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10 years after the victims were found on Imperial Avenue serial killer Anthony Sowell remains on death row

Sowell continues to push through the lengthy appeal process much to the frustration of some of the victims’ families.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 10:07 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Anthony Sowell remains on death row at Ohio’s Chillicothe Correctional Institute, and he continues to push the appeal process of his death sentence.

Tuesday will mark the 10 year anniversary of the day the first victims were found at Sowell’s home on Imperial Avenue on the East Side of Cleveland, and the fact that the appeal process of his death sentence grinds on has led to some frustration among the victims’ family members.

That frustration is felt by Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Chris Schroeder.

“Ten years have gone by and we’re still only about halfway through the appellate process,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder was involved with the case through trial and sentencing, and is now the lead in the appellate process.

“There is so much anger and frustration out there by the victims’ families and the community as to why it takes that long,” he added.

Currently there are two issues that are being heard in appeal including Sowell’s contention that he had ineffective counsel and Sowell’s claim that he should have received a Positron Emission Tomography Scan on his brain that may have brought up new issues at trial regarding his brain function.

We think both of these things are not valid, that they’re basically nonsense," Schroeder said, “He had an extensive case he presented to the jury.”

Schroeder went on to say there is no doubt about guilt or innocence, and that there was clearly an open and shut fact pattern.

And in the sentencing phase, Sowell’s attorneys called twenty four witnesses, Schroeder says, trying to keep him off death row.

“So I don’t think there is any evidence that he could have presented in this case, with the facts, that that jury didn’t hear that could have possibly made a difference in their decision,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder says while he shares the frustration of the families he does not blame the courts for the lengthy appeals process adding that the system is following the process of law.

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