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June 1, 2007

Split Sixth Circuit denies en banc review of Ohio lethal injection litigation

Three months ago, as noted here, a split Sixth Circuit panel in Cooey v. Taft declared that an Ohio inmate's lethal injection lawsuit was time-barred. As detailed in this order, the full Sixth Circuit in a split vote denied rehearing en banc in Cooey.  The brief dissent from the order is authored by Judge Gilman, and it concludes with this sentence: "I believe that en banc review would have been appropriate in the present case to ensure that the law in this Circuit conforms with Supreme Court precedent and to prevent the judicial inefficiency of juggling repetitive, simultaneous, and contradictory litigation from death-sentenced prisoners."

I cannot quite be sure of the vote line-up in this en banc denial, but Ohio's lethal injection litigation appears to provide another example of the circuit voting patterns in capital cases documented recently by the Cincinnati Enquirer.  I assume a cert petition will follow next, though there might be some execution dates set in the meantime. 

As always, the Ohio Death Penalty Information blog is the place to check out first for anyone following any and all Ohio capital developments. 

June 1, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

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Yesterday six judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissented from the full court's denial of a petition for en banc rehearing in [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 2, 2007 6:51:47 AM

Comments

Judges Gilman, Martin, Daughtrey, Moore, Cole, and Clay dissented. Judge Cook was recused.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jun 1, 2007 1:47:05 PM

You've chosen a badly biassed source for your "first place to check out." What would you think if someone said that prodeathpenalty.com is the first place to look for death penalty news generally?

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jun 1, 2007 3:54:02 PM

Mr. Jokusch, it often happens that the best collectors of information have a reason for collecting the information. I think Prof. Berman assumes that his readers can take it with a grain of salt.

If you know of another, less tendentious site that does a better job of collecting Ohio death penalty news, please let us know.

The post on the decision discussed here,
http://ohiodeathpenaltyinfo.typepad.com/ohio_death_penalty_inform/2007/06/us_6th_circuit_.html

analyzes a decision on the very day it was issued, and offers some informed speculation about its potential effects on other cases. Sounds informative to me.

The italicized paragraph at the end strikes me as disingenuous bluster, but the writers have politely separated it from the remainder of the discussion and added lots of emphasis so that I can tell that it is just a rant.

If read with a skeptical eye, it seems to me that the site is, as Prof. Berman says, "the place to check out first for anyone following any and all Ohio capital developments."

Posted by: armchair QB | Jun 1, 2007 6:00:56 PM

The problem is that people with a point of view have a way of selectively omitting mention of crucial information. Surely the most important single question in the death penalty debate is this one:

What impact does the death penalty (or its absence) have on the murder rate?

A question like this is inherently difficult to answer. I believe it is a fair characterization of the available evidence to say that the evidence is strongly suggestive, though not 100% conclusive, that executions do in fact deter murder. See, for instance, this graph:
http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger2/2532/4048/1600/172844/Execution%20Rate.jpg.

But I searched the Ohio Death Penalty Information center in vain for any mention of this.

So no, I don't think it's "the place to go" for death penalty information in Ohio. Using it in this way would be just as irresponsible as, for instance, using the New York Times as "the place to go" for information on the Duke Rape Hoax. (The Times managed to write a major story on this in August without mentioning that there were time-stamped photos of Reade Seligmann using an ATM machine when he was supposed to be committing the crime).

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jun 1, 2007 7:20:31 PM

Mr. Jockush, We are a lawyers (or should be) we know how to be skeptical of statistics and alleged causal relationships or even correlations. We also read court opinions for ourselves.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 3, 2007 8:31:40 AM

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