Another Cincinnati Black Man Dies

That will be the headline on March 3 after the state kills Jeff Hill even though the victim’s family is begging the parole board and governor to spare Hill’s life.—-

“On Saturday, January 24th, the (Columbus) Dispatch printed the following editorial written by Jeff Hill's uncle, Eddie Sanders. The family, both the murder victims' family and the death row family continues to urge the Ohio Parole Board and the Governor to support clemency for Jeff Hill,” says an announcement from Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC.) “They have yet to receive a response, so it is critical that they know there are people watching this case.”

Hill was found guilty of killing his mother while high on crack, and because he stole $10 the Hamilton County Prosecutor asked for the death penalty His family has never asked for or supported the execution (See Killing a Family ).

In an effort to save his sister’s child, Sanders explained the family’s position. IJPC is asking death penalty abolitionists to print out the letter, add a personal comment and send it to Governor Ted Strickland's office:

Governor's Office
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Strickland made statements during his election campaign that implied he would investigate the fairness of the application of the death penalty in the Buckeye state but has failed to do so and failed to take seriously the scathing review prepared by the American Bar Association. Ohio has one of the highest execution rates in the country (See Making a Killing) and Hill will only add to the vindictive and ruthless reputation of our state.

This is the link to the Dispatch piece, with the copy listed below.

Please act.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Eighteen years ago, my family experienced a profound tragedy when my sister Emma Dee Hill was murdered. We now face the excruciating possibility of suffering a second tragic death in the family: the execution of my nephew, Emma's son, who is responsible for the crime.

My nephew, Jeffrey Hill, is scheduled to be executed on March 3. My family — including Emma's other siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren — strongly opposes his death sentence. We believe that the tragedy of Emma's loss is only compounded by the fact that we now find ourselves pleading for the life of another one of our own.

Jeffrey, who was never violent as an adult, was not his true self on the day of his mother's death in March 1991. Spurred by his father's passing months before, Jeffrey had become addicted to crack cocaine. We cannot ignore the effects this had on him. His actions were shockingly out of character. Since Jeffrey got off drugs and became aware of what he had done, he has expressed unwavering remorse and heartache. We know in our hearts that had it not been for the effects of crack cocaine, this tragedy never would have occurred.

We acknowledge the crime and the need for punishment. We also understand that the wishes of victims' family members typically carry influence when determining sentencing in our criminal-justice system. In this case, the wishes of the family, as well as the victim herself, are clear.

Emma was a woman of great faith. She believed in redemption and that there is value in every one of us. We are certain that she would absolutely be opposed to the death sentence given to her son.

Another beloved member of our family made her views known in her final years. Emma's mother and Jeffrey's grandmother, Mary Ann Sanders, was vehemently opposed to Jeffrey's death sentence and signed an affidavit making her position clear. In her memory, and in that of Emma as well, we pray that Jeffrey's execution is stopped.

Ohio prosecutors often listen to the views of victims' family members when determining sentencing. These views should not be valued any less when they express opposition to a death sentence. Victims who oppose the death penalty are as deserving of respect in our criminal-justice system as those who support it.

For 18 years, we have grieved Emma's passing. As a family, we have gone through enough. Executing Jeffrey will not bring Emma back or negate our suffering. It will simply force us to endure another tragic loss. Therefore, it is our greatest hope that the Ohio Parole Board will recommend and Gov. Ted Strickland will grant Jeffrey's clemency appeal.

We already have suffered through the burial of a dear loved one. Our family hopes the state of Ohio honors Emma's wishes and does not force us to bury another.

Mount Healthy

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