Episode 5
Premieres in September.
In 1988, 19-year-old "Little" Tony Klann was brutally murdered in Cleveland , Ohio . Joe D'Ambrosio was convicted for the crime and has sat on death row ever since. When a Catholic priest visiting the Row heard D'Ambrosio's story, he so believed in his innocence that he helped the accused attain a new lawyer and win his motion for a new trial.

OK....this is it!!! I know that we've had the dates wrong a couple of times because of the information that we were given by others at the Discovery Channel....this time the above information comes directly from the Discovery Channel's website!

They are not giving the exact date but from the way that they are scheduling the other shows, ours should be on Saturday, September 10 at 9 pm and then again on Sunday at 2am and 2 pm.

You can click on the title above and it will take you right to the information about our show.

The Discovery Channel did an awesome job on our story and they had absolutely no contact with Joe about the case at all so it is not biased in any way.

There is one thing that they have reported that is not true and that is when they say that Joe has been granted a new trial. Joe has NOT been granted a new trial! What they are refering to is an evidentiary hearing that we were granted...the two are completely different!

Our evidentiary hearing took place on July 19, 20 & 21, 2004. We are still waiting for a ruling on that hearing. There are several ways that Judge O'Malley could rule. We are hoping that she is going to grant us a new trial and that the 6th Circuit will uphold that ruling.

I believe that everyone in that courtroom believes that Judge O'Malley will rule in our favor. The prison guards that escorted Joe to the hearing everyday stayed in the courtroom for the entire hearing. When they saw me at the prison a month later, they both assured me that there was no way that Joe was guilty...and death row prison guards are not exactly optimistic about convicted murderer's claiming innocence!

People don't understand what all is involved in proving your innocence once you've been convicted and sentenced to death...and really, how would you know...there are not many people that have actually been in that situation.

Many that I talk to ask why they don't just let Joe out...it's so plain that he is innocent once you research his case.

Even if Judge O'Malley rules in our favor, we figure it will still take 2 years or so for Joe to leave prison. The state does not want to admit to a mistake with such dire consequences.

There is no DNA.

There is no physical evidence that was brought up at trial. I say 'brought up at trial' because if you look at the prosecution and police notes, you will see that they were aware of a set of bloody clothes that were supposed to be in Keenan's garage. This also happens to be where Espinoza stored his things...along with his clothes after his wife through him out of the house. Those clothes were never retrieved.

There was one eyewitness...Espinoza. Of course for his eyewitness testimony against Joe and Keenan he served 12 years in prison and is now at home with his family.

Judge Corrigan, the lead judge at Joe's trial was also the judge that oversaw the deal between the state and Espinoza. He also presided over Keenan's jury trial. Both of these were before Joe's trial.

With no eyewitness testimony and a weak case, Marino offered Espinoza a deal. If he testified against D'Ambrosio and Keenan, the state would only charge him with voluntary manslaughter.

"It's an interesting situation, with respect to D'Ambrosio," Marino said. "I think he had known Keenan for only a few weeks before the incident—he's as dumb as a rock."

"Espinoza gave his complete statement to the police before I even saw the case," Marino said.
He said if D'Ambrosio would have talked or taken a deal, he would have given him one.

Carmin Marino's, former cuyahoga County prosecutor, exact words.

And of course there was exculpitory evidence with held from the defense such as Tony Klann being the only eyewitness to a rape and a tape made be a police informant telling what happened to Tony. Of course that tape is now missing though there is evidence that it existed and the informant is dead.

Joe has also been offered deals since he has been on death row but has refused them because they all required him to lie and that is not something that he is willing to do. He could've been home a long time ago!

The Center's study of criminal appeals from 1970 to the present revealed 441 Ohio cases in which the defendant alleged prosecutorial error or misconduct.

In 71, judges ruled a prosecutor's conduct prejudiced the defendant and reversed or remanded the conviction, sentence or indictment. In 16, a dissenting judge or judges thought the prosecutor's conduct warranted reversing or remanding the defendant's conviction, sentence or indictment.

Out of all the defendants who alleged misconduct, two later proved their innocence.

Carmen Marino worked as a prosecutor in Cuyahoga County for 30 years before he retired in 2002. He served as chief prosecutor and head of the major trial division. At least 15 Ohio criminal appeals have addressed Marino's conduct. Out of those, judges reversed four defendants' convictions because of Marino's prejudicial trial arguments.

After a jogger found 19-year-old Tony Klann's body floating face down in a creek, the state charged three men, Ed Espinoza, Michael Keenan and Joe D'Ambrosio, with his murder.

To read the rest of this article, click the link below......

A Question of Truth, Life, Death

Karen R. Long Plain Dealer Reporter

All along, Joe D'Ambrosio has said he is innocent.

But since he had no money, no visitors and scant education, insisting on his innocence seemed pointless, almost absurd.

Now, a Catholic priest who heard his story by accident and a veteran public defender who has heard every story in the book think D'Ambrosio is telling the truth. The pair have put thousands of hours into reconstructing a sordid murder centered in Little Italy 14 years ago.

They found out that the man hacked to death had been the only witness subpoenaed in a rape four months earlier. The accused rapist supplied police with D'Ambrosio's address and a suggestion that they investigate him.

Fourteen days after D'Ambrosio was charged in the murder.....

To read this Cleveland Plain Dealer article in its entirety, click the title above.

Since 1973, 115 people in 25 states have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence.

There have been four exonerations [innocent people FREED from death row] in Ohio: Gary Beeman 1979, Dale Johnston 1990, Timothy Howard 2003 and Gary Lamar James 2003. One wonders how many innocent people are sitting on Ohio’s death row awaiting justice.

Cases to follow include: Kenney Richey currently in Federal 6th Circuit and Joe D’Ambrosio before US District Court in Clevelend. Each could end up with a new trial based on evidence of innocence.

To read this article in its entirety, click on the title above.....