Harry Mitts. Photo: Ohio Department of Corrections.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio man sentenced to die Wednesday for killing two men during a 1994 shooting spree has been placed under constant surveillance well ahead of schedule to avert potential suicide.
A prisons spokeswoman said Harry Mitts Jr. has been constantly monitored since Wednesday, a full week before his scheduled execution. Standard policy calls for a suicide watch to begin 72 hours in advance.
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The state prisons department's decision to place Mitts on an around-the-clock watch follows high-profile prison-cell suicides in August and September. The hangings of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro and death row inmate Billy Slagle are being scrutinized.
Mitts received the death penalty in the killings of John Bryant and Garfield Heights Police Sgt. Dennis Glivar. His legal appeals are exhausted and Gov. John Kasich has denied mercy.
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS