That's the title of a post this morning at the Atlantic Wire by Dashiell Bennett.
For the last several years, the state has been involved in legal battles, not over the idea of capital punishment, but the way it has been carried out. Several inmates sued over the procedures used after a botched 2009 execution when an inmate was stuck with a needle 18 times. The state has revised its method several times under accusations that it was unnecessarily painful, though a federal judge has accused the state of not following its own procedures properly. U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost halted all executions for six months last summer, but after allowing an execution in November, Frost once again criticized the officials for deviating from the procedures and ordered a halt to them until the process could be reviewed some more. However, he ruled two weeks ago that the Wiles execution could go forward.
The delay did hold up two other scheduled executions — one in January and one in February — but the gap of six months would hardly have been an unusual one. In most years during the last decade, the state has only seen three or four execution per year. However, there are now 12 prisoners with scheduled execution dates by the end of 2013 (more than any other state) showing no signs that Ohio plans to slow down the process. Two state Senators proposed a ban on the practice last month, shortly before Connecticut's became the fifth state in five years to abolish capital punishment, but the bill has not been brought to a vote.
"Ohio executes killer of teen," is Alan Johnson's post at the Columbus Dispatch on the execution of Mark Wiles this morning.
Wiles, 49, was executed at 10:42 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. It was Ohio’s first execution in five months because of a legal battle about the state’s lethal-injection procedures.
Wiles, who looked nervous and haggard after entering the death chamber, reportedly had spent a sleepless night.
As he lay on the gurney, a prison staff member removed his glasses at his request, so that he could read his last statement from a piece of paper held in front of his face.
"The love and support of my family has sustained and supported me throughout the years," he said. "I love you all.
"Since this needs to happen today, I hope my dying brings some solace and closure to the Klima family and their loved ones.
"The state of Ohio should not be in the business of killing its citizens.
"May God bless us all that fall short."
Wiles' federal public-defender attorneys issued a statement, saying he "accepted the ultimate punishment with grace and dignity." However, they said he was not the "worst of the worst" for whom Ohio's death penalty was intended.
The execution was the 47th in Ohio since capital punishment resumed in 1999.
Earlier coverage from Ohio begins at the link.
To date there have been 14 executions in the nation this year; a total of 1,291 post-Furman executions since 1977.
According to TDCJ, the next Texas execution is sceduled for April 26. Five additional executions have already been scheduled for 2012.