Death sentences decrease in Ohio


Reflecting a national trend, capital punishment appears to losing support in Ohio, according to a report released Monday by state officials.

A lawsuit challenging the lethal injection as cruel and inhumane punishment has been filed by 10 death row inmates in Ohio, where 24 people have been executed in the last eight years and four were sentenced to die last year. Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck told the Columbus Dispatch that DNA exonerations have led to questions nationwide about the death penalty.

Scheck … said the number of death verdicts nationwide dropped dramatically in recent years. His 20-year-old group is poised to record its 200th exoneration through DNA testing. Six have been in Ohio.

"That's in no small measure because the general public, through these DNA exonerations, is questioning the death penalty," Scheck said.

Officials in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and other states are debating capital punishment, as much from a public-policy standard as a moral issue, Scheck said.

Read the full story

. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/3/07)

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