Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Convicted killer makes plea to Taft

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Convicted killer John W. Byrd Jr., facing execution in three weeks, has asked Gov. Bob Taft to delay or commute his death sentence.

        “I am more innocent than anyone consciously wants to believe or realize,” Mr. Byrd wrote Friday in a letter to Mr. Taft and the Ohio Parole Board. “What I am requesting is that you take on the leadership role to grant a reprieve and request for a federal investigation into my conviction.”

        Mr. Byrd cites several allegations of misconduct and mistakes leading to his conviction.

        The Ohio Supreme Court has set Feb. 19 as the new execution date for Mr. Byrd. Mr. Byrd was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of 40-year-old Monte Tewksbury during a convenience-store robbery in Colerain Township in 1983.


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