Thursday, 31 May 2007

OHIO: Parole board rules against clemency for man in jail beating

OHIO: Parole board rules against clemency for man in jail beating

Associated Press

Clarence Carter

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Parole Board has recommended that Gov. Ted Strickland deny clemency to a man who beat and caused fatal injuries to a cellmate.

Clarence Carter, 45, is scheduled to die by lethal injection July 10.

Carter, of Cincinnati, was convicted of beating Johnny Allen at the Hamilton County Jail in 1988. Carter hit and kicked Allen numerous times over a 25-minute period.

Allen, who was taken to a hospital, died about two weeks later.

Carter was in the jail waiting to be sentenced on a prior conviction of aggravated murder in the shooting death of a police informant who was to testify against a friend of Carter's in a drug case, according to a parole board report.

In a statement to the board, Carter insisted that Allen initiated the confrontation by approaching his bed with a shank. A public defender also argued that Carter was convicted based on unreliable testimony of inmate witnesses.

The board, in a 6-3 vote Friday, said it found no evidence to suggest that Carter received poor legal representation at trial or during his appeals.

In their dissent, three parole board members said they were troubled by what appeared to be contradictory or inaccurate testimony by inmate witnesses.

Strickland can accept the recommendation or change Carter's sentence to life in prison without parole.

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