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McGinty to Parole Board

McGinty to Parole Board

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Published by jmgamso
McGinty filing urging commutation for Billy Slagle
McGinty filing urging commutation for Billy Slagle

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Published by: jmgamso on Jul 05, 2013
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03/29/2014

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S STATEMENT
FOR BILLY SLAGLE CLEMENCY HEARING
STATE’S NARRATIVE STATEMENT
 TO THE OHIO PAROLE BOARD
Clemency Hearing Date: July 8, 2013
Respectfully submitted by:Timothy J. McGintyCuyahoga County Prosecuting AttorneyT. Allan RegasKatherine E. MullinMatthew E. MeyerAssistant Prosecuting Attorneys
 
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Billy Slagle committed the most heinous of crimes, invading the home of Mari AnnePope and taking her life in a manner and means most vicious. Further exacerbating thehorror of his crime, he did so while two children were present in the home. While Slagleattacked and murdered the victim, the children escaped the home and alerted neighbors tocall the police.
The children’s brave act 
led to police capturing Slagle while still in thevictim
’s home, holding the pair of scissors he used to brutally end Ms. Pope’s life.
Aftertrial, a jury recommended, and the trial court imposed, the death penalty. At the time, thelaw did not provide for a penalty of life without parole.
Slagle’s conviction carried the death penalty, which sentence was determined
appropriate on appeal to the Eighth District Court of Appeals. However, the Ohio SupremeCourt was divided, with Justices Wright and Brown, dissenting from imposition of the death
penalty, citing the mitigating factors of Slagle’s age and substance abuse.
Slagle appeared before this Board in 2011, arguing the same mitigation argumentshe has proposed throughout his prosecution and years of appeals. He has specificallyrequested that this Board recommend that the Governor grant his clemency applicationand commute his sentence of death to one of life without parole. This Board unanimouslyrecommended that the Governor deny him clemency at that time.
STATEMENT OF
THE CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S
POSITION ON CLEMENCY HEARINGS
The Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney has instituted a policy of review in allcapital cases. This policy applies with equal force to charging decisions in new cases, aswell as past convictions that resulted in a death sentence. This review is conducted under
 
strict standards of current law to ensure that only those aggravated murder cases soheinous and deserving that the facts and evidence have the weight to firmly andunanimously convince a jury of 12 or a judicial panel that the aggravating circumstancesoutweigh any and all mitigating factors beyond any reasonable doubt. Decisions willrealistically consider the higher level of evidence required by state and federal appellatecourts to uphold death penalty convictions than other types of crimes.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S REVI
EW OF BILLY
SLAGLE’S APPLICATION FOR CLEMENCY
 
In this case, there is no doubt that the horrific murder of Ms. Pope, a truly innocent victim, qualifies as a crime for which the death penalty might be appropriately sought.There is no doubt that Slagle is the perpetrator of this crime. Several mitigating factors,however cause concern in reviewing this case for execution.
At the time of Slagle’s tr
ial, Ohio law did not allow for the possibility of a sentence of life without parole for an aggravated murder conviction. A jury could impose only asentence of life with the possibility of parole after 20 years, the possibility of parole after30 years, or death. In light of the limited sentencing options and the mitigating factors, theabsence of the option of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in this case mayvery well have led to the imposition of the death sentence. This concern is particularly
acute in Slagle’s case due to the presence of 
multiple, significant mitigating factors.In particular, Slagle was 18 years old when he committed this murder. He also hada lengthy and documented history of substance abuse. Additionally, Slagle does not havean institutional record that contains any serious infractions or reports of further violent 

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