Families to file petition this afternoon as jury selection - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Families to file petition this afternoon as jury selection continues in Strangler trial

Families of the Cleveland Strangler's victims have signed a petition which urges the prosecutor to accept a guilty plea with life in prison for Anthony Sowell.

The papers will likely be submitted within a matter of hours to the prosecutor.

Family members signed the petition last Friday, but at least two families have not signed it and are steadfast in their desire for a death sentence for Sowell.

The plea would remove the death penalty for the accused serial killer.

The bodies of eleven women were found in and around Sowell's Imperial Avenue home in 2009.

Jury selection continued on Wednesday, with ten potential jurors undergoing questioning.

There was no family - for Sowell or victims - present at Wednesday morning's proceedings.

PETITION TO THE PROSECUTOR TO ACCEPT DEFENDANT ANTHONY SOWELL'S GUILTY PLEA WITH A SENTENCE OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE

We, the family members of the victims of the Imperial Avenue Murders, hereby petition to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office to accept the guilty pleas of Anthony Sowell with a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

We do not want to endure a trial. We do not want to be witnesses to a media spectacle where our loved ones' lives and the details of the horrendous criminal acts inflicted upon them are spotlighted. We do not believe a costly and lengthy trial, with millions of dollars spent on multiple appeals, would deliver any degree of comfort or closure.

We are aware that likely appeals could make this case drag on for years or even decades to come. The death penalty for Anthony Sowell is not necessary, or even desirable, in comparison to the grief we families will continue to suffer under the realities and uncertainties of the criminal justice system.

We feel that our voices have not been heard as victims' families. A prolonged trial and re-enactment of Sowell's demented actions will create great distress on the families of the victims. Also, some closure and a measure of justice would be achieved by physically being present and witnessing Anthony Sowell stand before the Court and community and acknowledge his guilt to all these murders, as well as to the victimization of others who survived.

We, therefore, request that Prosecutor Bill Mason reconsider his stance rejecting Anthony Sowell's plea offer in this case and respect our wishes as victims.

Copyright 2011 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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