A Cuyahoga County appeals court heard arguments Monday that Otte should be allowed to challenge his execution as unconstitutional because of his age at the time of the crime.
Ohio is preparing to put a condemned killer of two people to death this week as the inmate awaits word on last-minute appeals. The state plans to execute the 45-year-old Otte on Wednesday with a lethal combination of three drugs. A federal court is considering Otte’s argument that the first drug in the process creates an unconstitutional risk of severe harm.
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected the request of a condemned killer to delay next week’s execution while he pursues an appeal. Death row inmate Gary Otte wants the death penalty declared unconstitutional in his case because he was under 21 at the time of the crime. The court denied Otte’s request for a delay Thursday.
Gov. John R. Kasich has denied a request for executive clemency from Gary Otte who was convicted in Cuyahoga County for the 1992 robbery and murder of 61 year-old Robert Wasikowski and 45 year-old Sharon Kostura at their respective apartments in Parma, OH.
Attorneys for death row inmate Gary Otte argue the state hasn’t shown it can ensure inmates are rendered deeply unconscious during lethal injection.
Of the 26 Ohio men set to be executed in the next three years, a review by Harvard Law’s Fair Punishment Project shows almost two thirds suffered serious childhood trauma. Nearly a quarter are likely severely mentally ill and 42 percent have other impairments such as brain injuries.
Forty-eight-year-old Keith LaMar’s latest legal push plays off the court’s ruling last year finding Florida’s death penalty scheme unconstitutional, saying it gave judges too much power and juries not enough to decide capital cases.
In federal court, Otte’s attorneys argue that the state hasn’t shown it can ensure inmates are rendered so deeply unconscious during lethal injection that they won’t suffer serious pain.