Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ohio: Mercy for a Street Fighting Man?

The Columbus Dispatch reports that, for a second time, the State's Parole Board has voted unanimously to recommended clemency for 44-year old Bradley Tapp, who has spent almost nine years in prison for starting a "drunken street fight." The first recommendation was rebutted by then Governor Bob Taft without comment and the current Governor, Ted Strickland will see Tapp's application sitting in a pile of about 300. The Dispatch reports Strickland "has not acted on any clemency requests in 20 months in office, other than three Death Row reprieves early in his term."

Tapp is described as "a successful businessman with a six-figure salary" and two young daughters. The fight occurred in the aftermath of a wedding reception that Tapp had actually walked away from. But two men followed him down a street and a fight erupted. The Dispatch also notes, "As it turned out, [the] injuries were considerably less serious than portrayed at trial, prompting the sentencing judge to state, as part of the clemency application, that he would have given Tapp a lighter sentence, had he known then what he knows now." See story here.

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