Kasich spares life of convicted killer on death row after revelations of childhood abuse
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Friday commuted the sentence of a death row inmate following revelations about the inmate’s childhood abuse.
Raymond Tibbetts, 61, was convicted more than 20 years ago in the killing of his wife and another man in separate incidents on the same day.
Kasich commuted Tibbets’s sentence to life without the possibility of parole, according to CBS News.
“Specifically, the defense’s failure to present sufficient mitigating evidence, coupled with an inaccurate description of Tibbetts’ childhood by the prosecution, essentially prevented the jury from making an informed decision about whether Tibbetts deserved the death sentence,” Kasich said in a statement.
Tibbetts received a sentence of life in prison for killing his 42-year-old wife during an argument about his crack cocaine habit, and a death sentence for fatally stabbing a man for whom Tibbetts was working as a caretaker.
In recent months, a former juror on the case reportedly brought forward information on Tibbetts’s behalf regarding his childhood, which he said was not properly presented at his trial.
Tibbetts described the abuse in an application for mercy last year, saying that he and his brothers had been tied to a single bed, beaten, burned and not fed properly, according to CBS News.
The former juror, Ross Geiger, wrote to Kasich in January about Tibbetts’s case, and presented the issue before a parole board last month. He said that the information about Tibbetts’s childhood was “presented as a debate” between Tibbetts’s attorneys and prosecutors.
“I was just struck and frankly upset that information that was available was not even addressed, other than in very summary fashion,” Geiger said at the hearing.
Though the board still ruled against Tibbetts, Kasich rejected the ruling and commuted the sentence.
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