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  1. #1

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    Robert Van Hook - Ohio Execution - March 12, 2015



    Summary of Offense:

    On February 18, 1985, Van Hook murdered 25-year-old David Self in his Cincinnati apartment. Mr. Self had met Van Hook that evening at a downtown bar called the Subway Bar. Van Hook strangled Mr. Self until he was unconscious, stabbed him in the head and multiple times in the neck, which nearly decapitated Mr. Self. Van Hook then cut open Mr. Self's abdomen, stabbed him multiple times in the liver and heart and left a bottle, its cap and a cigarette butt in Mr. Self's abdominal cavity.

  2. #2

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    August 4, 2008


    CINCINNATI – A federal appeals court panel in Cincinnati that last year threw out the murder conviction of an Ohio man has now tossed his death sentence.


    The panel ruled Monday that Robert Van Hook’s lawyer gave him inadequate counsel during the penalty phase of his trial for the 1985 murder of a Cincinnati man.

    The panel ordered a lower court to vacate Van Hook’s death sentence unless the state conducted a new penalty phase within 180 days.

    Last year, the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the same panel’s ruling that vacated the conviction. This time, the panel reviewed aspects in the trial that it did not address a year ago.
    .

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...EWS01/80804004

  3. #3

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    March 22, 2009

    In pre-AEDPA case, Sixth Circuit again finds Ohio death row inmate entitled to habeas relief as to sentence.

    On March 6, 2009, the Sixth Circuit (Merritt, with Martin and Moore) issued a new decision in Robert Van Hook’s case, again finding him entitled to habeas relief as to his death sentence. Van Hook v. Anderson, ___ F.3d ___, 2009 WL 605332 (6th Cir. March 6, 2009). The panel explained the new decision as follows: “At the request of the majority of the en banc court and in order to avoid the need for an en banc rehearing, the original panel amends its opinion of August 4, 2008, by deleting its discussion of counsel´s failure to seek an independent mental health expert and the failure of counsel to object to the Presentence Report. Therefore, the sole basis for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus is counsel´s failure to investigate mitigating factors.”

    The panel found it “clear that counsel’s investigation into and presentation of mitigating evidence was deficient.” Although trial counsel “uncovered a little information about [Van Hook’s] traumatic childhood experience in their last-minute investigation, many of the more important details were not discovered and therefore were never presented to the sentencer.” Regarding prejudice, the panel observed that had Van Hook’s counsel performed the complete mitigation investigation required in a death penalty case, the sentencer “would have learned how Van Hook was often beaten by his parents, how he saw his father try to kill his mother, and how his mother was committed to a psychiatric hospital when he was a young child.” The panel rejected the state court’s conclusion that the mitigation evidence developed post-conviction was “merely cumulative.” Instead, it found that the “omitted evidence goes far beyond the brief details of [Van Hook’s] parents’ alcohol abuse and dysfunctional relationship that were presented at mitigation.”


    (Source: Capdefnet.org)

  4. #4

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    November 9, 2009


    Top Court Reinstates Death Penalty In Cincinnati Murder Case


    CINCINNATI -- The nation's top court has overruled an appeals court decision and reinstated the death penalty against a Sharonville man.

    Robert Van Hook, 49, was convicted of killing and mutilating David Self in 1985 after meeting him at a gay bar.

    http://www.wlwt.com/news/21563066/detail.html


    Van Hook appealed the sentence on the grounds that his attorneys were not competent, and the 6th Court of Appeals found that defense attorneys failed to uncover certain facts about Van Hook's childhood and family background at his trial.

    But in a 9-0 decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

    "We think it clear that Van Hook's attorneys met the constitutional minimum of competence," the court wrote. "Neither the Court of Appeals nor Van Hook has shown why the minor additional details that the trial court did not hear would have made any difference."

    In its decision to reinstate the death penalty, the Supreme Court noted that Van Hook had a long history of luring gay men into secluded settings to rob them.

    (Source: AP)

  5. #5
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    Robert J. Van Hook v. David Bobby, Warden

    In today's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, the court AFFIRMED the district court's DENIAL of habeas relief.

  6. #6
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    Appeals court upholds Ohio man's death penalty

    A federal appeals court has upheld an Ohio man’s death penalty for killing a man he met in a gay bar in 1985.

    The three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today unanimously affirmed a lower court’s ruling upholding Robert Van Hook’s death penalty.

    The panel rejected Van Hook’s claim that prosecutors violated his rights by not providing psychological reports showing he may have been motivated by rejection of homosexual urges, not robbery. The panel also rejected ineffective counsel claims.

    Van Hook never denied strangling and repeatedly stabbing David Self in Self’s Cincinnati apartment, but claimed temporary insanity.

    The panel ruled that the reports don’t undermine confidence in the verdict.

    Van Hook’s attorney says he will appeal to the full appeals court or the Supreme Court.

    http://www.vindy.com/news/2011/oct/0...th-penalty/?nw

  7. #7
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Van Hook's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  8. #8
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    1987-1159. State v. Van Hook

    The Ohio Supreme Court has set Van Hook's execution date for March 12, 2015.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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