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July 21, 2011

In wake of lethal injection ruling and stay, Ohio Governor postpones next execution (for 18 months!?!)

The immediate echo effects of the recent notable Smith lethal injection ruling (basics here and here) have now become a bit clearer, at least in Ohio.  Today, as detailed in this Reuters piece, Ohio Governor John Kasich postponed the execution of another Ohio death row inmate: "Kasich postponed the execution of Brett Hartman from August 16, 2011 until November 13, 2012."  Here is more:

According to the governor, the postponement will give the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction the needed time to implement changes to the execution protocol mandated by the judge's ruling.

Hartman was sentenced to death for the 1997 killing of Winda Snipes in Akron....

Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the correction department, said it is in the process of drafting more comprehensive policies and practices in light of the court decision.  The draft is not yet available to the public but is expected to be completed in time for the next scheduled execution, which is that of inmate Billy Slagle on September 20, 2011.

This official press release from the Ohio Governor does not give any explanation for why this execution has been pushed back a full 18 months.  As noted in this recent post, the Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled monthly executions all the way out to September 2012, and maybe the lengthy Ohio queue in part explains why Brett Hartman is getting an extra 18 months to live now from Governor Kasich.  

I cannot help but comment that there is a macabre irony to the fact that Hartman, by being the next murderer scheduled to be executed following the Smith ruling that prompted Ohio to revamp its protocol, is getting an extra 18 months to live.  I suppose time (and future litigation) will tell if Billy Slagle is going to get the same "lucky" benefit from Ohio's execution scheduling.

Some recent related posts:

July 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM | Permalink


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There are no scheduled executions in December 2011 or May 2012. Why not schedule his execution then?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Jul 21, 2011 11:24:07 PM

Good question, Mike. In any case, it's simply absurd that Ohio has this one-a-month rule.

Posted by: Alpino | Jul 22, 2011 3:44:37 AM

Kasich is a wuss. He caved and granted clemency to a murderer who richly deserved it, and now he tiptoes around the goofy Ohio Supreme Court and its one murderer a month because they want to be nice to the federal PDs who file last minute crap anyway.

Every single Ohio murderer who has finished his appeals should have his execution date set for the next two months or so.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 22, 2011 8:55:38 AM

good question. I would love to hear Kasich's team explain the logic in that.

alpino, federalist

agreed. But, the Ohio Corrections asked the AG and the Ohio Supreme court to set no more than 1 a month.

Posted by: DaveP | Jul 22, 2011 12:58:40 PM

federalist --

"Wuss" about captures it.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 22, 2011 4:36:43 PM

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