Parole board recommends mercy for condemned Ohio inmate


COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio Parole Board has recommended mercy for a condemned inmate who says he’s innocent of killing two men in 1989.

Defense attorneys have argued that doubt surrounds every element of the case against 42-year-old Shawn Hawkins.

The parole board voted unanimously today and said Gov. John Kasich should spare Hawkins and commute his sentence to life without parole.

Hawkins’ lawyers say the sole eyewitness offered conflicting stories and new evidence challenging the state’s version of the killings in the Mount Healthy neighborhood in Cincinnati.

They also argue a partial fingerprint of Hawkins found at the scene was handled improperly and is flawed evidence.

Prosecutors say Hawkins’ jury determined the eyewitness was credible and that a federal judge has rejected claims that the fingerprint evidence was flawed.

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