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February 19, 2010

Ohio Supreme Court makes its October monthly reservation for the state's death chamber

As detailed in this local AP article, the "Ohio Supreme Court has set an October execution date for a condemned killer who beat his girlfriend with a pipe, threw her in a river and stole $400 from her bank account."   As further noted in this short piece, the top Ohio court "has scheduled one execution per month through October, putting Ohio on pace to execute a record number of inmates this year."

But, as I noted in this post a few weeks ago, Ohio has over 175 murderers currently on the state's death row, which means that, even at a steady pace of one execution per month, the state would not be able to carry out the death sentence on all of its condemned killers until about 2025.  Consequently, I continue to wonder if or when the Ohio Supreme Court will consider scheduling more than just one execution per month (and if or when any Ohio officials to family members of murder victims will start urging the Ohio Supreme Court to pick up the pace).

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February 19, 2010 at 02:30 PM | Permalink


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Doug, how many killers in Ohio have finished their regular appeals/federal habeas and are awaiting execution? I'm guessing that Ohio will have caught up to that backlog a lot closer to now than 2025. Your post has some hyperbole. And believe me, I'd like to see more criminals executed.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 19, 2010 6:48:47 PM

The Ohio Supreme Court has declared that "in general" it will set executions no more frequently than once every three weeks, not once a month. This allows for as many as 17 executions a year. Furthermore, "in general" would seem to provide some wiggle room for executions not in keeping with the three-week limit.


Posted by: Alpino | Feb 20, 2010 3:38:36 AM

It's not likely the 'once-a-month' rule will have much of an impact past 2012 rather than 2025. In early 2009 a report on capital cases released by Ohio's AG office stated that there were 20 inmates whose cases were closest to execution. Since then, four of the 20 have been executed and five more have pending execution dates. Two others, Broom and Hartmann, have received stays. Three others have been executed and three more have pending execution dates who were not on the list, indicating that their cases have been resolved since the report was released in April 09.

Given the rate at which cases are coming to a close, the current backlog of resolved cases and the five pending requests for execution dates we may see one execution a month until 2012. Still, that will give some criminals a year or two more of life for no tangible reason, dragging the victims family through the wait with them.

I find it hard to believe that Ohio couldn't schedule two or three a month until this situation is resolved. What is stopping them from hiring more staff to handle more clemency petitions?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Feb 21, 2010 2:00:07 PM

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