Arthur Tyler has been on Ohio's Death Row for 25 years for a crime someone else had admitted to more than 5 times. Time is running out for Arthur and in all the years he has been on death row, he has not had any real support.
See www.torley.org for more info on his case. There is so much more to be added.
I have handled five death penalty habeas matters. Only in one has the evidence of a client's innocence been overwhelming, and that client is Arthur Tyler. He now stands literally at the door of the death chamber and unless people act, an innocent man will be killed by the State. The circumstances of the case are as follows: On March 12, 1983, Sander Leach was killed in the van from which he was selling vegetables on Cleveland's east side. In 1985, Tyler was convicted of shooting and killing Mr. Leach and was sentenced to death. The key witness in that case was and remains today Leroy Head. There is no doubt that Leroy Head was involved in the events which led to the death of Mr. Leach. The circumstances are such that only the victim, Head and Tyler could know what happened on March 12, 1983. A few days after Leach's murder, the police brought Leroy Head and two of his friends into the police station to question them concerning another murder. The police believed the individuals were witnesses to the other murder, as opposed to suspects. During the questioning, Head began to look nervous. The police asked his friends why and they told the two officers that Head had shot Mr. Leach. "In these statements they both stated that Head came to there (sic) house right after the shooting and told them that he just kill (sic) the old man who sold produce on East 66th." (This statement appears in a police report.) Confronted with his friends' statements, Head asked to speak with his mother. The police transported her to the station to speak with her son. After meeting with him for "approx (sic) 3 minutes, she came out of the room crying and saying that he did it." This statement appears in a police report. Head then confessed to the police that while Tyler was outside Mr. Leach's van, unaware of what was taking place inside, Head had gotten into a struggle with Leach and then shot him. Head reduced his oral confession to writing: "At the first shot I starting (sic) falling over towards him, and that's when the gun went off a second time." (Police report.) Within ten days of his first confession, Head confessed again, this time to an investigator working for Arthur Tyler's lawyer. Head again wrote out a statement admitting to having shot and killed Sander Leach while Tyler was outside the van: "I grabbed (the gun) and it went off – the old man fell back and I fell on top of him – the gun went off again." (Investigator's report.) Then on May 27th after Head, now with his own court-appointed legal counsel, met with the prosecutor. Head changed his statement and made Arthur Tyler the shooter. This was the version Head gave during his testimony at Tyler's trial. But these were not the last statements given by Head concerning the killing. In post-conviction proceedings, affidavits were obtained from Head which stated as follows: * April 27, 1986 – Head stated, in his own handwriting, that he and he alone had shot Leach. "I shot and killed him" and Tyler was unaware that the crime was taking place. * May 16, 1989 – Head tells lawyers for Arthur Tyler that he had lied when he testified that Tyler had killed Leach. Head said the prosecutors told him that if he did not testify he would be tried for capital murder, sent to a less secure prison, with the prosecutor making sure the other inmates knew he was a snitch. (Lawyer note.) * July 27, 1991 – Head confirmed in an affidavit that he, not Arthur Tyler, killed Leach. "Leach pulled a gun out and he was shot while we scuffled." During the state post-conviction process, it developed that Head had confessed to still another friend. On April 25, 1991, Luther Aldridge, a half-brother of Head's friend, Anthony Gillis, stated in an affidavit that he had gone to Gillis's house around 6:00 p.m. on the day of the homicide. Head was present and told Aldridge that "he had robbed and shot the vender." (Aldridge Affidavit.) Aldridge later encountered Head in prison and asked him why he was letting Tyler remain on Death Row. Head told Aldridge that he was going to confess to the crime. (Aldridge Affidavit.)
During proceedings in federal habeas corpus, Tyler was granted permission to take the deposition of Leroy Head. But Head refused to testify, citing his rights to avoid self-incrimination. A lawyer was appointed to represent Head. The deposition was rescheduled and again Head invoked his rights under the Fifth Amendment. Tyler's counsel asked that the State grant immunity to Head so that his testimony could be obtained. The request was refused. The Court sustained Head's assertion of his right not to testify and refused to grant the petition for habeas corpus. On September 20, 2005, I wrote to the Attorney General's office asking that it take steps to assure that immunity be extended. That request has been greeted with silence. Having obtained the side of the story they wished, the State is now effectively sealing the lips of the only witness who can establish Tyler's innocence and avoid the execution of an innocent man. Keep in mind: There can be no valid assertion of the Fifth Amendment by Head unless he is going to change his testimony. If he testifies as he did at trial, the situation would be that the shooter was Arthur Tyler and there would neither be a basis for any criminal proceedings against Head for murder or for perjury. It would only be that if, under oath, Head changed his story back to his original version where he was the shooter that he would be potentially exposed to criminal charges. Were he to do that, Tyler's actual innocence would furnish a basis to avoid his execution. No one has ever offered a reasonable basis for Head's recantation of his confessions, other than the fact that the prosecutor told him at last minute that if he did not point the finger at Tyler, they would seek the death penalty for him. The police theory was that since Tyler was older, he was the one who directed their activities and was the shooter. The circumstances of the case were simple and not at all what the police believed them to be. Arthur did not know Head. They met at a friend's house. They came up with the idea of robbing a nearby meat market, one which regrettably was also next to the van from which Mr. Leach sold his vegetables. The plan was that Arthur, who knew the owners of the meat market, would go in and present a check to be signed. The check was in a sufficiently large amount that they felt the owners would have to open the safe, at which point Head was to swing into the room with a pistol and they would "clean out" the safe. With Head outside, Arthur went in, only to find that the two owners were both absent leaving the business in the control of someone who was unable to open the safe. While Arthur was in the market trying to figure out what to do next, Head saw the old man and went over to rob him. As Arthur was leaving the market, he heard a shot coming from the van and found that Head had killed Mr. Leach. They both then ran. Reflect on the day of Head's arrest. He is surprised by the police and taken to the station. He becomes nervous. He asks that his mother be allowed to speak with him. She is brought to the station. In a few minutes, she leaves the interview room in tears stating that "he did it." Why would Head lie to his mother about being the shooter? Why did Arthur get convicted? I read the transcript and the answer is simple – he chose to testify. At the time he was a smart aleck, streetwise young Black man and the testimony he gave, while not inculpatory was cocky and offensive, to be frank. He had a criminal record, but not for violent crimes. He was a con man. He hustled pool. But he did not shoot or assault people. He needs help. Right now the State is sealing the lips of the only individual who could save him. Arthur has appealed his case to the Supreme Court and is likely to be without any further legal redress. Ohio's Governor can commute this sentence. Arthur needs your help. Without it, Ohio will execute an innocent man later this year. Sign a petition to reopen Arthur Tyler's case: www.gopetition.com/petitions/investigate-the-case-of-arthur-tyler.html Wendy Alsford and Karen Torley are coordinating the campaign to stop Arthur Tyler's execution. They can be emailed at, firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a quick question, before I actually plow through the wealth of material on the blogspot or do a Lexis search on my own: Was Mr. Tyler present at the scene of the crime? Because if he was, he is equally culpable according to Ohio statute and, therefore, death-penalty eligible. He did not have to be the one who pulled the trigger. Seems to me that all that might have happened is Mr. Tyler's co-defendant won the race to the plea deal; the deal would have been offered to both. Also .... he incriminated himself in his testimony (it is axiomatic that defendants testifying in capital trials is a remarkably bad idea). I also wish to point out that former Ohio Governor Richard Celeste -- who commuted more death sentences than any governor in history -- chose not to do so for Mr. Tyler.
Post by shikibufan on May 30, 2008 16:30:47 GMT -5
Kenneth Foster was present at the scene of the crime, and under Texas law, he was eligible for the death penalty. That didn't make it right. And while the texecutioner, aka George Bush, commuted the sentence of Henry Lucas, a serial killer, he chose not to so for other men who were not serial killers and had at least as much evidence supporting their innocence as Lucas.
So, under the evidence shown, they should both get equal sentences since it's not possible to point out who pulled the trigger, and it's possible Head was only trying to cover his butt.
What is this "liberal media" the conservatives keep talking about? Ya kno what I think? Attitudes are the real disability! Choice is the compromise! Lethal Injection is cruel... yadadadadadad...
Ummm ..... on the one hand we have Texas .... on the other hand we have Ohio. Different states. Different legal systems. Hey -- only 35 states allow the death penalty. Of course the federal government does, as do the Armed Forces. Why would it be necessary for both Tyler and Foster to be sentenced identically if they committed their acts in entirely different jurisdictions? Someone who commits multiple murder in Michigan, or Minnesota, or Massachusetts, or Hawaii, or Alaska, or the District of Columbia doesn't get sentenced to death. Someone who is a willing, knowledgeable participant in a murder -- even without being the actual triggerman -- in Texas, or Ohio, or Virginia, or South Carolina does face the death penalty. Texas is perfectly free to commute such a death sentence. Ohio is perfectly free not to commute such a death sentence.
Disparities among the 50 individual state criminal codes (51, if you include the District of Columbia) does not constitute an injustice.
May I respectfully suggest that you read up a little on the law before engaging in your platitudes? Neither your sarcasm nor your ignorance are lost on me. But you DO tend to get it wrong a lot, and reading the criminal codes might help.
This is from the AG's page in Ohio: I do not believe he was "inocent" Death Penalty Appeal - Detail
Tyler, Arthur County: Cuyahoga
Summary of Crime: On 3/12/83, Tyler murdered 74-year-old Sander Leach in Cleveland. Mr. Leach sold produce from his van and was the target of an armed robbery, planned by Tyler and his accomplice, Leroy Head. With Head acting as the lookout, Tyler lured Mr. Leach into the back of the van, robbed him and shot him twice. Tyler later admitted to Head and another friend that he murdered Mr. Leach.
Ohio / State Procedural History Original Trial Indictment: 03/21/1983 Sentence: 01/16/1986
First Review of Original Trial (Direct Appeal) Court of Appeals Decision: 02/11/1988 Supreme Court Decision: 03/28/1990 First U.S. Supreme Court Review: 10/29/1990
Second Review of Original Trial (Post-Conviction Action) Filed in Trial Court: 07/05/1991 Trial Court Decision: 11/20/1996 Court of Appeals Decision: 09/10/1998 Supreme Court Decision: 01/20/1999 Second U.S. Supreme Court Review:
Re-Examine First Review/Original Trial ("Murnahan" Appeal) Court of Appeals Decision: 06/14/1994 Supreme Court Decision: 12/30/1994
U.S. / Federal Procedural History Request Writ of Habeus Corpus U.S. District Court in Columbus Judge: Katz
Prisoner's Notice of Intent: 08/29/1996 Prisoner's Petition: 06/11/1999 State's Return of Writ: 08/02/1999 Prisoner's Traverse: 06/06/2001 Evidentiary Hearing: District Court Decision: 05/20/2002
Review of Habeus Corpus Decision U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Notice of Appeal: 08/08/2002 Prisoner's Final Brief: 09/07/2004 State's Final Brief: 09/13/2004 Oral Argument: 04/27/2005 Court of Appeals Decision: 07/20/2005
Third U.S. Supreme Court Review U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Petition: 01/17/2006 Brief in Opposition: 03/07/2006 Supreme Court Decision: 04/17/2006
Current Status: (as of: 12/31/2006)
Status In State Courts: Tyler has filed a successive post-conviction petition, currently pending a decision in the trial court on the State's motion to dismiss.
Status In Federal Courts: Federal habeas corpus proceedings are completed. Tyler has been permitted to intervene in the Cooey lethal injection lawsuit, currently pending interlocutory appeal before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Case Notes: On 3/28/90, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed Tyler's conviction and sentence on direct appeal. On 5/20/02, the federal district court denied Tyler's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On 7/20/05, the 6th Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. On 10/20/05, the 6th Circuit denied Tyler's petition for rehearing en banc. On 4/17/06, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Tyler's petition for a writ of certiorari. On 6/16/06, the federal district court granted Tyler's motion to intervene in the Cooey lethal injection lawsuit. On 8/2/06, the Ohio Supreme Court denied the State's motion to set an execution date. Meanwhile, on 5/10/06, Tyler filed a successive post-conviction petition in the trial court. On 6/16/06, the State filed a motion to dismiss. (Note: On 2/21/07, the trial court granted the State's motion to dismiss Tyler's successive post-conviction petition.)
Days Since Death Penalty Imposed: 7654 (as of: 12/31/2006)
seriously: I think Obama should have made them liquidate all their assets both business AND PERSONAL so they could climb over their own pile of s***; instead of expecting the American tax payers to do it.
Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
seriously: Wake up people! Don't you realize that WE THE PEOPLE don't need the rich, THEY NEED US...to do the work that makes them richer so they don't have to clean their own toilets; and all we get is industrialized meats and crops, GMO's, antibiotic resistance.
Sept 1, 2019 20:38:53 GMT -5
seriously: Patented seed crops, running small farmer's out of business, toxic waste, poisoned water, dirty air, deforestation, global warming. By the way, who even wants to live in a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT world with a GLOBAL ECONOMY?
Sept 1, 2019 20:41:57 GMT -5
seriously: America should be more like Switzerland, fix our own 'broken wagon' and let the rest of the world fix theirs...it's not an U.S.A. problem. Screw oil, it pollutes the earth...GO SOLAR, WIND, WATER POWER! Screw the utility companies!
Sept 1, 2019 20:48:33 GMT -5
seriously: That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Best way to topple the rich...eliminate money and go back to the barter system; let the rich wipe their own bums and clean their own toilets...for a change! No more "Groom of the stool" for them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:51:50 GMT -5
seriously: Then banks and wall street can crash all they want; why should we be dragged down with them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -5
alanthony 007: hi, its alanthony; attorney " bartner and solicitor " for Miss Darlie Routier. I was out of town working on a high profile case. I'm back with an unusual part of the Law that will set my client free, so shall we proceed. first, everyone must listen to
Nov 27, 2019 20:52:02 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: Walter Barton (Arkie) has been on Missouri's capital punishment row for many, many years. He has been through 5 trials! Each time is guilty. He'll finally go to hell on May 19, 2020...
Feb 22, 2020 20:23:42 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: This site has a locked ARKIE BOARD shouting out his innocence. Shout it out to the devil that his son will be home soon...
Feb 22, 2020 20:25:41 GMT -5
alanthony 008: why would anyone give a s*** about Barton, he is convicted of killing a nobody, and he,s one too.
Mar 20, 2020 4:19:50 GMT -5
alanthony 008: you know.. two pieces of tailor trash, its a waist were even typing about it .. so off he goes, who cares.
Mar 20, 2020 4:30:41 GMT -5