Sidney Cornwell did not receive a fair trial:
-The jury had members prejudiced for the death penalty. The court set an arbitrary time limit on voir dire that disrupted the jury selection process and undermined constitutional safeguards.
-The murder weapon was never found and there is no physical evidence linking Sidney Cornwell to the crime.
-The most crucial testimony came from Cornwell’s accomplices who gave this testimony in exchange for favorable treatment by the prosecutor.
-Sidney Cornwell was the denied the effective assistance of counsel before trial, during voir dire, and when counsel failed to object to the instruction on complicity.The mitigating factors of Sidney Cornwell’s life outweigh the aggravating circumstances
***According to psychologist James Eisenberg no one was around to give Cornwell the discipline, structure, support, and affection he needed on a continuing basis, raised in an unstable abusive family. The gang gave Cornwell the kind of discipline, structure, and support that he did not receive from an effective male role model. Cornwell’s intellectual ability at the time of the crime was close to that of a thirteen year old.
We, the undersigned, together with the family and friends of Sidney Cornwell, urge Governor Strickland to commute Sidney Cornwell’s death sentence.
Sidney Cornwell was sentenced to death for the gang related murder of three year old Jessica Ballew.
Sidney Cornwell did not receive a fair trial:
• The jury had members prejudiced for the death penalty. The court set an arbitrary time limit on voir dire that disrupted the jury selection process and undermined constitutional safeguards.
• The murder weapon was never found and there is no physical evidence linking Sidney Cornwell to the crime.
• The most crucial testimony came from Cornwell’s accomplices who gave this testimony in exchange for favorable treatment by the prosecutor.
• Sidney Cornwell was the denied the effective assistance of counsel before trial, during voir dire, and when counsel failed to object to the instruction on complicity.
• The mitigating factors of Sidney Cornwell’s life outweigh the aggravating circumstances
-According to psychologist James Eisenberg no one was around to give Cornwell the discipline,structure, support, and affection he needed on a continuing basis, raised in an unstable abusive family. The gang gave Cornwell the kind of discipline, structure, and support that he did not receive from an effective male role model. Cornwell’s intellectual ability at the time of the crime was close to that of a thirteen year old.
We deeply sympathize with the family and friends of Jessica Ballew, but we respectfully offer that another death will neither heal nor resolve this tragedy
Action petitioned for: We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge Governor Strickland to commute the sentence of Sidney Cornwell to life without parole.
Contact Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
Greetings Governor Strickland,
I am writing to you to express my concerns regarding the scheduled execution of Sidney Cornwell on November 16th. Cornwell did not receive a fair trial. The jury had members who were prejudiced for the death penalty. That is highly biased. The murder weapon was never found and there is no physical evidence linking Cornwell to the crime. Cornwell's accomplices' gave crucial testimony in exchange for favourable treatment by the prosecutor. The mitigating circumstances of this man's life outweigh the aggravating circumstances. He was raised in an unstable and abusive family, with little support and affection. Cornwell's intellectual ability at the time of the crime was close to that of a 13 year old.
I strongly urge you to commute Cornwell's death sentence to one of life imprisonment. Fighting death with death is ineffective and executing this man will not promote healing or restore peace to the victims' family. Prison could accomplish public safety in a non-violent manner. This man has turned his life around and has become a follower of God. He is not the same person now as he was when he committed this crime. The death penalty completely denies any possibility or opportunity for rehabilitation and self-improvement and that is cruel, inhumane, immoral, uncivilized and vengeful. The DP is also discriminatory and racially biased as this man is black. The DP does not solve or accomplish anything positive.
November 16, 2010
Sidney Cornwell #340-473
878 Coitsville - Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505
from those recited by Justice Pfeifer in State v. Cornwell (1999), 86 Ohio St.3d 560.
During the early morning hours of June 11, 1996, defendant-appellant, Sidney
Cornwell, and some associates who belonged to a neighborhood gang in Youngstown
drove up to an apartment building on Oak Park Lane with the intention of shooting a
rival gang member. When the intended victim was not seen, Cornwell opened fire on
the occupants of an apartment, killing a three-year-old child and wounding three
adults. Cornwell was subsequently convicted of aggravated murder and attempted
aggravated murder, and sentenced to death. On the afternoon of the previous day, Cornwell and other members or
associates of the “Crips” gang had been involved in a shootout with members of the
“Bloods” gang on Elm Street at New York Avenue in Youngstown. One of the
associates of the Crips, Edward McGaha, was grazed on the head by a bullet during
the gunfire exchange. McGaha saw Richard “Boom” Miles, a member of the Bloods,
and Michael Williams leave the scene, but did not see either of them shooting. During
the shootout, McGaha saw Cornwell using a black gun. Police later recovered six 9-
mm Luger shell casings from the shooting scene at the corner of New York Avenue
and Elm Street. Later that afternoon, McGaha was released from the hospital and went
to his mother’s home on Elm Street. While he was standing outside in front of the
house with several people, including Cornwell, a carload of Bloods jumped out and
opened fire on them. According to McGaha, Cornwell returned gunfire with the same
black semiautomatic weapon he had used at the earlier shootout. Shortly thereafter, McGaha, Cornwell, and others gathered at a New
York Avenue house where a man named “Heavy” lived. Also present at Heavy’s
house were Gary Drayton, Leslie Johnson, Edward Bunkley, and Denicholas
Stoutmire. The talk among the group centered on retaliation for the earlier shooting of
McGaha. The plan of action was to kill Boom Miles. Although McGaha later admitted
on cross-examination that he knew that Boom was not the person who had shot him,
he went along with the plan to seek out and kill Boom. That night, Bunkley and Stoutmire stole two vehicles, a Buick and a
Pontiac Bonneville, in order to facilitate the group’s search for Boom. During this time,
the rest of the group remained at Heavy’s place, drinking and smoking marijuana.
When Bunkley and Stoutmire returned to Heavy’s with the stolen cars, the group
(minus Heavy) went out to search for Boom around Youngstown. By this time Antwan
Jones and Damian Williams had joined the group. The group used a third car, a
Chevette belonging to a friend. Stoutmire drove the stolen blue Bonneville while Williams rode with him
in the front passenger seat. Johnson sat in the back seat behind Williams, and
Cornwell sat in the driver side back seat behind Stoutmire. According to one witness,
the only people carrying weapons in the Bonneville were Williams, who had a .45
automatic pistol, and Cornwell, who had a semiautomatic 9-mm black gun. However,
Bunkley testified that the other two passengers in the Bonneville also had weapons.
Nevertheless, Bunkley did corroborate several witnesses’ testimony that Cornwell was
carrying a 9-mm weapon.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains and Assistant Prosecutor Ralph Rivera filed paperwork last month in the case against Sidney Cornwell, who has been on death row since May 1997.
According to documents, Cornwell and other members of a neighborhood gang drove up to an apartment on Oak Park Lane intending to shoot a rival gang member in retaliation for an earlier incident.
After learning that the intended victim was not at the residence, Cornwell opened fire, killing a young girl, Jessica Ballew, and wounding three adults, court documents say.
Prosecutors noted that Cornwell has exhausted all state and federal appeals. They asked for a death warrant setting an execution date “without further delay.”
They added, “The family of Jessica Lynn Ballew and the citizens of Mahoning County await justice. They are surely entitled to closure.”
Public defenders have not yet filed a response.
The next Valley person scheduled for execution is Roderick Davie, who killed three people in Warren in 1991. Davie is scheduled for lethal injection Aug. 10 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
|Name and Address:||Sydney Cornwell #340-473 |
878 Coitsville - Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505
|EYE COLOR:||Brown||HAIR COLOR:||Black|
|CONVICTED OF:||Murder||RELEASE DATE:||Death Row|
|AD POSTED:||10/12/2007||AD EXPIRES:||12/31/2011|
Hello, my name is Syd, I been locked up since the age of 19. I'm 30 now. Before I turned my life over to God I was a member of a street gang, but I'm no longer involved in that way of life. I'm looking to surround myself with God fearing friends. Or anyone who is living life in a positive manner. I'm not looking for a relationship, but I wouldn't run from it either. I truly just want someone to appreciate me! And if you're looking for that loyal, true friend, without the games, write me...