(Columbus) - The Ohio Parole Board has recommended against clemency for death row inmate Billy Slagle.
This follow a clemency hearing last week. The vote, released Tuesday, was six-to-four.
Slagle was sentenced to death out of Cuyahoga County for the 1987 death of Mari Anne Pope.
Slagle was 18 when he broke into Pope's west side house looking for money to buy alcohol. He ended up stabbing her 17 times with a pair of sewing scissors he found in the house.
Two child witnesses heard the 40-year-old Pope praying before the attack. Police also found a broken rosary near her body.
Back in 2011, the Ohio Parole Board recommended that Slagle's life not be spared.
Slagle's 2011 execution was postponed while a lawsuit over the state's death penalty procedure was pending in federal court.
"This twisted psychopath should have been executed 15 years ago," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim Mason said at the time. "With all due respect to the governor, the biggest criticism of capital punishment in Ohio is the unnecessary delays."
However, Cleveland prosecutors told the board last week they were not confident they could obtain a death sentence today.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer told the Ohio Parole Board that without that confidence, his office can't recommend that Billy Slagle be executed for the 1987 stabbing death of a neighbor.
Meyer said that the position of the office on capital punishment has changed with the election of new prosecutor Tim McGinty and a new set of criteria are being applied to both old and new cases.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty says, “We respect the Ohio Parole Board’s decision. We will continue to make our position known to Gov. John Kasich as he weighs one of the most difficult decisions that any governor must make.”
Slagle's attorneys claimed mercy is justified for Slagle because he was a chronic alcoholic with a chaotic upbringing who was only 18 at the time of the slaying, the minimum age to receive the death penalty in Ohio.
As McGinty pointed out, it’s now up to Governor John Kasich to make the final determination of whether Slagle will be put to death.
Slagle is scheduled for execution on August 7.
Click here to read the Parole Board's ruling
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