From: Ohioans to Stop Executions
Sunday, July 23, 2017
STATUS REPORT: The 56 recommendations of the Supreme Court Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty as of July 21, 2017
Much is being made of the fact that Ohio plans to resume executions despite the fact that few of the 56 recommendations made in 2014 to improve the fairness and accuracy of Ohio’s death penalty have been implemented, let alone discussed by policy makers. In fact, there has never been a single legislative hearing specifically to discuss the findings of the Task Force as a whole.
Many of the recommendations of the Task Force did not require legislation, but instead were expected to be addressed as rules changes by the Ohio Judicial Conference. As of July 21, 2017, the status of that effort remains unclear.
Several of the recommendations have been addressed by the Ohio General Assembly. However, legislation implementing Task Force recommendations has thus far dealt with closing procedural gaps, bringing uniformity to attorney fees, and initiating a needs study of murder victims’ families (which has simply been window dressing to-date). Left essentially unaddressed are the much more substantial recommendations which would really make a difference to increase the fairness and accuracy/reliability of Ohio’s legal system.
Ohioans to Stop Executions has compiled a web page featuring the current status of all 56 recommendations as of July 21, 2017. View that here: https://otse.org/56-recommendations/
Regarding the Victims Families recommendation, HB 663 (“Secret Executions Bill ” passed in the lame duck session of 2014) resulted in the appointment of a joint committee of the 2015-16 General Assembly which held a few hearings and produced nothing. See https://archive.otse.org/homicide-survivors-ignored-study-victims-needs/
A national newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, put this all into context in an opinion piece released on Friday, July 21, 2017: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-ohio-death-penalty-kasich-moratorium-20170721-story.html
ALSO, Ohioans to Stop Executions wanted to be sure you have seen the more recent of the steady flow of op-eds featuring unusual voices of experience on the death penalty:
Published Thursday (7/20/17) – Conservative (Kasich supporter) Evangelical Pastor Carl Ruby, on his transition to opposing executions, in the Akron Beacon-Journal: http://www.ohio.com/editorial/pastor-carl-ruby-be-better-ohio-halt-executions-1.781559 [Read a piece more focused on Pastor Carl Ruby’s theological considerations here(published in June).]
Published Friday (7/21/17) – Former Ohio Attorneys General Jim Petro & Lee Fisher in the Plain Dealer: http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/07/gov_john_kasich_should_step_in.html
Published Friday (7/21/17) – Linda Collins, wife of deceased Director of the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Terry Collins, on the toll of executions on corrections workers, via WCPO: http://www.wcpo.com/news/opinion/op-ed-my-husband-supervised-ohio-executions-for-5-years-it-changed-his-life
Published Saturday (7/22/17) – Murder victim family member LaShawn Ajamu, on how executions fail to meet the needs of ALL of Ohio’s murder victim families, in the Toledo Blade: http://www.toledoblade.com/Op-Ed-Columns/2017/07/22/Victims-families-in-Ohio-need-resources-not-executions.html
More is at https://otse.org/news/