State of Ohio v. James R. Goff, Case No. 2017-0021
Twelfth District Court of Appeals (Clinton County)
- Was the appellant denied the right to a fair trial when the trial court refused to empanel a new jury for a new sentencing proceeding?
- Did the trial court improperly exclude additional mitigating evidence?
- Did the trial lawyers provide ineffective assistance by failing to adequately prepare their client for his unsworn statement and by failing to submit additional mitigating evidence from their client's institutional file?
- Were the appellant's constitutional rights violated when the death sentence was imposed, in part, based on information he had no opportunity to deny or explain?
James R. Goff was indicted for the 1994 murder of 88-year-old Myrtle Rutledge in Wilmington. A home furnishings store employed Goff to make furniture deliveries. After making a delivery to Rutledge's home, Goff returned and fatally beat and stabbed her.
A jury convicted Goff of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and grand theft and recommended the death penalty. In August 1995, the trial court accepted the recommendation and sentenced Goff to death. The Twelfth District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court upheld his convictions and sentence.