The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, "Proposed death penalty reforms will soon be before Ohio lawmakers, task force chairman says," by Jeremy Pelzer.
The chairman of Ohio’s death penalty task force said Monday he expects state lawmakers to promptly take up proposed reforms to the state's capital punishment system despite “hysterical” criticism from some prosecutors.
The task force’s final report, which is scheduled to be released in the next couple weeks, will likely include recommendations to limit when the death penalty could be sought and heighten the evidence requirements.
Many prosecutors and others on the task force have said the proposed changes, if implemented, would make it so hard to bring death-penalty cases that capital punishment would effectively be abolished in Ohio.
Task force chairman James Brogan, a retired Democratic appeals court judge who favors the death penalty, said in an interview that once the final report is released, he expects lawmakers will “quickly” introduce legislation to implement the recommendations.
"Death penalty system ‘broken’," is the Lima News report by William Laney.
For Joe D’Ambrosio. For Melinda Elkins-Dawson. For Charles Keith. Ohio’s administration of the death penalty is broken.
They each had the opportunity to tell their stories and Judge James A. Brogan took advantage of the chance to explain many of the 56 recommendations made by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty during a public forum Tuesday organized by Ohioans to Stop Executions.
D’Ambrosio spent 22 years on death row because the prosecutor, the police and the coroner’s office withheld exculpatory or impeachable evidence that would have proved his innocence.
“The system is broken and no matter what the task force does it is really just putting lipstick on a pig,” D’Ambrosio said. “You can’t fix something this broken. This may help, but it will not fix. It cannot fix something so messed up that they can take innocent lives and it means nothing to them. The funny thing is on the death certificate they put homicide so it is the same thing they are doing to you that they claimed you did.”
"Anti-death penalty group plans forums around Ohio," is the Associated Press report, via WBNS-TV.
The state's leading anti-death penalty group plans a series of forums to publicize the work of a Supreme Court panel that reviewed Ohio's capital punishment law.
The panel's upcoming final report includes recommendations that it says could reduce the role of race in capital punishment along with disparities in death cases by county.
Ohioans to Stop Executions planned an event Wednesday evening at the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati following a similar event Tuesday in a different part of the state.
The Newark Advocate reports, "Ohio's death penalty on trial," by Benjamin Lanka.
Whether and how Ohio sentences its worst offenders to death soon will undergo some massive public scrutiny — and if preliminary reports are any indications, the opinions of the people involved are nowhere close.
A final report from a task force, created by the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio State Bar Association to review the state’s death penalty, is expected to be released this month. A draft report released in April revealed 56 recommendations intended to make the administration of the death penalty in Ohio more just, according to the majority of the group.
“The Joint Task Force believes that the recommendations made by this report will promote fairness in capital cases for both the state and the defendant,” the draft report read.
Also from Ohio, Alan Johnson writes, "Man spared death penalty is upset Kasich didn’t free him," for the Columbus Dispatch.
Arthur Tyler has life in prison, not the executioner, staring him in the face.
But the 54-year-old inmate is clearly bitter that Gov. John Kasich didn’t order his release when Kasich commuted his death sentence to life in prison.
“He took me from going home, or possibly going home, to life without parole. And I didn’t understand that because the parole board ruled to basically free me,” Tyler said on Monday in a videotaped interview distributed to Statehouse media.
“He snatched it away,” Tyler said. “It was devastating. But it is what it is. I just have to hope I someday still have a chance to go home.”
Tyler was scheduled to be executed on May 28 for the 1983 murder of Sander Leach, a Cleveland vegetable merchant. Having exhausted all his legal appeals, Tyler’s last hope was that Kasich would use his executive clemency power to save his life — which he did.
Tyler’s hopes for freedom had been buoyed by a unanimous Ohio Parole Board recommendation that he be freed on parole, immediately or in two years. The board voted 6-5 for immediate freedom, with five members opting for release in two years.