Friday, March 7, 2003

No clemency advised for man on Ohio death row

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Parole Board on Thursday recommended against granting clemency to a man who is to be executed March 26 for killing a Cleveland drugstore owner during a robbery in 1983.

Gov. Bob Taft could decide next week whether to follow the board's recommendation or reduce Ernest Martin's sentence, Taft spokesman Orest Holubec said. The governor has denied clemency in six previous death-penalty cases since 1999.

Martin, 42, was convicted in the death of Robert Robinson, who was shot twice after letting an accomplice into his store, court records show.

The parole board said Martin had neither accepted responsibility nor shown remorse. Martin refused an interview by a board member.

"All reviewing courts have agreed that Martin received proper representation at trial, and during subsequent appeals, and his conviction and death sentence have been upheld after 20 years of litigation," the board said in its report.

Martin denies that he was involved in the crime. He says he was the victim of a corrupt justice system.

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