Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Death-row inmate asks for new trial

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - An inmate scheduled to be executed this week asked the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to delay the death sentence and order another trial because of new evidence.

Jerome Campbell appealed a lower court's ruling that the evidence failed to meet the legal standard for a new trial.

Campbell, 42, was convicted of stabbing John Henry Turner to death in 1988. Turner, 78, who sold alcohol and cigarettes from his Cincinnati apartment, had befriended Campbell.

Campbell is to be executed by injection on Friday. Gov. Bob Taft had not decided whether to grant him clemency.

Campbell's lawyers argue that he should be retried because a DNA test he requested from the state last year showed that blood on gym shoes introduced as trial evidence was his blood, not Turner's.

They say Campbell might not have been sentenced to die if the information had been available to the jury.

Prosecutors say the information is irrelevant because a prosecution informant told police that Campbell was wearing other shoes at the time of Turner's slaying.

Judge Charles J. Kubicki Jr. of Hamilton County in May denied Campbell's request for a new trial. Earlier this month, the 1st Ohio District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati also refused to grant a new trial.

The Ohio Parole Board has recommended that Taft change Campbell's sentence to life in prison without parole.


On the Net:

Ohio Supreme Court: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/

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