By Julie Carr Smyth, TheBigStory.ap.org

A white gunman who spewed racial slurs before fatally shooting a black man and a police officer in a 1994 rampage that prosecutors called one of Ohio’s worst crimes was put to death Wednesday with the state’s last dose of its execution drug. (…)

130827080135_Harry Mitts

Harry Mitts Jr.

Mitts was convicted of aggravated murder and attempted murder in the August 1994 rampage against random neighbors and responding police officers at his apartment complex in a Cleveland suburb.

Wielding a gun with a laser sight and later other weapons, he first shouted racial epithets and killed Bryant, a neighbor’s boyfriend who was black, then shot and killed Glivar, who was white, as he responded to the scene. Mitts also shot and wounded two other police officers.

Thomas Kaiser, Glivar’s partner and a witness to Wednesday’s execution, said Mitts’ death did little to blunt the damage the lengthy case has caused.

“I don’t believe justice has been served,” said Kaiser, another of Mitts’ shooting victims. “Justice should not take 19 years for a case that had nothing — there was no ineffective counsel, there was no chance there was another suspect, none of the normal defenses that you hear. There was none of that in this case.” (…)

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Garfield Heights police Sargent Dennis Glivar killed by Mitts.

He said he wasn’t a racist and didn’t remember directing slurs at Bryant before shooting him. He said he couldn’t say why he didn’t shoot two white neighbors he encountered ahead of Bryant. Bryant’s sister, Johnnal, said Wednesday that Mitts’ execution gave her at least some closure after 19 years — but she can’t yet grant his wish to forgive a crime based on the color of her brother’s skin.

 

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