Exclusive: Cleveland Strangler's fight to get off death row

Exclusive: Cleveland Strangler's fight to get off death row

19 Action News reporter Ed Gallek got his hands on the first appeal for serial killer Anthony Sowell.  It's 400 pages of Sowell's new defense asking for mercy for a serial killer.  The appeal is filled with lots of arguments, about how the court "cheated" him.

One victim's mom cannot believe it!

"That's crazy," said Florence Bray, mother of victim.

Sowell was sent to death row for killing Crystal and 10 other women.  He kept the bodies in and around his east side Cleveland home.
"You know I lost my daughter and my niece in this doggone thing.  Did he give them any mercy before he before he took their lives for no reason?" asked Florence Bray.

The state public defender is now saying Sowell didn't get a fair shake.  He says big money defense experts could have done better.  He claims they didn't reveal enough about Sowell having a really bad childhood and mental problems.  He's also arguing Defense Attorney Rufus Sims could've fought harder.

Meantime Sowell has opened up to a doctor in prison telling him what triggered the murders. He said "I don't like people who hurt their kids, especially women."

This appeal is all separate from an automatic appeal that'll be filed with the State Supreme Court.

But many relatives of victims say kill him now.  "You can make all the excuses you want. The truth speaks for itself," said Florence Bray, mother of victim.

Appeals could go on for decades.  Attorney Sims says he did his job but he's getting attacked to save Sowell's life.  The trial was so expensive it set records and now there's a request for more of your money.  They want big money for a detailed brain scan.

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