COLUMBUS, Ohio – Both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked the Ohio Parole Board on Monday to spare a condemned killer who stabbed a neighbor 17 times in 1987, making a rare joint appeal for mercy based on the inmate's youth at the time of his killing and his history of drug and alcohol abuse.
A divided board ruled against clemency two years ago for Billy Slagle – who is scheduled to die Aug. 7 – but that was before the election of new Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty.
McGinty is applying new criteria to both old and new death penalty cases, and one of those elements is whether a death sentence could be obtained today, assistant prosecutor Matthew Meyer told the board.
In 1996, Ohio law changed to allow jurors to choose between execution and life without parole.
NY governor felled by scandal back in politics
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer jumped back into the high-profile world of politics Monday after his decision to run for the New York City comptroller's office, years after he was caught in a prostitution scandal that led to one of politics' steepest falls from power.
His first public campaign appearance turned into a chaotic scrum of scores of journalists outside a Manhattan subway station, with a heckler and some Spitzer supporters trading shouts as the candidate talked up his record in office – and declined to get into specifics about the scandal that brought his career to a screeching stop.
"What I'm looking for is a chance to be heard. I want the voters to listen to what I've done … and say, 'This guy understood the public interest,' " Spitzer said.
Perry won't run again in Texas, mum on 2016
Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, who famously muttered "oops" after forgetting during a 2011 presidential debate the third of three federal departments he'd pledged to close, announced Monday he won't seek re-election next year to a fourth full term.
A staunch Christian conservative, proven job-creator and fierce defender of states' rights, Perry has been in office nearly 13 years, making him the nation's longest-sitting current governor. The 63-year-old did not rule out another try for the White House in 2016.
Trayvon's father: I didn't say it wasn't his voice
Trayvon Martin's father testified Monday that he never denied it was his son's voice screaming for help on a 911 call, contradicting police officers' earlier testimony at George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.
Tracy Martin was the latest in a series of witnesses called by lawyers on both sides as they seek to convince jurors of who was the aggressor in the nighttime confrontation that left Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, dead in February 2012.
The teen's father testified that he merely told officers he couldn't tell whether it was his son after his first time listening to the call, which captured the audio of a fight between Martin and Zimmerman.
Later in the day, the Florida judge ruled that defense attorneys may present evidence to the jury that Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system when he died.
Judge won't halt policy on prison hunger strikes
A U.S. federal judge ruled Monday that she lacks the authority to halt the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, while pointedly noting that the practice appears to violate international law and that President Barack Obama can resolve the issue.
District Judge Gladys Kessler said previous rulings already established that the court lacks jurisdiction to stop the force-feeding of prisoners during the ongoing protest, rejecting a motion for a preliminary injunction sought by a Syrian held at the U.S. base in Cuba.
Kessler faulted the military's response to the hunger strike, noting a consensus of opinion that the use of a nasogastric tube to feed the men against their will is a violation of medical ethics as well as international prohibitions against inhumane treatment.
Fort Hood courthouse readies for shooting trial
The military courthouse on the edge of Fort Hood has been transformed into a fortress, surrounded by hundreds of stacked freight car-sized shipping containers, and by tall dirt- and sand-filled barriers designed to protect it against the impact of a bomb blast. Armed soldiers stand guard around the building.
Tight security measures are in place at the Texas Army post and neighboring city of Killeen in preparation for the start of jury selection Tuesday in the capital murder trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 mass shooting that left 13 dead and nearly three dozen wounded.
Just two years after a bomb attack was thwarted in Killeen, some military law experts say the community may once again be a target by supporters of Hasan, an American-born Muslim who has tried to justify the deadly rampage as protecting Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.