Ohio Parole Board's Clemency Process Is Changing

Sep 23, 2019

The changes the Parole Board is making when considering clemency for death row inmates will begin in January.

The Ohio Parole Board will get more information on the background of inmates. The inmate’s application for mercy, reports of child abuse, mental health and substance abuse history will all be given to parole board members early. Senior Federal Public Defender David Stebbins says they were getting just the inmate’s case record, disciplinary history and rehabilitation efforts on the day of the clemency hearing. 

“This permits the board to have all of the positive reasons for clemency before them before they interview the client," Stebbins says.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he wanted changes after criticism that the board wasn’t transparent. Former State Sen Shirley Smith, who used to sit on the board, said the board lacked integrity and decency in the way it handled death penalty cases.