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June 12, 2009

Ohio — aka the Texas of the north — setting busy execution schedule

Though not historically a state with lots of executions, Ohio in recent years has been one of the most active death penalty states.  And, as detailed in local articles here and here, the "pace of executions in Ohio has become so brisk that the Ohio Supreme Court plans to slow it down a tad."  

As indicated in this order denying a stay for a defendant who is scheduled to be executed next month only a week after another scheduled execution, the Ohio Supreme Court indicated that "[i]n general, future execution dates will be scheduled in order that at least three weeks will lapse between scheduled executions."  And, as reporting in this AP feature, an additional four Ohio executions are also scheduled for later in 2009. 

If all seven executions go forward in Ohio, the state will have a (not-quite-)record-setting number of executions in a single year in a state not named Texas.  I also think the Ohio would be setting a record for the number of executions in a state with a Democratic governor.  In addition, if a few more states also keep their execution chambers busy, the first year of Obama's presidency might, remarkably, end up having more execution than any year in which George W. Bush was president.

UPDATE:  In the comments here, a few folks have rightly noted that  Missouri, Oklahoma and Virginia have all executed more than 7 defendants in a single calender year (though I am not sure if any of those states had Democratic governors in those years).

June 12, 2009 at 09:53 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"If all seven executions go forward in Ohio, the state will have a record-setting number of executions in a single year in a state not named Texas."

Wrong. Virginia and Oklahoma have executed more than 7 in a year, and I believe that Missouri has as well.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 12, 2009 10:45:31 AM

VA executed 14 people in 1999
OK executed 18 people in 2001
MO executed 9 people in 1999
OH executed 7 people in 2001

(http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions)

Posted by: Pithy | Jun 12, 2009 11:49:24 AM

Ohio can be seen politically not only as a hybrid red-blue state, but also as a hybrid north-south state, with the southern half of the state - where Ted Strickland hails from and where his political base lies - much more politically conservative than the north. When you combine that with the predominance of rural representation in the state legislature, Ohio is practically speaking a "southern" state politically.

Likewise, Ted Strickland is a "southern" governor (he was born in Lucasville, where Ohio executions take place); his comfort with executions should be no surprise to anyone.

Scott Taylor

Posted by: Scott Taylor | Jun 12, 2009 12:19:04 PM

Ann Richards was a Democratic Governor. However, it was in a state named Texas. By my count, there was 19 executions in Texas in 1995, the third year of Ann Richards' one term in office.

Posted by: Ward Larkin | Jun 12, 2009 4:37:10 PM

I assume you are referring to non-Texas Democrats (Texas executed more than 7 people in multiple years when Ann Richards was Governor according to the info at DPIC) in the modern era (to cite one sort of well known example, on Feburary 2, 1951 Virginia executed 8 people beating the total of 7 with a Democratic governor in one day - including the Martinsville Seven).

Posted by: Zack | Jun 12, 2009 4:43:17 PM

Comparisons to decade-old stats aside, there is no Texas besides Texas. That state is simply off the charts in comparison to other states, especially after Baze.

Posted by: rothmatisseko | Jun 13, 2009 8:37:05 AM

In 2009, Alabama has executed five already, the sixth having a temporary stay, and the AG Troy King has just asked the Alabama Supreme Court to schedule a seventh. In a state that the ABA has cited grave concerns in the capital punishment system, racism, bias, arbitrariness, judicial overrides, no state funded public defender system, and others, it is obvious that there is no quest for truth in justice but for merely a notch iin the belt of one up now for re-election in a state that still holds "an eye for an eye...."
Robert Baldwin, MD, MA
Author, Life and Death Matters: Seeking the Truth about Capital Punishment, New South Books, Jan. 2009
www.twitter.com/LifeDeathMatter
www.lifeanddeathmatters.blogspot.com
www.newsouthbooks.com

Posted by: Robert | Jun 13, 2009 1:19:54 PM

"In the comments here, a few folks have rightly noted that Missouri, Oklahoma and Virginia have all executed more than 7 defendants in a single calender year (though I am not sure if any of those states had Democratic governors in those years)."

As noted above, Missouri executed nine people in 1999. Mel Carnahan (D) was governor of Missouri that year.

Posted by: anon | Jun 13, 2009 2:38:27 PM

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