Justice System

State’s Witness in Favor of Execution Protocols Steps Down

The expert witness who testified on behalf of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) will no longer be defending problematic drug protocols used in executions. A press release in April by ODRC implied the witness, Dr. Mark Dershwitz, played a role in developing the State’s current protocol. Because the American Board of Anesthesiology […]

Medical Expert: McGuire’s Execution Certainly “Not Humane”

Following the execution of Dennis McGuire in January, the children of Mr. McGuire filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio alleging that their father was tortured during the administering of the death penalty. While prison officials claimed “the process worked very well,” an expert witness is now stepping forward with troubling revelations. Dr. Kent […]

DNA Evidence Clears Akron Man

The number of exonerated American prisoners is unknown, but data gathered by law schools indicates that it’s more than 2,000. Fascinating details surrounding some of these exonerations set them apart from the rest. Here is one recent exoneration that made headlines. In 1997, former Akron, Ohio, police captain Douglas Prade was convicted and sentenced to life […]

Scores of Cleveland Police Suspended for November Shooting Deaths

Cleveland officials will suspend sixty-three police officers for their roles in a November chase that left two unarmed suspects dead in a storm of police gunfire. The officers are not among the thirteen who on November 29 fired 137 rounds at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams near an East Cleveland middle school. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said […]

Castro Neighbor Charged with Murders, Rapes

On Friday, the FBI announced the arrest of a Cleveland man for the murders of two women in the 1990s. Elias Acevedo, who lived on the same block as convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro, was charged late on Thursday for kidnapping, rape, and murder. Authorities became aware of Acevedo following increased scrutiny of missing persons cases […]

Judge Bans Protesters from Columbus Church

On Wednesday, a Franklin County judge has ruled that members of a national conservative Christian group cannot protest in the land in front of one of the region’s largest churches. Common Pleas Judge Charles Schneider wrote that Minutemen United protesters were trespassing when they held demonstrations in front of Vineyard Columbus. The protesting group argued […]

Steubenville Schools Employee Charged in Relation to Rape Case

A Steubenville school district employee was indicted by a grand jury impaneled months ago to investigate more crimes related to the rape of a sixteen-year-old girl last year. An information technology employee, William Rhinaman, is charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business, and perjury. Rhinaman was arrested Monday. In March, two teen […]

Faith Communities Come Together to End Death Penalty

A “major initiative” is in the works to unite religious organizations to abolish executions in Ohio. Kevin Werner, executive director of Ohioans to Stop Executions, announced, “What you’re going to see is a lively and invigorated campaign from the faith communities in Ohio to repeal the death penalty.” “When we’re looking across the region, Ohio […]

Editorial Board Roundtable: Executing prisoners after running out of pentobarbital

The below is from the Editorial Board of Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. The state of Ohio used up its last viable dose of the execution drug pentobarbital Wednesday in putting to death Garfield Heights killer Harry Mitts Jr. The European supplier will no longer sell the sedative to corrections departments because of its opposition to the death penalty. So […]

Task Force: Exclude Severely Mentally Ill from Death Penalty

People with severe mental illness who commit murder should be excluded from the death penalty, a state task force recommended. The panel will urge the General Assembly to pass a law preventing a death sentence from being handed down on someone with a diagnosable severe mental illness when he commits the crime. The Joint Task […]