We are pleased to report that Ohio Governor John Kasich has commuted the death sentence of Raymond Tibbetts to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Citing “fundamental flaws” at the sentencing stage of Tibbetts’ trial, the Governor explained:
“[T]he defense’s failure to present sufficient mitigating evidence, coupled with an inaccurate description of Tibbetts’ childhood by the prosecution, essentially prevented the jury from making an informed decision about whether Tibbetts deserved the death sentence.”
Ross Geiger, a juror at Tibbetts’ trial, had discovered this breakdown of justice by chance, and alerted Governor Kasich to it. The Ohio Parole Board then played down Geiger’s concerns, recommending that Tibbetts’ death sentence remained appropriate. Fortunately, the Governor chose to overrule the Board’s recommendation.
Sadly, the three men who have been executed in Ohio since July 2017* were similarly disadvantaged at the mitigation phase of their trials, but no juror raised concerns about their sentencing.
In Jeffrey Wogenstahl’s case no fewer than three jurors have stated that if significant evidence had not been withheld by the prosecution, they might have made different decisions at the guilt phase of his trial. Thus if the State of Ohio had not grossly violated Jeff’s constitutional rights there is a good chance that he would have been found innocent.
Jeff has waited too long for justice. It is time for the fundamental flaws in his case to be exposed.