Thursday, February 09, 2012

Supreme Court turns down Ohio execution case

The Associated Press this morning writes that of the U.S. Supreme Court’s yesterday “adding another wrinkle to Ohio’s debate over how strictly the state’s lethal injection procedures should be followed, by without comment refusing to allow the execution of a condemned killer of an elderly couple to proceed -- that execution delayed by the Ohio Southern District Court last month over concerns that the state continues to deviate too often from its written rules for executions by lethal injection.” ( Court’s order )

The case here in point was that of Charles Lorraine, whose January 18th. execution was stayed by Southern District Judge Gregory Frost a week before that set execution. The Sixth Circuit upheld the stay two days latter, commenting that it “agreed with the district court that the State should do what it agreed to do: in other words it should adhere to the execution protocol it adopted. As the district court found, whether slight or significant deviations from the protocol occur, the State’s ongoing conduct requires the federal courts to monitor every execution on an ad hoc basis, because the State cannot be trusted to fulfill its otherwise lawful duty to execute inmates sentenced to death.”

Later that month, the Columbus Dispatch reported that “without objection from Attorney General Mike DeWine U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost halted the execution of Michael Webb, scheduled for Feb. 22, also allowing Webb to join other death-penalty defendants in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s lethal-injection protocol. ( Order )

Then, last week, finding that even though Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters had made mistakes and improper comments during his trial, a 3-judge Sixth Circuit panel on Feb. 2, said “evidence in the case that Jeffrey Wogenstahl abducted, beat and stabbed to death 10-year-old Amber Garrett in 1991 was so overwhelming that the prosecutors’ actions did not change the outcome of the trial. ( Article and Decision Here )

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