New interview process for condemned inmates seeking mercy

Ohio

One public defender says the goal is to provide the board with a more complete picture of the inmate before the interview

Jail generic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Parole Board has changed its approach to interviewing condemned inmates asking for mercy in a move that addresses a longtime criticism of the process.

Under the old approach, board members would interview a death row inmate armed only with court records about the inmate’s case and the inmate’s disciplinary record while imprisoned.

Under the new system, board members will have the inmate’s application for mercy, including information about upbringing, mental health history, and rehabilitation while on death row.

David Stebbins is a federal public defender overseeing capital punishment cases. He says the goal is to provide the board with a more complete picture of the inmate before the interview.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the state public defender’s office back the changes.

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