Ohio man gets second chance to avoid death penalty

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A man convicted in 1998 of fatally beating a woman will get a second chance to escape death row in a new sentencing trial in southwest Ohio.

The new trial for 33-year-old Rayshawn Johnson begins Monday in Cincinnati. Johnson's conviction in 1998 for murdering 29-year-old Shanon Marks stands. But an appeals court in 2008 threw out his death sentence and ordered a new sentencing. The court ruled that Johnson's lawyers didn't fully investigate his abusive childhood.

Jurors will have to accept that he was convicted. But they will have to decide on a new sentence based on what they hear in the current trial. They cannot be told that he was sentenced to die by the first jury.

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