The Ohio Parole Board on Friday rejected a request for mercy from a condemned inmate who argues he had such a bad childhood and is in such poor health that he should be spared from execution next month.
For years, the number of prisoners put to death in the United States has been in decline. That is still true, but with a wrinkle: this year will be the first since 2009 in which there were more executions than the year before.
Death row inmate Alva Campbell, once dubbed “the poster child for the death penalty” for a deadly carjacking outside the Franklin County Courthouse 20 years ago, is now too sick to be put to death, his attorneys and advocates say.
House Bill 81 would remedy what plainly is an injustice, jurors getting wrong the intent of the law. The judge would rule during a pretrial hearing on whether the evidence shows the presence of a serious mental illness. If the answer is yes, the process would move ahead without the death penalty. That is the responsible course, and why House Bill 81 deserves passage soon.