State ex­e­cutes 8 peo­ple in 2010

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL - By Dan Horn The Cincin­nati En­quirer

Ohio ex­e­cuted more in­mates in 2010 than in any year since the state re­turned to cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment al­most three decades ago.

The state’s eight ex­e­cu­tions ranked Ohio sec­ond in the nation — be­hind only the 17 car­ried out in Texas — and bucked a trend that has seen the num­ber of ex­e­cu­tions in the United States fall by about 60 per­cent since the 1990s.

State of­fi­cials say the res­o­lu­tion of court cases that had held up many ex­e­cu­tions in Ohio is the main rea­son the num­bers in­creased this year. Those cases, which chal­lenged lethal in­jec­tion as cruel and un­usual pun­ish­ment, de­layed sev­eral cases and led to a tem­po­rary ex­e­cu­tion mora­to­rium.

With most of those cases re­solved, Ohio’s ex­e­cu­tions oc­curred at a faster pace than usual in 2010.

“Those cases have fi­nally run their course through the courts, so they can start sched­ul­ing those ex­e­cu­tion dates,” said Brian Niceswange­r, a Ohio Depart­ment of Rehabilita­tion and Correction spokesman.

Hamil­ton County Pros­e­cu­tor Joe De­ters said many con­victs now ap­proach­ing their ex­e­cu­tion dates have waited years be­cause Ohio re­quires a long ap­peals process. He also said fed­eral judges too of­ten de­lay cases be­cause they philo­soph­i­cally op­pose the death penalty.

Ohio, which ex­e­cuted five peo­ple last year, was one of the few states to see an in­crease this year. The jump pushed the state ahead of Alabama for the sec­ond most ex­e­cu­tions in the nation.

Texas once again was the leader by a wide mar­gin, but ex­e­cu­tions there fell from 24 to 17.

The Death Penalty In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, a non­profit group crit­i­cal of the death penalty, com­piled the an­nual rank­ings and found that ex­e­cu­tions over­all are fall­ing. The num­ber of ex­e­cu­tions na­tion­wide fell from 52 to 46 from 2009 to this year.

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