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August 8, 2011

"Ohio and the Death Penalty"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable op-ed in today's New York Times.  Here are excerpts:

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio postponed for a month the state’s next execution.  The decision is an admission that Ohio’s management of the death penalty is broken and further proof that the machinery of death cannot be operated responsibly anywhere.

The governor made the postponement after a federal district judge in Ohio stayed another execution, when that death-row inmate argued that the state had repeatedly violated its own protocols for administering the death penalty.  “It is the policy of the State of Ohio that the State follows its written execution protocol, except when it does not,” Judge Gregory Frost wrote in a legal opinion last month.  The judge observed bluntly, “This is nonsense.”...

The opinion listed several important ways that Ohio has violated its own rules based on facts presented to the court. The state has let into its execution chamber someone who was not a member of the official execution team, a doctor who tried unsuccessfully to insert an intravenous line into an inmate’s arm.  It has failed to document the appropriate preparation of the drug used. And it has failed to have two medical-team members present at an execution, to ensure that the injection was properly administered. The judge concluded about the state’s serial errors, “A death warrant cannot trump the Constitution.”

Ohio’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, said the state will use the additional time before the next execution, scheduled for September, to address these problems.  Governor Kasich should instead listen to Ohio’s senior Supreme Court justice, Paul Pfeifer, who helped write the state’s death-penalty law as a legislator and has called on Ohio to abolish what he calls the “death lottery.”  It is time for every state with the penalty on the books to outlaw this barbaric punishment.

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August 8, 2011 at 10:18 AM | Permalink


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Good to know this is being covered here on the Sentencing Law and Bill Otis blog.

C'mon now Bill!:

1. Diss the NYT

2. Remind Gov. Kasich that killing people is good business for Ohio politicians.

3. Warn Mike DeWine that his patriotism is at stake.

4. Notify Paul Pfeifer that his lack of patriotism qualifies him for burning at the stake.

5. Proclaim to Judge Frost he will surely freeze in hell - WHERE HE IS CONDEMNED TO ENCOUNTER YOU.

Posted by: Anon de plum | Aug 8, 2011 5:39:22 PM

Aw shucks, Mr. de plum, I (heart) you too.

P.S. As for this being the "Sentencing Law and Bill Otis blog," you might have seen that, apart from this comment, I have commented on exactly one of the last ten of Doug's entries. Of course in order to know this, you have to be able to count to ten.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 8, 2011 7:28:14 PM

Anom de plume--verbal caricatures are supposed to be funny--yours is not. Pfeifer is just a Republican who, for whatever reason, wants to show libs how moral he is by fighting for a bunch of murderers--he doesn't deserve to be burned at the stake--just pilloried for being such a wuss. All you need to know about Judge Frost is that he criticized Ohio for, get this, involving a medical doctor. (After all, you don't want to actually have to read Judge Frost's opinions--ugh--one would think that in this economy, he could get more talented clerks.) Of course, the NYTimes editorial page, in a lather about executing stone killers, is so ideologically blinded that it cannot see the abject silliness of this criticism. Of course, I am giving the NYTimes editorial page the benefit of the doubt. The editorial writers may just be dumb as well as shrill.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 9, 2011 8:37:13 AM

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