Ohio Death Penalty: The Time Has Come
“An Ohio Supreme Court justice who helped write the state’s death penalty law three decades ago and has more recently questioned its interpretation called Tuesday for an end to capital punishment in the state.” (SOURCE)
Justice Paul Pfeifer, the judge some call the father of Ohio’s death penalty, has come out against the State’s imposition of death. He goes on to call for Ohio governors to commute the sentence of those currently on death row to that of life without the possibility of parole. Ohio has 157 men and one woman on death row. Of those, 43 were sentenced to death before a 1996 law gave juries the option of sentencing defendants to life without the possibility of parole. Death sentences in Ohio began to drop after that law was passed, and they dropped further after a 2005 law that allowed prosecutors to seek life sentences without first pressing death penalty charges.
The time is right to reconsider the death penalty as Ohio has become the “TEXAS OF THE NORTH” as the only state to see a rise in executions in 2010. Ohio courts sentenced three men to death in 2008 and just one in 2009, before a spike in sentences last year brought the number up to seven. State public defender Tim Young agreed with Pfeifer, saying the law is applied unfairly across Ohio and the state is better served by life without parole.
- Ohio justice calls for end of death penalty (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Ohio justice calls for end of death penalty (sfgate.com)
- Ohio only state to execute more in 2010 (dispatch.com)