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September 3, 2017

Ohio Gov delays multiple executions while denying clemency for double murderer slated to die later this month

As noted and lamented in this recent Fair Punishment Project report, "Prisoners on Ohio’s Execution List Defined by Intellectual Impairment, Mental Illness, Trauma, and Young Age," as of the end of August 2017, Ohio had scheduled 26 executions to take place between now and 2020.  But as of the start of September 2017, thanks to the clemency/reprieve powers of Ohio Gov John Kasich and as detailed here, Ohio has only 18 executions scheduled to take place between now and 2020 with eight others being pushed back to 2021 and 2022.

The delaying of numerous execution was explained in this press release, which also notes that Gov Kasich has (unsurprisingly) denied clemency for a double murderer still scheduled to be executed on September 13:

Gov. John R. Kasich has denied a request for executive clemency from Gary Otte who was convicted in Cuyahoga County for the 1992 robbery and murder of 61 year-old Robert Wasikowski and 45 year-old Sharon Kostura at their respective apartments in Parma, OH.  The Governor’s decision follows the advice of the Ohio Parole Board, who on February 10, 2017, recommended against clemency for Otte by a vote of 11-0.

Additionally, in consultation with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the governor updated Ohio’s current execution schedule.  After the U.S. Supreme Court rejected claims by Ohio inmates that the state’s protocol was unconstitutional, allowing the execution of Ronald Phillips to proceed in July, the state reviewed the existing schedule to ensure Ohio would meet the goal of conducting court-ordered executions in a humane and professional manner.

Looking over the revised execution schedule, I surmise that the folks at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction were not too keen on having to gear up for an execution scheduled nearly every month for the next two years and so they urged Gov Kasich to set a revised schedule that now has an execution taking place only, roughly, every other month through the next five years.

Notably, there are, as detailed here, another 123 persons on Ohio's death row in addition the the 26 with current execution date. That means that even if Ohio were to keep up the pace of six execution per year going forward after 2022, it would take until 2042 to carry out the sentences only of those currently condemned to die. That reality, in turn, lead me to start speculating about who might be governor of Ohio in a quarter century and whether she might be a proponent or opponent of capital punishment.

September 3, 2017 at 11:21 AM | Permalink


The Nazis used to line people up three deep, so that they could kill them all with one bullet. Maybe Ohio could learn from their example.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Sep 3, 2017 11:27:46 AM

The governor of Virginia has personal opposition to the death penalty but as with other people in the position has let executions be carried out.

Ohio is an interesting death penalty state outside of the usual "death belt" generally assumed to overlap with the "Bible Belt." It has special significance in that sense and future campaigns for governor would make the death penalty of more note than other places.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 3, 2017 11:43:20 AM

Gov. Kasich is a weak and foolish leader. He got his clock cleaned by Donald Trump, and Trump was a very weak candidate himself, a TV celebrity and failed real estate developer. He was not even getting things built. He was only adding his name atop buildings that others got finished. Pretty embarrassing to get slaughtered at the polls by such a failure.

It does not matter, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, the government will always side with the criminal. The latter generates tons of government make work jobs. The victim generates nothing, and is always, always forgotten.

Get carfentanyl from the prison, confiscate it from the prisoners. Have an addict find a vein, and dispatch the condemned, one an hour, never mind one a month.

Or, failing that, stop kidding around. End the death penalty. It is ineffective, being administered too rarely. Send the condemned back into population. They will will all be dead by the Italian death penalty.

Kasich should start reading this blog.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 3, 2017 7:46:22 PM

"They will will all be dead by the Italian death penalty"

“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”
Friedrich Schiller

Posted by: Claudio Giusti | Sep 4, 2017 11:18:38 AM

Hi, Claudio. I admire the Italian Solution. Violent offenders turn up dead from suicide or prison murder. No fuss, no expense, no waiting. US prison officials should visit your prisons, and learn the methods of the Italian Solution.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 4, 2017 11:46:12 AM


Posted by: Claudio Giusti | Sep 4, 2017 12:54:34 PM

In America you have an annual butchery of 1.500 persons killed by police. A very few survivors are condemned and a very, very few are condemned to death. Of the very very few only a very very very few are actually killed. For an American killer the death row is safer than the liberty on streets. The true American death penalty is enforced every day by judge jury policeman.

Posted by: Claudio Giusti | Sep 4, 2017 1:01:47 PM

Kasich's decision is a joke. The courts have stuck it to victims, and Kasich drags out their pain longer. Screw him.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 4, 2017 6:47:23 PM

Claudio. Yes. I agree. We white people are angry that the number of whites killed by police is out of proportion to the number of crimes committed by whites. Police homicide is a form of genocide of white people. White Lives Should Matter, but unfortunately, they do not matter. Police homicides of blacks are low compared to black criminality. I guess to the police, Black Lives Matter, but White Lives Do Not Matter.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 4, 2017 9:58:34 PM

Claudio. Do you know which lives really matter? Lawyer Lives Matter. Try committing a crime in a lawyer residential neighborhood. Three police cars arrive in 2 minutes, blasting. The death penalty in a lawyer neighborhood is at the scene. I have often proposed a study of police homicides, to see if they predominate in zip codes of lawyer residential neighborhoods.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 4, 2017 10:01:20 PM

DB is out of order. Please reset him.

Posted by: Claudio Giusti | Sep 5, 2017 5:14:25 AM

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