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April 1, 2014

Reviewing the state of the death penalty in the Buckeye State

The Attorney General of Ohio has a statutory obligation to report on the state's administration of capital punishment each year, and this local article highlights parts of the latest version of the AG's Capital Crimes Report (which can be accessed in full here):

Ohio continues to add more people to Death Row — four last year — even though the lethal injection process is mired in legal controversy.

The 2013 Capital Crimes Report, issued today by Attorney General Mike DeWine, says 12 executions are scheduled in the next two years, with four more pending the setting of death dates....

Ohio has carried out 53 executions since 1999, including three last year, the same as in 2012.  The annual status report on capital punishment in Ohio, which covers calendar year 2013, does not mention the problems during the Jan. 16, 2014, execution of Dennis McGuire when he gasped, choked and struggled for more than 10 minutes before succumbing to a two-drug combination never before used in a U.S. execution....   The next scheduled execution is Arthur Tyler of Cuyahoga County on May 28.

DeWine’s report notes that 316 people have been sentenced to death in Ohio since 1981 when capital punishment was restored after being overturned as being unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The report cites 18 gubernatorial commutations of death sentences: four by Kasich, five by Gov. Ted Strickland, one by Gov. Bob Taft, and eight by Gov. Richard F. Celeste.

For the first time this year, a group opposed to the death penalty issued its own report in response to the official state document. Ohioans to Stop Executions concludes, “While Ohio's overall use of the death penalty is slowing, it has become clearer than ever before that the race of the victim and location of the crime are the most accurate predictors of death sentences in the Buckeye State.”  The group said 40% of death sentence originate in Cuyahoga County. 

Ohio prosecutors filed 21 capital murder indictments last year, a 28 percent drop from 2012, as life without the possibility of parole sentences became more prevalent.

I do not believe the report from the group Ohioans to Stop Executions is available yet, but I assume it will be posted on OTSE's website before too long.

April 1, 2014 at 06:25 PM | Permalink

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''While Ohio's overall use of the death penalty is slowing, it has become clearer than ever before that as not one innocent man has been executed nationwide in over a half century, the same is true for death sentences in the Buckeye State.'' The group said 40% of death sentence originate in Cleveland or Cuyahoga County, the locale for so many of the aggravated murders which blacken the state.'

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 1, 2014 9:00:25 PM

When we kill a human in the name of the Great State of Ohio why do we employ the word "execute"? Are we afraid to speak the truth? Are we stepping around the Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill?

God is looking down on this and judging us all.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 1, 2014 9:38:26 PM

why do we employ the word "execute"?

Because all but cretins know what it means.

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 2, 2014 9:48:09 AM

Great idea for an appeal, though:

Your honour, this is the artist formerly known as “Liberty 1st”.
My defence team holds a sneaking suspicion that the Great State of Ohio
has no mere intention of “executing” our client, but rather means to
hasten his death.
That is, the deceptive ones purpose to lighten his load (permanently), not only to
make him take a long walk on a short plank, but to make him make the ultimate sacrifice.
Those Ohioans ‘who would be God’ would have our client assume room temperature,
to wit, to wear a pine overcoat, to go on a Texas cakewalk, in a word, thems fixin to kill him.

Oh the machinations of the machinery of death!

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 2, 2014 10:54:35 PM

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