thankful that Kasich commuted the sentence even if he didn't do more. But he should have done more. As I said, this is one time he should have listened to the Board.

    1. We are still in shock that he didn't listen to the Board.