Sunday, September 02, 2001

Woman's request for clemency rejected

The Associated Press

        DAYTON, Ohio — Gov. Bob Taft has rejected a clemency request from a woman serving a 15-year to life prison term for suffocating her infant daughter in 1994.

        Rebecca Lynn Hopfer, then 17, secretly delivered a baby daughter at her Washington Township home, then suffocating her in a plastic trash bag.

        She was convicted in 1995. The Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals rejected an appeal, and the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear the case. In 1998, then-Gov. George Voinovich turned down a clemency request for Ms. Hopfer, who is serving her sentence at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.

        Ms. Hopfer's father, Kenneth, said his daughter has been punished more harshly than other young women in similar cases.

        David Franceschelli, Montgomery County assistant prosecutor, said Ms. Hopfer has never acknowledged any guilt or admitted wrongdoing.

        The Ohio Adult Parole Authority in April voted 7-4 against recommending that Mr. Taft grant Ms. Hopfer clemency.

        Mr. Franceschelli said that she would be eligible to be considered for parole after serving 10 years.


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- Woman's request for clemency rejected