A Criminal Enterprise

Chris Geidner: “The Machinery of Death: What Happened Today in Ohio”

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert Smith on October 6, 2009

Thank you to Chris Geidner at Law Dork for permission to repost his insightful piece on today’s events in Ohio:

The Machinery of Death: What Happened Today in Ohio

Today was a complicated day for Ohio.  Specifically, it was a complicated day for those officeholders responsible for implementing and judging Ohio’s death penalty process — and for those seeking an insight into the future of Ohio’s death penalty.

In recent months, Governor Ted Strickland (D) has overruled his Parole Board’s recommendation to grant clemency to Jason Getsy, who was executed on Aug. 18, and finally put a stop to the attempted execution of Romell Broom on Sept. 15 after the execution team failed over a two-hour period to access a vein to inject him with the lethal drugs.  The botched attempt at executing Broom led the editorial board ofThe New York Times to state that “every state should use this shameful moment to question whether they ought to be putting people to death at all.”

And today did begin with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issuing a stay of the scheduled execution of Lawrence Reynolds, yet another Ohio Death Row inmate.

The 2-1 panel opinion from the Sixth Circuit would have put a halt to the October 8 execution of Reynolds.  Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D), however, took quick action to attempt to keep the execution on schedule by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the stay.  Before the Supreme Court could take action on the request, though, Strickland granted a reprieve that put off the execution for several months — but did nothing to answer the current questions surrounding Ohio’s implementation of the death penalty.

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