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April 12, 2011

Ohio completes another uneventful single-drug execution

Ohio took over the state lead for executions in 2011 by completing another lethal injection this morning.  This local article, headlined "Jailhouse killer Clarence Carter executed; Seven more executions scheduled this year," reports the details:

Clarence Carter paid the ultimate price today for going into a rage and killing a fellow inmate during a jailhouse fight more than 22 years ago. Carter, 49, of Hamilton County, was lethally injected at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. His time of death was 10:25 a.m.

He apologized to the family of his victim: "Let them know I'm sorry for what I did." But the victim's mother, Helen L. Bonner, said in a statement, "I have no animosity against him and I have forgiven him for taking my child from me...I am glad that justice is finally served, but my forgiveness toward him will never ease the pain of the loss of my son Johnny."

Carter was the third Ohioan to be put to death already this year. There are seven more executions scheduled through November....

On Dec. 28, 1988, while in the Hamilton County Jail Annex awaiting trial on a murder charge as a self-described "hit man" for a group of Cincinnati drug traffickers, Carter got into a fight with fellow inmate, Johnny Allen, 33. The muscular Carter choked, stomped, punched and kicked Allen during the 25-minute fight, beating him to the point that Allen's mother later said he was "so bruised he was unrecognizable." Carter paused long enough during the beating to wipe the blood from his boots, court records say.

Despite the brutality of the murder and his long, violent criminal record - Carter had strong support from several people who said his crime wasn't the "worst of the worst" for which the death penalty was intended. His backers included former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Herbert R. Brown and former state prisons director Terry Collins. But Gov. John Kasich, who rejected Carter's clemency plea, the Ohio Parole Board and courts at all levels saw things differently.

As revealed in this DPIC webpage, no other state has so far conducted more than two executions in 2011.  And, though I am not on expert on yearly state-by-state execution statistics, I suspect it has been quite sometime since a state other than Texas was in the lead for the most executions in a single year this late into the "season."   Based on this DPIC list of schedule upcoming executions, however, it looks like Texas is on pace to take back its usually leadship position by the summer.

April 12, 2011 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Because the prison officials had control of the bodies of murderer and victim, and the eruption of a very violent criminal was foreseeable, the prison should compensate the estate of the victim. Any money should not be paid to the family. They likely were a factor in the criminal's straying.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 12, 2011 1:15:47 PM

Killed in custody while awaiting a near-life sentence for another murder, several assault charges and parole violations. I wonder how the anti's will spin this so that LWOP seems like a viable option.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Apr 12, 2011 3:46:31 PM

MikeinCT --

They'll say that prison security can be made good enough to insure that this sort of thing won't happen again, even knowing that it can't. You gotta remember that with abolitionism, truth is optional.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 12, 2011 3:54:03 PM

Are there any prominent abolitionists out there who are against capital punishment on principle but who don't lower themselves by propagating the half-truths and misinformation typical of, say, the Death Penalty Information Center?

Posted by: alpino | Apr 12, 2011 11:45:20 PM

Here is an alternative to the current death penalty.

http://public.health.oregon.gov/providerpartnerresources/evaluationresearch/deathwithdignityact/documents/year13.pdf

Constitutional muster passed here, in 2006:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-623.ZS.html

State officials should read this Supreme Court decision, then enjoin the DEA and FDA from interfering with their supplies of lethal medication.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 13, 2011 2:38:34 AM

Its time for the pro-DP people to pressure states to adopt the DP. Enough of the libs getting states like NM and MD and CT to drop it. Lets get states like Alaska, Wisc, and West Virginia to bring it back and reverse this perverse trend...you just know the libs on SCOTUS will eventually use the stats to do away with the DP - just like their logic in doing away with death sentences for those under 18. The latest arguments over drug availability is insane. Solution: Switch to hanging. Last I checked we still manufacture rope in the US.

Posted by: DeanO | Apr 13, 2011 9:21:44 AM

Well, in fact, Wisconsin voters voted to reinstate the death penalty in a referendum a few years ago. The state legislature there simply ignored the results.

Posted by: alpino | Apr 13, 2011 9:58:17 AM

@alpino
The governor had won reelection after the referendum passed and swore he would veto any death penalty bill. There wasn't much point.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Apr 13, 2011 11:52:02 AM

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