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April 4, 2012

Ohio apparently now allowed to restart (carefully) its machinery of death

As reported in this local article, which is headlined "Federal judge says execution of Portage County killer can move forward," a federal district judge who has blocked some recent Ohio execution plans has now changed the constitutional red light to yellow for the state's execution plans. Here are the details from the article:

A federal judge has cleared the way for this month’s execution of Portage County killer Mark Wiles.  In a sternly worded decision April 4 that starts with the question “Can Ohio Be Trusted?” and ends with “some trepidation,” Judge Gregory Frost denied a temporary restraining order to block the April 18 lethal injection, essentially accepting a revised execution process outlined by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

But in the 49-page ruling, Frost wrote that he was skeptical state prison officials would actually follow through on their execution protocols, and he gave a warning against future failures.  “They must recognize the consequences that will ensue if they fail to succeed in conducting a constitutionally sound execution of Wiles,” Frost wrote.  “They must recognize what performing a constitutionally sound Wiles execution and then returning to the flawed practices of the past would mean.”

The decision met with mixed reaction, with prosecutors saying Wiles’ execution is long overdue. “We’re encouraged that justice could finally be done in this case and that the family will finally have some closure,” said Portage County Prosecutor Vic Vigluicci.  He added later, “Certainly, 26 years is more than adequate to ensure all of his rights of appeal and his constitutional rights have been protected.  That’s too long, actually.”

But Attorney General Mike DeWine said he is considering appealing the ruling.  Though the outcome is in the state’s favor, DeWine said he takes issue with Frost’s underlying argument. “We think the rationale is not legally correct,” DeWine said. “And even though we ‘won’ this case, we think it presents some huge problems from a practical point of view in the future. And so we’re looking at it. We have not decided we’re going to appeal, but we very well may appeal this decision.”

Wiles has been on Death Row for the knifing murder of Rootstown teen Mark Klima more than 25 years ago after the 15-year-old caught the Portage County man burglarizing his family’s home. Legal counsel for Wiles are seeking clemency in the case, saying that he has admitted his guilt, is remorseful over the killing and has displayed good behavior while in prison. But Wiles was uncooperative during the clemency process, and the state parole board unanimously recommended against a sentence commutation to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gov. John Kasich has final say on the matter.

Pending other possible legal challenges, Wiles would be the first inmate to make the trip to the Death House at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility since late last year. Earlier this year, Frost blocked the state from carrying out two executions, including one for Charles Lorraine, convicted in the heinous knifing murders of an elderly couple in Warren.

Some related posts concerning Ohio's recent lethal injection litigation: 

April 4, 2012 at 06:47 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Let us see if Ohio can carry this out without incident. I would think the state and Frost would like to end the continuous parade into his courtroom.

Posted by: DaveP | Apr 4, 2012 9:15:31 PM

DaveP, Frost seems to enjoy this. He's written hundreds of pages. Unfortunately, he does not seem to have become a better writer with practice.

I don't know how DeWine appeals a win.

And did anyone else catch the BS arguments regarding the last statement? That should be Rule 11 sanctionable.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 4, 2012 9:55:12 PM

now if he'd also stated he would be watching and if they fail they will be right back in his court and at that point could kiss thier law goodbye FOREVER or till the day after he dies!

ahh SHIT i hate friggin captcha

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 4, 2012 11:42:48 PM

||Planned Parenthood Ohio now allowed to restart (carefully) its machinery of death||

oops

||Ohio apparently now allowed to restart (carefully) its machinery of death||

Don't think we'll be seeing the former headline anytime soon.

hmmn

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 5, 2012 2:47:27 PM

federalist

I seriously doubt Frost has enjoyed this case being on his docket for the last 7 years. Can you imagine the amount of time he and the state have spent on this?
I know you don't agree, but Ohio has no one to blame but themselves for most of the delays.

Posted by: DaveP | Apr 5, 2012 3:06:17 PM

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