Why was Anthony Kirkland granted parole? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Why was Anthony Kirkland granted parole?

Anthony Kirkland Anthony Kirkland

By Corey McConnell - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Documents obtained by FOX19 from the Ohio Parole Authority show some surprising information about Anthony Kirkland's time in prison and the parole board's decision to let him out.

Kirkland is the man accused of murdering 13-year-old Esme Kenney. He's also a suspect in several other deaths in the area.

Kirkland was serving time in prison for the murder of Leola Douglas back in 1987. On Feb. 4, 1999, Kirkland appeared before the parole board, but they decided to keep him in prison, citing the violent crime he pled guilty to, and calling his institutional adjustment poor. He was scheduled for another chance at parole in 10 years.

In the meantime, Ohio prisoners sued the Adult Parole Authority, and won, forcing parole standards to be based on the crime someone was convicted of rather than the crime the person committed.

In Kirkland's case, he was charged with murder, and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter, a lesser charge, carrying less stringent parole standards and guidelines for how long someone should be in prison.

"The suggested time to be served would have changed would have been a lesser range," said Cynthia Mausser, chair of the Ohio Parole Board.

There were 2,500 cases heard by the parole board. Of those cases, 1,400 got out as a result of the lawsuit. Kirkland was one of the criminals released.

Jail documents also say Kirkland obtained his GED and an Associate's Degree behind bars. But according to records, his behavior wasn't exemplary. In the nine months before his release in 2003, he was put in solitary confinement four different times for breaking a rule or fighting with another inmate.

And between 1998 and 2003, he was put in solitary confinement 21 separate times for what the department of corrections calls "disciplinary control."

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters has a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the case.

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