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Ohio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard

Background

Ever since the establishment of the British colonies North America, the concept of clemency has been an integral part of the American justice system. Clemency can mean the granting of a pardon, or commutation, meaning the changing of a death sentence to life imprisonment. It has long been put to use as a fail-safe way to protect the innocent from wrongful execution. At the end of the twentieth century, the American states that allowed the death penalty also authorized their governors to grant clemency to death row inmates.

The state of Ohio reinstituted its death penalty in 1981. The Ohio State Constitution gives its governor the power to grant clemency after a "thorough investigation" of the inmate's case. Although the power to grant clemency is the governor's, the authority to regulate the application and investigation process belongs to the Ohio General Assembly. The Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA) has had the responsibility for carrying out those investigations since 1965. It holds interviews and hearings, completes clemency reviews, and makes nonbinding recommendations to the governor.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentOhio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard - Significance, Background, A Protected Life Interest On Death Row, Safeguarding Against Irresponsible Clemency, Impact