The state parole board has voted 11-1 to recommend Gov. John Kasich deny clemency to Alva Campbell Jr., a death row inmate who is scheduled for execution on November 15. Campbell's attorneys say they're disappointed and hope for clemency or a reprieve by the governor.
Public defender David Stebbins told the parole board Campbell’s upbringing included some of the worst abuse he’s ever heard, and that the defense didn’t fully present that to the jury.
“These gaps were filled with inaccurate narratives that were used to justify Alva’s death sentence," Stebbins said.
Stebbins says the 69-year-old Campbell was beaten, sexually abused and tortured as a child.
Campbell was convicted of a 1972 murder, carjacked and killed 18-year-old Charles Dials during an attempted escape from the Franklin County courthouse in 1997.
“I will tell you this – Mr. Campbell is the most violent criminal, without question, of any case I have worked on,” said Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien, who tried the case.
One member of the parole board agreed with Stebbins, but the rest recommended against clemency. Campbell has admitted guilt, but his attorneys are also arguing he’s too sick to lie flat on the execution table.
Stebbins says Campbell is terminally ill with chronic diseases and unable to walk or breathe without assistance, and executing him would result in an "unseemly spectacle." Prosecutors say Campbell's health claims are ironic, given he faked paralysis to escape court custody the day he killed Dials.