Joe D’Ambrosio is the nation’s 140th death row exoneree and the sixth man exonerated from Ohio’s death row. The six men spent a combined 102 years on death row for crimes they did not commit.
Mr. D’Ambrosio was convicted of murdering nineteen-year old Anthony Klann in Cuyahoga County in 1989. Following a 2006 ruling that overturned his conviction, Mr. D’Ambrosio was freed in March 2010, and all charges were dismissed. Since March 2010, prosecutors and the attorney general’s office have appealed one court decision after another. The exoneration is official by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling issued January 23, 2012.
Mr. D’Ambrosio’s conviction was overturned because Cuyahoga County prosecutors withheld ten pieces of evidence that would have exonerated D’Ambrosio at his 1989 trial. Instead, he spent twenty-one years on Ohio’s death row for a crime he did not commit.
Last week, the execution of Charles Lorraine was stopped because a federal judge ruled that state officials are not following rules during executions. This is the second time in six months that executions in Ohio have been put on hold.
Ohio’s death penalty system is broken. Mr. D’Ambrosio’s exoneration comes as the Ohio Supreme Court’s task force is closely examining Ohio’s death penalty system.
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