Death row inmate from Cincinnati gets second chance.

CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal appeals court has thrown out the 1994 sentence of an Ohio death row inmate, saying the jury should have heard mitigating evidence about his mental issues, childhood abuse and chaotic upbringing.

Three 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Friday that the state must hold a new sentencing hearing within six months for Michael Goodwin, who killed a clerk in a 1994 Cleveland store robbery. The state could appeal the ruling.

The appeals court said Goodwin didn't receive effective representation in his trial's sentencing phase because his defense could have offered testimony that may have swayed jurors against the death penalty.

The ruling upheld a district court decision that also rejected Goodwin's challenge to his murder conviction.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.