ACLU Asks Governor Kasich to Grant Clemency to Condemned Man Scheduled for June Execution

Death Penalty Supporters and State Parole Board Have Raised Concerns Over Innocence of Shawn Hawkins CLEVELAND – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent a letter to Governor John Kasich asking him to grant clemency to Shawn Hawkins, who is scheduled to be executed June 14, 2011. The ACLU’s request comes after the Ohio Parole Board voted unanimously to recommend the governor grant Mr. Hawkins clemency. Since his conviction, serious doubts have been raised regarding Mr. Hawkins’ guilt. Among the questions, a key witness recanted his testimony from the trial, fingerprint evidence was discarded before it was DNA tested, and prosecutors could not prove the murder weapon was ever in Mr. Hawkins’ possession. “Death is the ultimate sentence and can never be reversed,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James L. Hardiman. “If the state insists on executing a person, we must be confident that he she is truly guilty. In Mr. Hawkins’ case, there are simply too many unanswered questions for the state to move ahead with his execution.” State Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, both supporters of the death penalty, have also called on Governor Kasich to grant clemency to Mr. Hawkins. “Everyone wants a justice system that is fair and accurate, no matter your views on capital punishment,” added Hardiman. “Supporters and critics of the death penalty agree that Shawn Hawkins should not be put to death next month. Now it is time for Governor Kasich to act.” Mr. Hawkins was convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers in Cincinnati in June 1989. In its recommendation, the Ohio Parole Board questioned why the Hamilton County Prosecutors Office did not investigate four other suspects, including the only other eyewitness to the crime. While the number of executions in Ohio has increased in recent years, the state has granted clemency to three condemned men over the last year. “Executions deserve the highest level of scrutiny by the courts and our governor. If even the tiniest shred of doubt exists, Governor Kasich must spare Mr. Hawkins life, else risk killing an innocent man,” Hardiman concluded.

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.