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October 5, 2010

"Killer's death could be historic: State would hit new toll in era of lethal injections"

The new story in my local Columbus Dispatch details the "historic" nature of Ohio's planned execution tomorrow of a defendant who murdered his girlfriend nearly two decades ago.  Here are the basic modern details, with a little Ohio execution history to boot:

If Michael Benge is lethally injected as scheduled on Wednesday, Ohio will have executed the most prisoners in one year since 1949. Sixty-one years ago, 15 men were put to death in the state's electric chair, which is no longer used.

In the modern era - since the state resumed capital punishment in 1999 -- the most executions in one year, until this year, was seven in 2004.

The pace of executions has picked up in the past two years in Ohio. Another is scheduled for Nov. 16 (Sidney Cornwell of Mahoning County).  Gov. Ted Strickland granted clemency in two other death-penalty cases.

More executions are scheduled early next year. In addition, the Ohio public defender's office says an additional 20 or so death-penalty cases are close to exhausting all appeals, meaning that execution dates could be set in the near future.

Benge, 49, of Butler County, was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering his girlfriend, Judith Gabbard, on Jan. 31, 1993.  He beat Gabbard with a tire iron and threw her body into a river. Then he drained her modest bank account....

Unlike Kevin Keith, the Bucyrus man convicted of a triple slaying who was granted clemency by Strickland last month, Benge has attracted no groundswell of legal or popular support.

He would become the 41st person executed since 1999 and the 356th since the state began executions by electrocution in 1897.  Killers were hanged before that.  Ohio executions peaked between 1920 and 1949, when 218 people were put to death.

October 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Permalink


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ma che bello schifo !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Oct 5, 2010 12:35:57 PM

When a river has been dammed for years and the dam is breached, the flow rate exceeds anything seen in a long time.

No one should be surprised at that.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Oct 5, 2010 1:52:21 PM

No, è bello giusto, Giusti!!!!!!

Posted by: alpino | Oct 5, 2010 11:22:41 PM

no, è scemo !!!!

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Oct 6, 2010 1:12:04 AM

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