Attorneys pitch mercy for condemned Ohio man

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A lawyer for a condemned Ohio man says the inmate’s brain was permanently damaged by drug and alcohol abuse by the time he committed the killing that sent him to death row.

Defense attorney Joe Wilhelm says inmate Billy Slagle committed an impulsive crime that wouldn’t have happened but for his substance addiction.

Wilhelm told the Ohio Parole Board Monday that the state can do better than putting Slagle to death for the 1987 killing in Cleveland.

Slagle is asking the board to recommend his sentence be commuted to life without parole.

Slagle’s clemency case is unusual because the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County prosecutor has also said he wants Slagle’s death sentence commuted.

Slagle is scheduled to die Aug. 7 for fatally stabbing neighbor Mari Anne Pope during a burglary.

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