Posts Tagged 'death penalty'

Death row and wrongful convictions

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For most of us, Death Row is something far away, but not so last week. I got to see something extraordinary. Six men presented their stories at the Ohio Statehouse about how they had been wrongfully incarcerated and had spent time on Ohio’s Death Row. Ricky Jackson, Kwanme Ajamu, Wiley Bridgeman, Joe D’Ambrosio, Derrick Jamison and Dale Johnston spent a combined 173 years behind bars before their convictions were overturned.

These gentlemen were at the Statehouse as part of a lobbying ...

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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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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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Secrecy in death penalty is only option legislators see

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I wrote about H.B. 663 just two months ago, but this bill deserves additional attention, because it was passed by the Ohio House and is now before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. Referred to by its opponents as the “Execution Secrecy Bill,” H.B. 663 was introduced because the state is having difficulty acquiring the lethal drugs needed to execute Death Row inmates by injection. The bill would provide immunity from ethics proceedings to physicians who participate in executions and would ...

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Wasting more effort killing killers

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Ohio has found it harder and harder to execute its death row inmates, and so the answer has been to make the process secretive. The problem began when the pharmaceutical companies, whose drugs were being used for executions, decided they didn’t like their drugs being administered on death row, so they stopped the supply line.

That left states like Ohio scrambling to come up with alternative drugs, which, in turn, led to a series of botched executions, including one in Ohio. ...

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Ohio death penalty task force got it right

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Two years ago, in response to questions about lack of uniformity in carrying out the death penalty, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor formed a task force to assess whether Ohio’s death penalty is being administered fairly. The task force recently announced its recommendations, and though it was a balanced group, some members criticized the task force for being “strongly influenced by a pro-defense majority bent on an agenda of abolition, not fairness.” The Dispatch criticized the task force ...

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Washington state places moratorium on death penalty

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On February 11, 2014, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a moratorium on the death penalty, citing its unequal application as the reason. It’s an interesting position for him to take when there are only nine inmates on death row in Washington. In comparison, we have 138 inmates on death row in Ohio. While cost is the focus of my drive to end the death penalty, what Governor Inslee has done helps create additional, welcomed  momentum.

Republican leadership opposes the moratorium, ...

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