While attorneys for a condemned Mahoning County man who killed a Youngstown store owner say their client is mentally disabled and mentally ill and should be spared, Trumbull County's prosecutor is patiently waiting for a new execution date on a Warren killer.
The lawyers for 63-year-old John Eley of Youngstown argued Tuesday that the slaying would never have happened without the involvement of Eley's alleged accomplice, who was acquitted after Eley refused to testify against him.
Eley's attorneys made their arguments for clemency before the Ohio Parole Board. Mahoning County prosecutors also gave presentations in favor of execution.
The state says Eley was a career criminal who showed no remorse over the shooting and whose IQ of 82 is well above the threshold of mental disability.
Eley's execution date for the 1986 robbery-murder of Ihsan Aydah is July 26.
In the meantime, Trumbull Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is optimistic that the Ohio Attorney General's Office will soon filed a motion to lift the stay still in effect for Warren killer Charles Lorraine, who was spared execution in January.
On death row
Charles Lorraine, 45: Convicted of murdering Raymond Montgomery and his wife, Doris, during a 1986 robbery in their Warren home. On death row since 1986.
John Eley, 63: Convicted in the 1986 robbery-murder of Youngstown store owner Ihsan Aydah. On death row since 1987.
The stay, which delayed execution for Lorraine and other death row inmates, would have to be lifted by Federal Judge Gregory Frost before the Ohio Supreme Court sets a new execution date.
Watkins said his optimism was aided by a May 22 ruling by Frost that affirmed the judge's belief that Ohio's execution protocol was carried out in a constitutional manner.
''I take the judge's ruling as a good sign that we will get a new date for Lorraine in the near future,'' Watkins said. ''The reasonable position is to get the stay lifted and look at these (executions) on a case-by-case basis.''
''Everyone on death row was convicted by a jury or a three-judge panel. It's certainly time for justice for the victims,'' Watkins said last week.
Lorraine, 45, of Warren, spent years unsuccessfully appealing his death sentence. Lorraine stabbed Raymond Montgomery, 77, five times with a butcher's knife and stabbed his bedridden wife, Doris Montgomery, 80, nine times before burglarizing their Trumbull County home in May 1986 after befriending the couple he did odd jobs for.
Kasich rejected Lorraine's plea for mercy that Lorraine made on the grounds of a troubled childhood and sub-par legal representation.
Lorraine's Jan. 7 scheduled execution was delayed by Frost over concerns that the state continued to deviate too often from its written rules for lethal injection.
The state found itself in the position of having a death penalty system that remained constitutional in the eyes of the courts but being unable to put inmates to death because of issues with how that system is conducted.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled later in January that federal courts must monitor every Ohio execution "because the State cannot be trusted to fulfill its otherwise lawful duty to execute inmates sentenced to death."
In April, though, Ohio executed 48-year-old Mark Wayne Wiles of Portage County, who murdered 15-year-old Mark Klima on Aug. 7, 1985, at a farmhouse in Rootstown. Klima's parents owned the farm where Wiles worked.
Wiles stabbed the teen 24 times after the teen discovered Wiles stealing valuables from the home. Wiles fled to Georgia but later confessed to authorities in Savannah and detectives in Portage County.
And Frost wrote in his opinion, ''There is no evidence before this court that Ohio failed to meet all of its constitutional obligations in regard to the Wiles' execution.''
It was last week that Kasich granted a two-week reprieve for another condemned inmate so a judge can reconsider the man's mental competency before any execution.
A new June 20 execution date was set for Abdul Awkal, who was sentenced to die for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in 1992.
The Associated Press contributed to this story