Ohio Gov. Kasich used his executive clemency power yesterday for the third time in two years, blocking John Eley's execution and commuting his death sentence to life without the possibility of parole, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Eley, 63, was scheduled to die by lethal injection on July 26 for killing Ihsan Aydah, 28, in a 1987 convenience-store robbery.
Kasich said Eley, who has limited mental capacity, acted under the direction of another man who was later acquitted. The governor said the prosecutor who tried Eley's case now regrets the way the case was handled and its outcome, and has called for clemency. Kasich went against the recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board, which voted 5-3 against clemency. Kasich has allowed six men to be executed since becoming governor in 2011. The Republican has spared three and postponed other executions. Of the three governors who have dealt with life-and-death commutation decisions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999, Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, spared five men from death in four years in office. Kasich's three in 19 months places him ahead of Gov. Bob Taft, also a Republican, who granted one death clemency in eight years.