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Event highlights death penalty awareness

Tom Jackson • Oct 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Three now-exonerated former death row inmates are the guest speakers Tuesday when a Catholic Charities tour comes to Sandusky to highlight death penalty awareness.

The three will speak at the “One.for.Ten” event scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

The three speakers are:

• Joe D’Ambrosio, who lives in the Cleveland area. He served 21 years on death row in Ohio after being convicted of the 1988 murder in Cleveland of Anthony Klann. He was freed after a federal judge ruled that prosecutors withheld 10 pieces of evidence at trial that could have helped him win acquittal.

A Catholic priest at The Church of St. Clarence in North Olmsted, the Rev. Neil Kookoothe, helped D’Ambrosio with the appeals process.

• Delbert Tibbs received the death penalty for a 1974 rape and murder in Florida. An informant who implicated Tibbs later admitted to making it up.

• Damon Thibodeaux served time on Louisiana’s death row for murder. DNA evidence showed he did not commit the crime.

The “One.for.Ten” tour is named for a series of online films that tell the stories of several people freed from death row. The Sandusky event comes as a possible death penalty case moves ahead in a Sandusky courtroom.

Curtis Clinton is accused of strangling Heather Jackson, 23, and her two children, Celina Jackson, 3, and Wayne Jackson, 18 months. Jackson’s parents and siblings have asked Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter, who is pursuing the death penalty, to offer Clinton the chance to plead guilty in return for a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

An Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Bar Association task force is currently reviewing whether Ohio’s death penalty is administered fairly or whether adjustments should be made in how it is handled.

The Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty is not being asked whether Ohio should have a death penalty.

Want to go?

• WHAT: Catholic Charities tour to discuss the death penalty, featuring three former death row inmates

• WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

• WHERE: Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 510 Columbus Ave.

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