COLUMBUS -- On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Ohio will hear the death penalty appeal of James Mammone III, a Canton man convicted of murdering his two young children and ex-mother-in-law in 2009.
In Mammone v. State, attorneys for James Mammone III assert that publicity about the case was so pervasive in the Canton area that no impartial jury could be found. They contend that the failure to change venues deprived Mammone of his right to a fair trial.
Among several other claims of errors made during the trial, Mammone's attorneys argue that his trial lawyers were ineffective because during the jury selection process they did not adequately ask potential jurors about what their views were on the death penalty, what they knew and thought about the case based on pre-trial publicity, and whether they could consider mitigating circumstances.
His attorneys also assert that the trial lawyers should have better prepared Mammone's parents for their testimony and limited Mammone's own five-hour statement made to the court.
They also claim that the prosecution inflamed the jury by repeatedly showing grisly crime scene and autopsy photos to a point beyond the boundaries set by the Ohio Supreme Court.