Strickland remains undecided on fate of killer Getsy

Jason Getsy Interview

Audio Clip

By Marc Kovac

Murderer Jason Getsy is scheduled for execution next week.

COLUMBUS — Gov. Ted Strickland still has not decided whether to grant clemency to Jason Getsy, the convicted murderer sentenced to die by lethal injection next week.

“I have spent a little time talking to my legal counsel, but I have not ... spent the kind of time that I need to spend in studying the results of the investigation that has been undertaken by my staff,” he said. “I will not do that today, but I will do that this week certainly.”

He added, “I don’t know that I’ll have an answer by the end of the week, but before the end of this week, I’m going to set aside time to study the reports.”

Getsy, 33, is scheduled for execution Tuesday and will be moved from the Ohio State Penitentiary near Youngstown to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. State policy calls for inmates to be transported to the latter about 24 hours before their scheduled execution.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed the 10 a.m. execution time earlier this week.

Getsy was convicted in the 1995 murder of Ann R. Serafino and the attempted murder of her son, Charles Serafino, in their Hubbard Township home.

According to court documents, Getsy and two other men were hired by another individual to kill Charles Serafino over a business disagreement. Charles Serafino survived the incident.

The state parole board, on a 5-2 vote, recommended clemency in the case, noting that Getsy was the only one of four co-defendants who received the death penalty.

Strickland has commuted death sentences in the past on the recommendation of the parole board, most recently in the case of Jeffrey Hill, who was scheduled for execution in March.

Getsy would be the fourth Ohio inmate executed in recent months.

Asked whether he was concerned about the pace of executions occurring in Ohio, Strickland replied, “I have concerns about executions, period. I have concerns about every execution. I think this is not something that I ever take lightly, and I hope that no one would. ... Anytime a life is taken, regardless of the circumstances, that’s a serious matter.”

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