They sit on Death Row–forever

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Over the weekend I was preparing for a presentation I’m giving next week on the cost of the death penalty. The lengthy post-trial proceedings that follow nearly every death sentence likely make the death penalty more costly than a life sentence without parole. I say likely because Ohio has yet to study the cost of the death penalty, but other states have, and those studies conclude that the death penalty costs more.

As I was trying to determine the average length ...

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He was a man for all seasons

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He did it all. He elevated what had been regarded as a football school to a major university. He spoke several languages and traveled the world. He rubbed elbows with presidents and popes and had a significant role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  He got to fly in an Air Force SR-71 Blackbird (care to cruise at 80,000 ft. while doing Mach 3?) and the Navy F-14 Tomcat. (I flew F-14s. The Navy didn’t give rides to ...

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It’s supposed to be about the baby

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She thought she was doing the right thing. It must have been a matter of conscious, but as often happens, Vesna Roi’s decision was the result of failing to reconcile conflicting paradigms.

Roi, a pediatrician in Detroit decided not to treat a newborn because her parents are gay. She made the decision, according to the Detroit Free Press, after “much prayer.” Let’s think about that. Roi prayed, presumably to a loving and benevolent God, who whispered to her she should not ...

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Is there ever a good time to hear disturbing news?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the controversial Nationwide ad, “Make Safe Happen,” that ran during the Super Bowl. Critics characterized the ad, which dealt with accidental children deaths, as depressing. The ad didn’t go into detail about how often kids needlessly die or the causes, so here are some statistics for the U.S.:

  • Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
  • Every day, ...
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The General Assembly didn’t see it coming?

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They didn’t see it coming, or maybe they just didn’t care. In their haste to pass a bill that would permit compounding pharmacies to manufacture in secrecy the drugs necessary to continue Ohio’s death penalty, the state’s legislators opened up the state to more litigation.

The legislators were in a hurry.  On August 11, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost ordered a moratorium on Ohio executions until the state developed a new drug protocol. The moratorium was in response to ...

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How well do you see?

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How well do you see?  I don’t mean, how well do you see an eye chart? I mean, how well do you see what goes on around you?

If you saw the movie, “The Butler,” you watched how America was blind to the injustice and brutality that black America endured until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. (Not that it was smooth sailing for black America after the act was passed).  News clips from the 60s show us how ...

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Second amendment litigation continues, and 26 attorneys general take a peculiar position

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Can a municipality ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines without running afoul of the Second Amendment?  The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia says yes. What about registration requirements for hand guns and rifles and a mandatory safety course?  Are they constitutional?  The U.S. District Court (a trial court) for the District of Columbia says they are, but the issue is on appeal. How about trigger locks and bans on hollow point ammunition? The Court of Appeals ...

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If it’s on the internet, it must be true. Right?

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[Because of a technical problem, last week’s post was compressed and difficult to read, and so I’m publishing it again.]

Do you remember the State Farm ad, where a young woman talks to a friend about meeting her date, a French model, on the internet? As it turns out, the woman’s date is neither French nor hardly a model, but, hey, that’s what she was told about him on the internet, so it must be true. Right?

The obvious point of the ...

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What makes Cuba so special?

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It’s stunning that the decision to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba has been such a controversial event. President Barack Obama is criticized for opening the door with Cuba because it is governed by a dictator and has a history of human rights abuses, but since when has the U.S. limited its relations to open, democratic governments?  The examples of the U.S. maintaining diplomatic and trade relations with closed, abusive government are many.

The U.S.S.R. was a repressive government from its inception ...

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With forgiveness comes freedom

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What do Louis Zemperini, Tom Moe and Immaculée Ilibagiza have in common? First, let me identify these people.

Louis Zemperini was a 1936 Olympian, who joined the Army Air Forces in WWII and served as a B-24 bombardier in the western Pacific. In what would turn out to be his last mission, his plane developed mechanical problems over water, forcing the crew to ditch. Zemperini was one of only three survivors and spent 47 days in a life raft before he ...

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