Send Tony Back Home!

Ohio Parole Board

Tony was on death row for over 30 years for a crime he did not commit. In 2014, his case was thrown out based on newly surfaced DNA evidence that the state had secretly tested. Once the DNA evidence was made public, there was a hearing before a judge to authenticate and admit it into evidence. In 2015, the court ruled that the “uncontroverted” and “unequivocal” evidence indisputably provided that the DNA did not come from Tony. Tony’s sentence was vacated and he was released from prison and death row.

In 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that due to a very technical reason regarding the way that DNA evidence was produced, Tony had to be put back on death row. According to the Court, the DNA statute in Ohio applies only when the prisoner makes the request to test the DNA. Of course in Tony’s case, he was unable to request for the state to test it as he was never aware of the DNA’s existence. Because of this, since Tony did not ask for the testing, the results of that testing were irrelevant even though they proved his innocence. So, even though DNA testing proved Tony is innocent of the crime he was accused and convicted of, because Tony did not ask for that testing, the results were considered irrelevant.

In November 2018, after living with his family free for two-and-a-half years, Tony was taken back into custody and sent back to death row.

Our goal now is to work towards Tony’s release. In April, Tony’s attorneys filed a clemency petition that would allow the parole board to reduce his sentence to time served so Tony can go back to his family.

No other death row prisoner in Ohio has ever petitioned for clemency before they have a scheduled execution date. We must urge the parole board to look at Tony’s case and consider his clemency petition as soon as possible.

Petition by
Cleveland, Ohio

To: Ohio Parole Board
From: [Your Name]

I am writing to ask the Parole Board to schedule a clemency hearing for Anthony Apanovitch, a man on death row for a crime he did not commit. DNA evidence excludes Mr. Apanovitch from the rape and murder of Mary Anne Flynn and proves his innocence. Based on a technicality, the courts will not consider this evidence or grant a retrial. The only way for justice to be served is for the Parole Board to set this matter for a hearing.