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April 22, 2014

Ohio prosecutors author lengthy minority report assailing work of death penalty task force

As reported in this local article, headlined "Critics: Supreme Court task force's death penalty recommendations would create legal 'nightmares'," Ohio prosecutors involved with the work of a task force created by the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Bar Association have now circulated a lengthy draft minority report in response to the lengthy draft task force's report recommending 56 modifications to the administration of capital punishment in the state. The local article provides this summary the basics of this capital battle, along with links to both documents:

A series of capital punishment reforms being considered by a state Supreme Court task force would “render Ohio’s death penalty inoperable,” according to a draft report being circulated by critics on the panel, including many county prosecutors.

Earlier this month, the task force released a list of draft recommendations that, among other things, called for limits on when the death penalty could be sought, heightened evidence requirements, and the creation of a panel that would have to approve death penalty charges before cases could proceed.

According to the task force’s draft minority report, released Tuesday by the Ohio Supreme Court, many of the recommendations “would establish a series of procedural and legislative nightmares.”

“Some of the recommendations would tie the death-penalty system up in knots, creating procedural and litigative traffic jams that would potentially tie up particular cases in litigation even more than is already occurring,” the report stated.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, along with representatives of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, were involved in preparing the task force's dissent.

Here are are the first two paragraphs from the opening of the draft minority report:

The Joint Supreme Court/Ohio State Bar Association Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty (hereinafter “Task Force”) was tasked with the assessment of whether the death penalty in Ohio is administered in the most fair and judicious manner possible; and to determine if the administrative and procedural mechanisms for the administration of the death penalty in Ohio are in proper form or in need of adjustment. The Task Force’s mandate specifically provided that “[t]he task force shall not review or report on the issue of whether Ohio should or should not have the death penalty.”

In several of its recommendations, however, the Task Force veered off its narrow mandate and is making recommendations that are anti-death penalty. The work of the Task Force was strongly influenced by a pro-defense majority bent on an agenda of abolition, not fairness. 

April 22, 2014 at 05:50 PM | Permalink

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Comments

"" tasked with the assessment of whether the death penalty in Ohio is administered
in the most fair and judicious manner possible ""

What about 'in the most fair and speedy manner possible'?

This construct [above] may what Ohio's legal community
seeks to improve, but could more than 20% of Ohioans actually wish
for, "limits on when the death penalty could, be sought," or
"the creation of a panel that would have to approve death penalty charges before cases could proceed"?

Not in Coshocton.

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 22, 2014 11:34:03 PM

There is zero chance of fairness, logic, or any concern for public safety, given the composition of the roster. Nearly all lawyers. What absolutely horrible people they are.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 23, 2014 4:09:20 AM

There is zero chance of fairness, logic, or any concern for public safety, given the composition of the roster. Nearly all lawyers. What absolutely horrible people they are.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
by Supremacy Claus | 23 Apr 2014 Wed 04:09:20

DJB: I respectfully disagree with the above opinion , yet appreciate the fact that Doug allows it here (I feel safer with such posts because we know Amendment I is alive and well ☺) .

Any-who , I attended all meetings except the final one. I know several members on the roster , and assure you that , albeit there was spirited discussion , there was fairness , logic and sincere concern for public safety .

The minority report prints about 47 or so pages . I've not yet had time to read it .

I'll seek Doug's permission to post my Modest Proposal (first draft in head) on his blog . I will be posting it on facebook and sending Ms. Cline a copy .

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady - Columbus OH 43209 | Apr 23, 2014 4:51:17 AM

Jim.

The proposed changes all involve greter obstacles, more procedure, legal subtleties open to dispute, more obtacles , more levels of authorization, yet fewer checks for factual innocence. So they may be doubling costs to the taxpayer.

No suggestion serves either safety nor accuracy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 23, 2014 1:39:14 PM

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