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Cuyahoga Prosecutor Uses Death Penalty as Negotiating Tactic

Map of death penalty

Map of death penalty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within days of a drug-related slaying in suburban Cleveland, six men were indicted on charges that carried the possibility of a death sentence. Six months later, all pleaded to lesser charges.

In short, the men went from facing death to prison sentences typical for thieves.

“It probably was a negotiating tool,” said defense attorney Reuben Sheperd, who represented defendant Alex Ford. “You’ll be more motivated than you were in other circumstances.”

Such scenarios are typical in Cuyahoga County, where prosecutor Bill Mason pursues dozens of offenders on capital charges each year at added cost to taxpayers and at the risk of some defendants ending up on death row for charges that would be minor elsewhere, according to an analysis of records by The Associated Press.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Death-as-bargaining-chip-Ohio-prosecutor-slammed-3563186.php#ixzz1v5Xs2pfy

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