The Final Report & Recommendations and the Dissenting Report of the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio's Death Penalty are available at the links.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, "Supreme Court task force's final report proposes major reforms to Ohio's death-penalty system," by Jeremy Pelzer.
An Ohio Supreme Court task force has recommended sweeping changes to the state's capital punishment system in its long-awaited final report, released Wednesday.
The task force's 56 recommendations, which state policymakers likely won't act upon in the near future, include creating a panel under the Ohio attorney general that would have to approve death penalty charges before cases proceed, paying particular attention to racial factors.
The final report also called for eliminating the death penalty when the defendant suffers from "serious mental illness," as well as in cases of kidnapping, rape, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary.
It further recommended only allowing the death penalty in cases where the crime is proved via DNA evidence, a filmed confession, or other video footage.
Task force chairman James Brogan, a retired appeals court judge, said in a statement that the reforms, if implemented, "will improve the administration of capital punishment in Ohio."
"Death penalty task force calls for reforms," is by Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch.
The Ohio Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force wrapped up two years of work today, submitting a final report with 56 recommendations, including banning execution of the mentally ill, creating a statewide capital-litigation fund, requiring DNA or video evidence for a capital-murder conviction and reserving capital punishment for the “worst of the worst.”
Retired Judge James Brogan said in an accompanying letter that the 22-member task force was specifically instructed not to consider “the appropriateness of the death penalty as a punishment in Ohio.”
In a dissenting report, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, and Stephen Schumaker of Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, said the majority recommendations would “tie the death penalty system up in knots.”
"Death Penalty Task Force Releases Final Report," is by Chris Davey of Court News Ohio, via WOUB-FM.
A panel of 22 judges, lawyers, and policymakers that studied the death penalty in Ohio for more than two years today released its final report and recommendations designed to improve the system.
The report will now be reviewed by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and by the president of the Ohio State Bar Association and is being made available to the members of the Ohio General Assembly and interested parties. A copy of the report can be downloaded online.
The Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty was appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and former Ohio State Bar Association President Carol Seubert Marx in September 2011 to review a 2007 report by the American Bar Association that had identified systemic problems with the administration of the death penalty in Ohio.
The appropriateness of the death penalty as a punishment in Ohio was never considered by the Joint Task Force.
Earlier coverage of the Ohio task force begins at the link.