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May 16, 2011

Mental disability claim prompts execution stay in Ohio (and lots more litigation, I suspect) ... UPDATE: Sixth Circuit lifts stay

As detailed in this new AP story, "federal judge in Ohio is halting the execution of a man who was convicted in the 1984 shootings of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend but says he doesn’t remember the slayings." Here is more:

Sixty-three-year-old Daniel Lee Bedford was scheduled to be put to death Tuesday. His attorneys had sought a stay of execution to allow more time for the courts to consider issues they raised.  They say Bedford has dementia and a mild mental disability that keep from fully understanding the meaning and purpose of his death sentence....

A spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general’s office says prosecutors will appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Based on this brief press report, the exact nature of the defense claims and the reasons for the stay are a bit opaque.  But what seems quite clear is that Ohio officials will be seeking to get this stay lifted by the Sixth Circuit and/or the Supreme Court. 

Because the issues are a bit fuzzy and because Ohio has not had many of these eleventh hour stay litigation battles recently, I am not sure how this story is going to turn out.  I am sure it will be one worth watching over the next 24 hours.

UPDATE:  As detailed in this new local piece, a "federal appeals court late last night lifted the stay of execution in Daniel Lee Bedford's case, putting the convicted killer from Cincinnati back on schedule to be executed today at 10 a.m."  Here is more:

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the stay that U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley in Columbus had ordered earlier in the day.     In response to the 6th Circuit panel's late-night ruling, Bedford's attorneys were preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in a last-minute effort to halt the execution.

May 16, 2011 at 06:49 PM | Permalink


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yet another example of irresponsible federal courts getting involved. This issue was litigated in state court. The federal courts should respect that decision. Not give the criminal a do-over.

Posted by: federalist | May 16, 2011 6:58:58 PM

expect a "do-over"

I would be surprised if this proceeded.

Posted by: DaveP | May 16, 2011 9:12:54 PM

It appears that the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay shortly past midnight, and, absent SCOTUS intervention, the execution will proceed.


Posted by: Bill Otis | May 17, 2011 12:41:07 AM

Half the murderers are legally drunk, as are half the murder victims. So lack of recall of the crime should be quite common. I put a gun to the head of anybody on earth. I say, July 29, 1984, what were you doing? Then check against some diary, how many could answer correctly? None. Forgetting is universal.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 17, 2011 4:19:14 AM

That is unusual with an issue like this. The federal courts usually intervene on this issue and mental retardation. I don't mind being wrong with my earlier post.

Posted by: DaveP | May 17, 2011 7:17:56 AM

Lack of memory of the crime has not been accepted as an excuse, for decades, as a matter of settled law.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 17, 2011 7:40:38 AM

I agree because many accidents are caused due to mental disability or because of mentally ill persons.Amazed with federal courts.

Posted by: Atlanta Injury lawyer | May 17, 2011 7:44:07 AM

6th circuit lifted the stay...its back on. Enough delays and frivolous arguements.

Posted by: DeanO | May 17, 2011 8:13:49 AM

simply cant believe it....SC should use common sense too

Posted by: motorized wheelchairs | Jun 22, 2011 3:37:03 AM

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