COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Richard F. Celeste on Friday granted clemency to 25 women prisoners who he said had committed crimes because they were victims of battering or other forms of physical or emotional abuse.
The lame-duck governor said he reviewed 105 cases in which "battered woman syndrome" was suspected. The Ohio Supreme Court and the state Legislature in March established the syndrome as a defense against murder and other crimes.
Most of the inmates were serving time for murder, manslaughter and assault.
Paperwork and other procedures probably will mean the women won't be released until after Christmas, Celeste said at a news conference. The governor included a stipulation that all of those freed must perform 200 hours of community service in domestic violence programs. He said each woman must serve at least two years before being released. Four of the 25 women have spent less than two years in prison.
Of the cases the governor reviewed, 32 were sent back to the state Parole Board for further review and 48 were rejected, he said.