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Kasich commutes sentence of Mahoning County killer

Published: Tue, July 10, 2012 @ 2:01 p.m.

COLUMBUS — Gov. John R. Kasich today announced that he has commuted the death sentence of John Jeffrey Eley to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Eley was scheduled to be executed later this month.

Eley was convicted in Mahoning County in 1987 for the murder of 28-year-old Ihsan Aydah.

Kasich issued this statement: “The murder of Ihsan Aydah was a heinous act that warrants severe punishment. In participating in the murder, John Jeffrey Eley, who has limited mental capacity, acted under the direction of another man who was later acquitted. Without those factors it is doubtful that Eley would have committed this crime. Additionally, the former Mahoning County prosecutor who tried Eley’s case now regrets the way the case was handled and its outcome, and has called for clemency. The combined weight of these facts leads me to commute Eley’s sentence to life in prison without parole.

“Murder, under any circumstance, is an atrocious act and this decision in no way diminishes that or the actions of Eley. I pray that the family and friends of Ihsan Aydah can find peace.”

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