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December 17, 2012

Following board's recommendation, Ohio Gov Kasich commutes yet another death sentence (avoiding any weighty execution concerns)

Moving swiftly and efficiently after receiving a (split) recommendation from the Ohio Adult Parole Authority late Friday (details here), today Ohio Gov John Kasich commutted the death sentence of convicted murderer Ronald Post to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This official statement released by the Gov briefly explains why:

"Regardless of the heinous nature of their crime, a criminal defendant is entitled to an effective defense, especially in a death penalty case.  The Parole Board’s conclusion is that Ronald Post did not come close to receiving such a defense.  After my own careful review, I agree.  Therefore I am ordering that he spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of ever getting out.  This decision should not be viewed by anyone as diminishing this awful crime or the pain it has caused."

Given Gov Kasich's record in using his clemency authority, I am not too surprised by the substance of this decision (though I am a bit surprised it came down so quickly).  This local story about the decision reports that, unsurprisingly, "attorneys for Post said they were 'very pleased' by Kasich's decision."  And this AP story highlights that, via this decision, Ohio has now "sidestepped a decision about whether a condemned inmate was too fat to be humanely executed."

By my count, Kasich has now granted commutations to four death row defendants on their way to execution in less than two years as Ohio's Governor.  Disregarding a few notable grants of mass clemency by a few governors in a few states to clear death row, Gov Kasich appears to be on pace to set a modern record for the most individual capital clemency grants in a single term by a single Governor (based on modern capital clemency data reported here via the Death Penalty Information Center).

Related posts about Post's case and Gov Kasich's clemency record:

December 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Kasich is a poor excuse for a governor. A moral coward. Post deserved to die, and Kasich spared him. He has earned the white hot hatred of the victim's family. A true RINO.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 17, 2012 10:22:44 PM

federalist, I think that Kasich is showing enormous courage, not cowardice. But if you feel so strongly, maybe you can sneak into the prison and choke the miscreant to death yourself. Better yet, maybe you can pay to have it done.

Posted by: anon1 | Dec 17, 2012 11:48:28 PM

I. I do not know how to rationally embrace a "justice-neutral pardon [or commutation]" as concocted by antinomians. {cf: jurist.law.pitt.edu/kobil} For the crime of murder, the punishment can hardly be anything but a moral endeavour.

II. For a liberal such as the 'Clarence Darrows of today', bad childhood, mental divergence, obesity, ethnicity, or any cause du jour, will suffice to castrate an unwanted sentence.

III. "Ineffective counsel" can neither be accepted at this stage in the process of carrying forth a sentence, nor so readily and uncritically received by the parole board and governor, if impartial jurisprudence is to endure over ambition.

Posted by: Adamakis | Dec 18, 2012 9:17:17 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) —Phillip Jones was convicted of murdering and raping Susan Yates…in Summit County [in 2007].

---"The medical examiner concluded that Ms. Yates’s cause of death was asphyxia by strangulation and that the manner of her death was homicide. He also concluded that Ms. Yates had been vaginally and anally raped."

---"A couple of days after Ms. Yates’s body was found, Mr. Jones’s wife told the police that Mr. Jones was the one who killed her. Mr. Jones’s semen was found on Ms. Yates’s skirt and on a vaginal swab."

---"bruises on her head, external and internal neck injuries, and eye and facial petechia (spots caused by the breaking of small blood vessels)."

---"Several buttons were missing from the dress and were lying in the road….torn apart…Ms. Yates’s bra was also torn."

Sure hope he received "effective counsel"…Attorney with a tie too wide is surely enough to overturn or commute.

www.10tv.com, Dec 6, 2012
http://ohio-supreme-court.vlex.com/vid/state-v-jones-334374982

"I do not believe that people are in jail because they deserve to be.
They are in jail simply because they cannot avoid it on account of circumstances
which are entirely beyond their control and for which they are in no way responsible."--Darrow

Posted by: Adamakis | Dec 18, 2012 10:01:15 AM

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