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  1. #1

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    John Jeffrey Eley - Ohio




    Summary of Offense:

    On August 26, 1986, Eley murdered 28-year-old Ihsan Aydah in the Sinjil Market in Youngstown. Mr. Aydah was the owner of the market. Eley shot Mr. Aydah in the head, and then Eley and his accomplice, Melvin Green, stole Mr. Aydah's wallet out of his pocket and money from the cash register. Eley later confessed to Youngstown police.

  2. #2

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    On May 4, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit DENIED Eley's appeal.

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...0a0138p-06.pdf

  3. #3
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    SCOTUS denied petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on December 13, 2010.

    Case number 10-6499

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    Mahoning seeks death date

    Mahoning County prosecutors have sent a request to the Ohio Supreme Court to set a date of execution for John Eley, a man who has been on death row for 23 years.

    The request for a date coincides with a shortage of one of the drugs used to carry out the execution.

    Eley would become the fifth person executed from Mahoning County since 1999, when the state reinstated the death penalty after a 27-year hiatus.

    Eley, 61, was convicted of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery for killing Ihsam Aydah, 28, in 1986 during a robbery.

    County Assistant Prosecutor Ralph M. Rivera, who handles criminal appeals and requests execution dates, said he sent the request to the state's top court this month because Eley had exhausted all of his appeals.

    Rivera said he is unaware of how many other dates have been requested statewide but expects the Supreme Court to schedule one per month for the year, similar to 2010, when eight executions were carried out. Two dates for new Gov. John Kasich to review executions are scheduled for February and March.

    Rivera said he requested an execution date for Sidney Cornwell about the same time last year, and Cornwell was scheduled to be executed Nov. 15. Outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland commuted Cornwell's sentence to life in prison without parole the day the execution was scheduled.

    ''We objected, but at the end of the day, it's his right to do so,'' Rivera said. ''Obviously, we were disappointed with Cornwell's sentence.''

    Of the 157 death-row inmates, six are from Mahoning County. More could be coming. Nine murder cases with death-penalty specifications are going through Common Pleas Court.

    ''I have never seen this many cases come like this,'' Rivera said. ''We had the rare instance when (death-row inmate) Bennie (Adams) and (Michael A.) Davis were being tried at the same time.

    ''That's quite a burden on the court system in general and our office as a whole,'' Rivera said.

    Setting dates could be all for naught, though, if the state is lacking one of the drugs used in the lethal cocktail.

    Last spring, Ohio nearly had to postpone an execution because it did not have enough sodium thiopental, a drug that puts inmates to sleep before the lethal potassium chloride is administered.

    The sole American manufacturer of sodium thiopental, Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill., in suburban Chicago, has blamed supplier issues for its inability to make the drug, which is marketed to render patients unconscious, not for lethal injections. Any remaining batches expire this year.

    Four people from Mahoning County have been executed since 1999, including William J. Williams, whose trial took place in Summit County after a change of venue was granted.

    One of the inmates, John Drummond, was ordered to have another jury trial by a federal judge recently because a former county judge closed part of his jury trial to the public. The Ohio Attorney General's Office is appealing the federal judge's ruling.

    Another, Warren Spivey, 41, filed a claim five years ago that he was mentally retarded and should be excused from execution, Rivera said. The appeal is pending in Common Pleas Court. He has been on death row since November 1989.

    Coming up are two high-profile murders that occurred five days apart in 2010.

    Robert A. Brooks, 25, 3209 Castalia Ave., and Grant P. Cooper, 21, 1153 Sulgrave Drive, Brookfield, face the death penalty in the killing of real estate agent Vivian D. Martin, 67, on Sept. 20.

    Kevin D. Agee Jr., 25, 537 Garfield St., and Aubrey F. Toney, 29, 419 W. Judson St., also face the death penalty in the murder of Thomas Repchic, 75, and the wounding of his wife, Jacqueline, whose lower portion of her leg was amputated because of a gunshot wound, Sept. 25.

    http://www.tribtoday.com/page/conten....html?nav=5021

  5. #5
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    The Ohio Supreme Court has set Eley's execution for July 26, 2012.

    http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod...-ohio-3333.pdf

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    Condemned Ohio inmates' injection claim denied

    A federal judge has rejected claims by two condemned Ohio inmates challenging the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process.

    The two are the next inmates scheduled to die in the state, with Abdul Awkal (ab-DUHL' AW'-kuhl) set for execution June 6 and John Eley (EE'-lee) set to die July 26.

    The two challenged Ohio's lethal injection process on the grounds it fails to guarantee the state won't execute someone who is insane, mentally disabled or was a juvenile when the crime was committed.

    U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost on Wednesday said Awkal and Eley have misunderstood Ohio's long-running injection lawsuit, which focuses on the process of administering the lethal drugs, and don't back up their claims.

    Attorney Allen Bohnert says he'll request that Frost reconsider the ruling.


    http://www.necn.com/05/23/12/Condemn...e8a00a698298ce
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  7. #7
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    Court denies request to open OH inmate's interview

    A psychologist cannot view the Ohio Parole Board's interview with a condemned inmate to try to evaluate his competency, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

    The court without comment rejected a request by the attorneys for John Eley, scheduled to die July 26 for killing a Youngstown convenience store owner in 1986.

    Eley's mental competency has long been questioned but the prisoner refuses to cooperate with efforts to have him evaluated, the attorneys said in a lawsuit filed ahead of Thursday's parole board interview.

    "Every attorney who has represented Mr. Eley has believed him to be mentally ill," Eley's federal public defenders said in the lawsuit. "However, because of his mental illness and borderline intellectual functioning, Mr. Eley refused time and again to cooperate with experts, and has therefore never been fully diagnosed or even evaluated."

    Eley, 63, was sentenced to death for the Aug. 26, 1986, fatal shooting of Ihsan Aydah, the 28-year-old owner of Sinjil Market in Youngstown. Eley shot Aydah in the head, and then, with an accomplice, stole Aydah's wallet and money from a cash register, according to Ohio Attorney General records.

    Eley's public defenders make two points: Eley's mental competency has been questioned back to the days of his trial, and he has refused to cooperate over the years with any attempts to have him tested.

    Eley has also refused all mental health evaluations while on death row in recent years, the lawsuit said.

    The parole board refused the request by defense attorneys Vicki Werneke and Alan Rossman last week.

    The board's policy clearly states inmate interviews are observed only by attorneys from both sides and a representative from the governor's office, board chairwoman Cynthia Mausser told the attorneys in a May 25 email. "Your request for an exception to this policy is not persuasive," she said.

    Mausser declined to comment. The state called the filing an abuse of the court system meant to delay Eley's execution. Eley's competency has been raised for years and numerous courts have ruled against him, Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains said in a filing Wednesday.

    Eley "has the full understanding that the death penalty is being imposed upon him" for Aydah's murder, Gains said.

    Columbus Psychologist Jeffrey Smalldon reviewed Eley's files and interviewed him for about three hours in 1996, but was not able to conduct psychological tests, according to Tuesday's lawsuit.

    Based on that interview and his records' review, "I had serious questions and concerns about Mr. Eley's competency," Smalldon said in sworn statement included in the lawsuit.

    "It was clear to me at that time Mr. Eley lacked the ability to rationally appreciate his legal situation, and to make rational and informed decision as they relate to his conviction and death sentence," Smalldon wrote.

    Werneke and Rossman denied the filing was a delay tactic.

    Even if Smalldon "would find now that his mental functioning does not rise to the level of being incompetent to be executed, the issue is still relevant to the review by the Ohio Parole Board and the Governor of Ohio of the request for clemency for Mr. Eley," they said after the court ruled.

    Also Wednesday, Gov. John Kasich rejected clemency for a condemned inmate scheduled to die next month for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law.

    Lawyers for Abdul Awkal argued the 53-year-old man suffers from severe mental health problems and should be spared, but the state says Awkal carefully planned the 1992 killings and should be executed.

    The Ohio Parole Board recommended against clemency earlier this month for Awkal, who shot his victims in a basement room in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. Kasich followed the board's ruling without explanation.

    Awkal was sentenced to death for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in a Cuyahoga County room where the Awkals were taking up divorce and custody issues.

    http://www.the-press-news.com/ap%20s...te-s-interview
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  8. #8
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    Clemency hearing set for June 12, 2012.
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    Prosecutor seeks mercy for condemned Ohio killer

    The prosecutor who helped send the killer of a Youngstown store owner to death row told the state Parole Board on Tuesday that the condemned inmate should be spared because the crime didn't rise to the "heinous" level that deserves capital punishment.

    Former Mahoning County prosecutor Gary Van Brocklin said he tried repeatedly to get John Eley to testify against another man he believes is the mastermind of the 1986 shooting in exchange for a lesser sentence.

    That other man, Melvin Green, gave Eley the gun used in the shooting and told him to go into the store, which had banned Green for previous threats, Van Brocklin said via a video interview presented to the parole board.

    "Basically, he set up the entire robbery," Van Brocklin said.

    He also said that, while not making light of the death of store owner Ihsan Aydah, the robbery of the convenience store was the type of killing that was prosecuted more frequently as a death penalty case in the early days of the law. Ohio's current capital punishment law was enacted in 1981.

    "It wasn't in the more heinous nature of cases that now receive the death penalty," Van Brocklin said.

    Eley, 63, is scheduled to die by injection July 26 for the shooting at the Sinjil Market on Aug. 26, 1986. Eley confessed to the killing to police and invoked his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify against Green, who was acquitted.

    "I don't want to go through all this ritual," Eley told a court psychologist in 1987, according to a written presentation to the board by Paul Gains, the current Mahoning County prosecutor, who opposes clemency.

    "I did it. I want to do my time," Eley said in that interview. "I don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry I did it, that's all."

    Green, 54, is in prison and scheduled for release in October on charges he illegally carried a concealed weapon, had a gun in a car and possession of drugs. But he also faces the possibility of additional time for violating parole on a prior aggravated robbery conviction, according to state prison records. Those charges are unrelated to the Eley case.

    Scott Krichbaum, who represented Green at trial in 1987, said Tuesday that the state had enough to charge Green but not to convict him.

    "It's a common tactic to blame the other guy," Krichbaum, now a Mahoning County judge, said in a phone interview. "That's pretty standard in criminal defense."

    Eley's attorneys based their argument for clemency around Green's role in the shooting. They also presented evidence that Eley came from an impoverished childhood, abused alcohol and drugs, had brain impairment and is mentally disabled and mentally ill.

    Gains says Eley was a career criminal who showed no remorse over the shooting and whose IQ of 82 is well above the threshold of mental disability.

    Gains presented evidence to the board that Eley withdrew his claim of mental disability eight years ago and that psychological reports from the trial draw opposite conclusions about mental illness and mental disability.

    Gains noted Eley had already been to prison twice by the time of Aydah's slaying.

    "And where Eley's attorneys now say that Melvin Green should be blamed for the crime, the evidence is unrebutted that Eley was the shooter, and that Eley went into the store alone while Green waited outside for Eley to subdue Mr. Aydah," Gains said in his board filing.

    The board will make its recommendation next week to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has the final say.

    Tuesday's hearing came two days before a Cuyahoga County judge is set to hold a separate hearing on a death row inmate who received a last-minute, two-week reprieve last week.

    Attorneys for Abdul Awkal will present arguments to Judge Stuart Friedman on Thursday that Awkal is mentally incompetent to be put to death for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in a Cleveland courthouse 20 years ago.

    Attorneys say Awkal believes the CIA is orchestrating his execution. The state says courts and experts have previously ruled Awkal competent.

    The reprieve that Awkal received from Kasich rescheduled his execution for June 20.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/...r-1389780.html
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  10. #10
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    Prosecutors await killers’ fates

    By CHRISTOPHER BOBBY

    While attorneys for a condemned Mahoning County man who killed a Youngstown store owner say their client is mentally disabled and mentally ill and should be spared, Trumbull County's prosecutor is patiently waiting for a new execution date on a Warren killer.

    The lawyers for 63-year-old John Eley of Youngstown argued Tuesday that the slaying would never have happened without the involvement of Eley's alleged accomplice, who was acquitted after Eley refused to testify against him.

    Eley's attorneys made their arguments for clemency before the Ohio Parole Board. Mahoning County prosecutors also gave presentations in favor of execution.

    The state says Eley was a career criminal who showed no remorse over the shooting and whose IQ of 82 is well above the threshold of mental disability.

    Eley's execution date for the 1986 robbery-murder of Ihsan Aydah is July 26.

    In the meantime, Trumbull Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is optimistic that the Ohio Attorney General's Office will soon filed a motion to lift the stay still in effect for Warren killer Charles Lorraine, who was spared execution in January.

    The stay, which delayed execution for Lorraine and other death row inmates, would have to be lifted by Federal Judge Gregory Frost before the Ohio Supreme Court sets a new execution date.

    Watkins said his optimism was aided by a May 22 ruling by Frost that affirmed the judge's belief that Ohio's execution protocol was carried out in a constitutional manner.

    ''I take the judge's ruling as a good sign that we will get a new date for Lorraine in the near future,'' Watkins said. ''The reasonable position is to get the stay lifted and look at these (executions) on a case-by-case basis.''

    ''Everyone on death row was convicted by a jury or a three-judge panel. It's certainly time for justice for the victims,'' Watkins said last week.

    Lorraine, 45, of Warren, spent years unsuccessfully appealing his death sentence. Lorraine stabbed Raymond Montgomery, 77, five times with a butcher's knife and stabbed his bedridden wife, Doris Montgomery, 80, nine times before burglarizing their Trumbull County home in May 1986 after befriending the couple he did odd jobs for.

    Kasich rejected Lorraine's plea for mercy that Lorraine made on the grounds of a troubled childhood and sub-par legal representation.

    Lorraine's Jan. 7 scheduled execution was delayed by Frost over concerns that the state continued to deviate too often from its written rules for lethal injection.

    The state found itself in the position of having a death penalty system that remained constitutional in the eyes of the courts but being unable to put inmates to death because of issues with how that system is conducted.

    The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled later in January that federal courts must monitor every Ohio execution "because the State cannot be trusted to fulfill its otherwise lawful duty to execute inmates sentenced to death."

    In April, though, Ohio executed 48-year-old Mark Wayne Wiles of Portage County, who murdered 15-year-old Mark Klima on Aug. 7, 1985, at a farmhouse in Rootstown. Klima's parents owned the farm where Wiles worked.

    Wiles stabbed the teen 24 times after the teen discovered Wiles stealing valuables from the home. Wiles fled to Georgia but later confessed to authorities in Savannah and detectives in Portage County.

    And Frost wrote in his opinion, ''There is no evidence before this court that Ohio failed to meet all of its constitutional obligations in regard to the Wiles' execution.''

    It was last week that Kasich granted a two-week reprieve for another condemned inmate so a judge can reconsider the man's mental competency before any execution.

    A new June 20 execution date was set for Abdul Awkal, who was sentenced to die for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in 1992.

    http://www.tribtoday.com/page/conten...rs--fates.html
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