Page 8 of 14 FirstFirst ... 678910 ... LastLast
Results 71 to 80 of 137
  1. #71
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Ohio death penalty review committee meets again

    A state Supreme Court task force analyzing the effectiveness of Ohio's capital punishment law planned another meeting Thursday as part of its yearlong review.

    Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor has convened the task force while making it clear it won't debate whether the state should have the death penalty.

    The committee of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and death penalty experts are looking at a variety of issues, from how the law affects minorities to the role of clemency.

    The committee is also studying whether death sentences are proportional, meaning that any one death sentence is similar to others that have also been handed down.

    O'Connor says the committee's goal is to produce a fair, impartial and balanced analysis of the state's 30-year-old law.

    http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com...xt|Frontpage|s
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  2. #72
    Senior Member
    Slayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    199
    Your not worried about this are you Heidi?
    Last edited by Slayer; 05-17-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  3. #73
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Quote Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
    Your not worried about this are you Heidi?
    No. They are not changing any policies.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #74
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Death of death penalty? Not in Hamilton County

    At age 19, Crystal Lewis discovered she believed in monsters.

    That revelation came moments after she discovered her best friend, with a gaping hole in the back of her head, shot as she sat in her Pendleton apartment on June 1, 2009. In her friend’s left arm was her 9-month-old son who had a bullet hole in his forehead.

    Lewis then saw the body of her own 3-year-old daughter Sha’Railyn Wright, whom her friend had been babysitting.

    Mark Pickens had shot them all.

    The murders resulted in Pickens’ 2010 murder convictions, sent him to Ohio’s death row and cemented Lewis’ opinion of the death penalty.

    “Before this case, I didn’t really care about it,” Lewis, 22, of Southgate, said of capital punishment. “Now, I’m all for it.”

    As capital murder convictions and death sentences have been falling across Ohio and the country, an Enquirer analysis shows Prosecutor Joe Deters continues to unapologetically pursue the death penalty.

    Local executions
    2012 death-penalty cases

    Deters is a major reason Ohio’s death row is disproportionately populated by Hamilton County murderers. Hamilton County has had 10 inmates executed and leads Ohio with 27 of its 147 death row inmates.

    • Map: Deadliest Counties
    • Timeline: Local death sentences by year

    Under Deters’ two separate terms as prosecutor – he was Ohio Treasurer in between – his office has sent about two dozen to death row.

    But it’s not that Deters seeks the death penalty more than other big-city prosecutors. The Enquirer analysis found the opposite: Since Ohio adopted the death penalty in 1981, Hamilton County has sought the death penalty far less than Cuyahoga and Franklin counties but won death sentences one-third of the time, more than seven times higher than Ohio’s two other large counties.

    Deters seeks the ultimate punishment only when he believes proof of guilt is certain, he said.

    The differing ways local prosecutors handle capital cases leads to what one prominent critic has labeled a “death lottery.”

    But even as Deters continues to press capital murder cases, the attack on the death penalty again is percolating:

    • In April, Connecticut became the fifth state to rescind the death penalty, joining New York and New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009) and Illinois (2011);

    • A bill is pending in Ohio’s Senate that would do the same thing, but it’s expected to have little chance of passage;

    • An Ohio Supreme Court task force is examining the implementation of capital punishment, and;

    • One of Ohio’s Supreme Court justices who, as a state lawmaker helped resurrect the death penalty in 1981, now is advocating for its repeal and pointing at Hamilton County as a major reason why.

    “I think the time has come for Ohio to seriously consider doing away with the death penalty,” Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer said.

    Deters, though, notes Ohio law includes the death penalty, he swore an oath to uphold that law and he will do so even if others disagree with him for doing so.

    “There are some crimes so bad you need to die for what you’ve done,” Deters said. “The evil and acts we are dealing with are so extreme.”

    Perry Ancona disagrees.

    Ancona is a defense attorney who represented Pickens when he received a death sentence, and recently Thomas Huge, who last month escaped a potential death sentence and instead received life in prison.

    “The idea of taking someone’s life deliberately I’m not on board with,” Ancona said.

    It’s easy for people to feel that way, Lewis said, when they haven’t felt the sting and daily emptiness caused by someone like Pickens.

    “They’ve never been through this experience like I’ve been through,” she said, her voice rising. “Let them find the bodies. Let them go through the trial like I did. Then let them say that.”

    Ohio exhibits large county extremes

    Since Ohio reinstated the death penalty in 1981, Hamilton County grand juries have handed up 172 capital murder indictments through 2011. Of those, prosecutors won death sentences in 61, or 35.5 percent, records from the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Attorney General show.

    Despite Hamilton County’s reputation for aggressively seeking the death penalty, its 172 capital murder indictments are one-third of Franklin County’s 496 and one-eighth of Cuyahoga County’s 1,231 in the same 30-year span.

    Cuyahoga has won a death sentence in 5.1 percent of its capital murder indictments through 2011; Franklin County in 3.8 percent.

    Those numbers mean Deters seeks the death penalty far less than his Ohio big-county counterparts but succeeds far more often. Hamilton County’s 35.3 percent rate is almost seven eight times higher than Cuyahoga and more than nine times higher than Franklin.

    “We’re being criticized for doing our jobs very well,” said Deters, Hamilton County’s prosecutor from 1992-1998 and again since 2005.

    Deters’ indictment numbers are so low compared to the other large counties, he believes, because of his personal stance.

    “If we indict a death penalty, we don’t plea bargain,” Deters said. “If there is a proof (of guilt) problem at all, I’m not doing it. I’m not seeking the death penalty.”

    That means the odds of a Hamilton County inmate indicted for capital murder being sent to death row are higher. That’s a major reason why death penalty opponents believe the punishment is unfair – and should be eliminated.

    Death sentences are on the decline

    After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled death sentences unconstitutional in 1972, states amended their capital murder laws and the number of death sentences began to rise.

    From less than 150 death sentences in 1977, they peaked in the mid-1990s to more than 300 per year before beginning an at first steep and then steady descent to less than 1977 levels, the Death Penalty Information Center reported in 2011.

    In Ohio, that partly is due to the 1996 adoption of a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. It was not previously available for judges or juries to consider in capital murder cases.

    Some, though, insist there is more to the decline than that.

    “I think that people across the country are realizing that it’s immoral to execute people,” said David Singleton, executive director of the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice and Policy Center, a nonprofit law office providing services aimed at reforming the criminal justice system.

    Singleton opposes capital punishment.

    “We can’t take the chance ever of executing someone who is innocent. Ever,” Singleton said.

    Ohio Supreme Court Justice reverses stance

    That’s one of the views recently adopted by Pfeifer.

    Ironically, Pfeifer chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee that pushed to reinstate Ohio’s death penalty in 1981. But as he has presided over appeals cases involving the ultimate punishment since he was elected to the high court in 1992, he’s been so troubled by capital punishment that he now opposes it.

    “I think it just doesn’t work,” Pfeifer said.

    Pfeifer’s biggest concern is the way he believes it’s indiscriminately applied.

    “I call it the death lottery,” he said, pointing squarely at Deters and Hamilton County.

    Because each county varies on when, why or if it seeks the death penalty, Pfeifer believes it’s not uniformly applied across the state but should be.

    Deters agrees there are larger political issues revolving around capital punishment, especially for prosecutors who refuse to seek death penalties even though Ohio law allows capital punishment.

    “There’s no joy in this process,” Deters said. “You’re dealing with victims’ families who are just destroyed. You’re asking jurors to make what is probably the most important decision of their life. It’s a tough, tough law and I swore to uphold it.”

    Deters says he follows current state laws

    Death-penalty opponents can argue all they want, Deters said, but until the law changes, he will seek the death penalty when he thinks it appropriate.

    “If the politics were there to get rid of the death penalty, they’d get rid of it. It’s just not there,” Deters said.

    But opponents say the issue is getting more attention, more momentum and the winds of change are blowing.

    “I think in my lifetime I might live to see the death penalty be gone,” 46-year-old Singleton said.

    “The government stands for something higher. We are better than that.”

    Ohio’s next execution is in three days, when Cuyahoga County’s Abdul Hamin Awkal, represented by Singleton, is scheduled to die.

    http://communitypress.cincinnati.com...xt|E-Edition|s
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  5. #75
    Senior Member
    PATRICK5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    410
    There is a reason why the deathrow groupies call Ohio Little Texas.
    Obama ate my dad

  6. #76
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114

    Ohio death penalty committee looks at racial bias

    An Ohio Supreme Court committee studying the state's capital punishment law on Thursday rejected a recommendation to collect past data to detect racial bias in death penalty cases.

    The committee also postponed votes on a recommendation to collect information in the future on all homicides that might be eligible for capital punishment as another way of detecting racial bias. The committee considered but tabled a proposal to analyze existing death penalty data collected by the state public defender's office.

    Those two proposals are likely to pass in the future when the committee gets more details about the recommendations, said James Brogan, a former state appeals court judge who is chairman of the committee.

    Brogan said everyone agrees race shouldn't play a role in the death penalty, but a number of studies nationally have already shown that is the case.

    "We don't know exactly the role in Ohio, although it does appear that in a number of cases, it seems more likely when a black defendant kills a white victim, that they're more likely to receive the death penalty, than if a black kills a black, which is disconcerting," Brogan said after the task force's meeting.

    "That indicates that race matters," he said.

    Among precedents cited in the Race and Ethnicity subcommittee recommendations is a 2005 Associated Press study that found that Ohio offenders who killed white victims were more likely to face a death sentence than those whose victims were black.

    Numerous other studies of capital punishment laws around the country have also found that death penalty charges are more likely when a victim is white than a minority.

    The committee approved a recommendation to require prosecutors, lawyers and judges involved in death penalty cases to be trained to protect against racial bias.

    It also approved a recommendation to allow lawyers to seek the removal of judges where "a reasonable basis for concluding that the judge's decision making could be affected by racially discriminatory factors."

    Finally, the committee approved a recommendation requiring that defense attorneys receive training in how best to proceed when they believe a potential juror is removed for possibly discriminatory reasons.

    The committee rejected the creation of jury instructions involving race in death penalty cases that would also require jurors to report racial discrimination voiced by other jurors during deliberations.

    In 2009, North Carolina enacted its Racial Justice Act, directing judges to reduce a death-row inmate's sentence to life in prison if they find race was a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving a death sentence or in the composition of jurors hearing a case.

    Lawmakers this month approved a scaled-back version of the law that death penalty supporters say will rely less on statistics they call misleading. They also say it will untie a log jam over the carrying out of executions in North Carolina, where the state last put someone to death in 2006.

    Kentucky has a similar law, the nation's first, but it has never been used in court.

    The recommendations the Ohio task force is considering would not create a similar law.

    Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor convened the task force while making it clear it won't debate whether the state should have the death penalty.

    The committee of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and death penalty experts is looking at a variety of issues, from how the law affects minorities to the role of clemency.

    The committee is also studying whether Ohio's death sentences are proportional, meaning that the nature of a crime committed by one condemned inmate is similar to the crimes committed by others.

    O'Connor says the committee's goal is to produce a fair, impartial and balanced analysis of the state's 30-year-old law.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/O...as-3720246.php
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #77
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Skeptical judge warms to Ohio execution policies, praises prisons director for new approach

    A federal judge who has skewered Ohio in the past over the way it carries out executions heaped unusually warm praise on the system and the state prisons director in a recent ruling.

    The comments by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost raise the possibility that successful challenges focusing on the process of putting inmates to death in Ohio could be coming to an end.

    Frost has delayed executions over such challenges, though he has also let some proceed when it appeared the state had fixed problems.

    Frost's most recent ruling last week declined to stop the execution of Brett Hartman, scheduled to die Tuesday for stabbing an Akron woman to death in 1997.

    The ruling doesn't mean that possible future problems carrying out executions couldn't create a new set of challenges. Though Ohio executions generally go as smoothly as such procedures can, it has had some notable exceptions.

    The most infamous of those was the botched attempt in 2009 to execute Rommel Broom, whose execution was halted after two hours during which time he was unsuccessfully jabbed with IV needles 18 times. Broom is back on death row fighting a second attempt to put him to death. He was only the second person in U.S. history whose execution was halted.

    Also looming over the state: the expiration next year of its execution drug supply. New lawsuits will inevitably follow any attempt to switch to a new drug.

    In his Nov. 5 ruling, Frost said that prisons director Gary Mohr has created a command system with himself as the lead enforcer that finally seems able to stop major changes to the state's written execution policy.

    "Mohr in particular warrants credit for demonstrating significant, continuing leadership in this new approach," Frost wrote. "More than one witness testified that Mohr's increased management of the execution process represents a sea change in director involvement."

    At another point, Frost said that everyone at the April 18 execution of Mark Wiles seemed to understand that there can be no deviations from policy, and any potential changes must go up the chain of command to Mohr.

    Contrast that with Frost's comments in July 2011 that stopped the execution of Kenneth Smith: "It is the policy of the state of Ohio that the state follows its written execution protocol, except when it does not. This is nonsense."

    Or his comment from a January ruling that halted the execution of Charles Lorraine: "Ohio has been in a dubious cycle of defending often indefensible conduct, subsequently reforming its protocol when called on that conduct, and then failing to follow through on its own reforms."

    Frost, appointed to the federal bench in 2003 by President George W. Bush, was out of the office and not available for comment.

    Federal public defender Allen Bohnert said he doesn't believe Frost is shifting positions. He said Frost's comments relate to what the judge has called the current "factual landscape," which the judge has noted can change from execution to execution.

    "If the State engages in additional misconduct, I have no doubt Judge Frost will hold the responsible parties accountable, just as he has before," Bohnert said.

    Mohr declined to comment because the issue involves ongoing litigation.

    The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is "pleased the court recognizes the hard work of the execution team members," spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said in a statement. "We remain committed to carrying out this profound responsibility in a dignified, professional and constitutional manner."

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...h-Penalty-Ohio
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  8. #78
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    State to execute 12 over 2 years

    Ohio dropped behind other states in the number of executions this year, but the pace is expected to quicken, with 12 lethal injections scheduled in the next two years.

    In addition, four new death sentences were handed down in Ohio this year, including the first one in Franklin County since 2003, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. Execution dates have not been set in those cases, including that of Caron E. Montgomery, 37, of Columbus, sentenced to death by a three-judge panel for the Thanksgiving Day 2010 stabbing deaths of his former girlfriend, Tia Hendricks; the couple’s 2-year-old son, Tyron Hendricks; and her 10-year-old daughter, Tahlia Hendricks.

    The previous death sentence in Franklin County was in 2003 for James T. Conway III. He is on Death Row awaiting an execution date.

    Ohio carried out three of the nation’s 43 executions this year, the same number nationally as in 2011, according to figures compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., that is a clearinghouse for capital-punishment information. No more executions are scheduled this year. The annual total has dropped dramatically since 2000, when there were 85 executions. The center plans to release a detailed year-end report on Tuesday.

    Ohio had other executions scheduled this year, but they were canceled because of a court fight over lethal-injection procedures and clemency commutations granted by Gov. John Kasich.

    As usual, Texas led the nation with 15 executions this year, followed by Arizona, Oklahoma and Mississippi with six apiece. Ohio was next with three, along with Florida. South Dakota had two executions, and Delaware and Idaho, one each. Alabama and Georgia, which are usually among the top states on the executions list, had none in 2012.

    Ohio executed five men in 2011, third nationally behind Texas and Alabama, and eight in 2010, second to Texas.

    Death-penalty opponents argue that the decline in executions and new death sentences are signs that support for capital punishing is waning in the U.S. Another factor, particularly in Ohio, has been the increased use of life sentences without the possibility of parole.

    The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled six executions next year, including Ronald Post of Lorain, set to be lethally injected on Jan. 16, barring intervention by the court or a grant of gubernatorial clemency. The Ohio Parole Board recommended last week that Kasich grant clemency in Post’s case; the governor has not decided.

    If Post is executed, he would be the 50th person in Ohio put to death since capital punishment resumed in 1999. There have been 1,320 executions in the U.S. since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976; most were by lethal chemical injections. The last electrocution execution was in 2010.

    Ohio is one of 33 states that still have capital punishment on the books. There are six executions slated in 2014 and one in January 2015.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...r-2-years.html
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  9. #79
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Ohio prosecutors want right to force jury trials

    Ohio prosecutors say they’re not giving up in their efforts to pass a law that would allow them to demand that criminal defendants undergo a trial by jury.

    The proposal by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, which was before lawmakers this year and in the past, is aimed at situations where defendants waive their rights to a jury trial and demand a judge hear the case instead.

    Occasionally, prosecutors believe a judge will not provide a fair hearing and they want the ability to demand a jury trial, said John Murphy, a lobbyist with the prosecuting attorneys association.

    “The only time we run into problem is when this particular judge won’t give us a fair hearing for one reason or another,” Murphy said. “Some judges have particular views on cases we disagree with.”

    Several prosecutors testified before House and Senate committees this year in support of the measure, which passed in the House but died in the Senate earlier this month. It would apply only to serious crimes.

    “Prosecutors and the victims of crimes should have the same choices as the criminals,” Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year.

    “In a time when we have finally come to recognize not only the rights of the criminally accused, but also the rights of the victims of their crimes, giving the victims, through the State, some say in the use of a jury at trial seems only fair,” he said.

    Prosecutors note that more than two dozen states allow prosecutors to request a jury trial, as does the federal court system.

    The Ohio State Bar Association and numerous judges opposed the measure.

    They said that while the Ohio Constitution guarantees a criminal defendant the right to a jury trial, it doesn’t require it.

    They also say prosecutors can already ask that judges with a perceived bias be removed from a trial. And they say the proposal could cost taxpayers because of the added expense of more jury trials.

    “Eliminating the right to a bench trial for those who are criminally accused would be contrary to the fair and economic administration of justice,” according to a Dec. 11 letter to the judiciary committee from 34 Cuyahoga County court judges.

    Judges also say the proposal makes more sense in the federal court system where judges are appointed for life and it’s harder to remove them from cases for bias.

    The proposal would also apply to death penalty cases, where a three-judge panel sometimes is better equipped to handle such complicated cases than a jury, which can be overwhelmed because of the nature of crimes in capital cases, said state public defender Tim Young.

    A financial analysis of the bill by the nonpartisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission predicted only a “minimal” increase in costs to counties of giving prosecutors the right to demand a trial by jury.

    The commission concluded “there will be very few circumstances in which a prosecutor would want to demand a jury trial.”

    http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.c...e-jury-trials/
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  10. #80
    Administrator
    Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,114
    Ohio death penalty review committee to meet again

    A state Supreme Court task force analyzing the effectiveness of Ohio's capital punishment law plans another meeting Thursday as part of its yearlong review.

    Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor has convened the task force while making clear it won't debate whether the state should have the death penalty.

    The committee of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and death penalty experts is looking at a variety of issues, from how the law affects minorities to the role of clemency.

    The committee also is studying whether death sentences are proportional, meaning that any one death sentence is similar to others that have also been handed down.

    O'Connor says the committee's goal is to produce a fair, impartial and balanced analysis of the state's 30-year-old law.

    http://morningjournal.com/articles/2...2020797060.txt
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

Page 8 of 14 FirstFirst ... 678910 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •