Today Governor John R. Kasich announced that he has commuted the death sentence of Joseph Murphy to life without parole. Murphy was convicted in Marion County in 1987 of the murder of 72-year-old Ruth Predmore. Kasich issued the following statement:
"Joseph Murphy's murder of Ruth Predmore was heinous and disturbing and he deserves--and continues to receive--severe punishment. Even though as a child and adolescent Murphy suffered uniquely severe and sustained verbal, physical and sexual abuse from those who should have loved him, it does not excuse his crime. However, the Ohio Supreme Court split 4-3 on whether Murphy should receive the death penalty
and the late Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, in his dissent against the death penalty in this case, said that "in all of the death penalty cases I have reviewed, I know of no other case in which the defendant . . . was as destined for disaster as was Joseph Murphy. . .'
"After examining this case in detail with counsel I agree with Chief Justice Moyer, the National Association of Mental Illness and the Parole Board's unanimous 8-0 decision that considering Joseph Murphy's brutally abusive upbringing and the relatively young age at which he committed this terrible crime, the death penalty is not appropriate in this case. Thus, I have commuted his sentence to life in prison with no chance for parole. I pray for peace for all who have been impacted by this crime."