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.
The July 26 execution of Akron child killer Ronald Phillips was the first to take place in the state in more than three years. Prior to his execution, American Bar Association President Linda A. Klein issued a statement urging Gov. John Kasich to delay resuming executions until all the reforms recommended in the ABA’s 2007 Ohio Death Penalty Assessment Report had been implemented.
A panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Raymond Tibbetts’s petition to challenge his convictions was barred because it is considered “second or successive.” Such petitions are not allowed except under limited circumstances, and the panel’s majority ruled that Tibbetts did not overcome that threshold.
Two WCPO.com readers responded to an op-ed on the death penalty in Ohio by sharing their opinions. The original column was written by Linda Collins, the widow of Terry Collins, who was director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and oversaw executions, from 2006 to 2010.