Capital punishment in Ohio
Capital punishment in Ohio is legal. Since 1885, a total of 390 individuals have been executed in the U.S. state of Ohio. A total of 139 people are currently under a sentence of death in the state as of November 1, 2013[update] (one woman and 138 men). The current method of execution in Ohio is lethal injection.
The jury does decide the sentence in capital cases. Jurors can vote for the death penalty, life without parole, or life with a 30 years or 25 years non-parole period. Clemency rests with the governor of Ohio, who receives a non-binding report from the Ohio Parole Board.
Locations and method
Executions in Ohio are currently performed at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Since January 2012, death row for the majority of male inmates is located at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution (CCI) in Chillicothe. A few high security male death row inmates are held at the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) in Youngstown. Condemned female inmates are housed at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville and death row inmates with serious medical conditions are held at the Franklin Medical Center in Columbus. Prior to this, most male death row inmates were held at OSP with a few being held at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield. The move to CCI allows the units at OSP and Mansfield to be used to separate violent inmates from the general population and will provide increased security and reduce transportation costs to both the execution chamber at SOCF and to the Franklin Medical Center for inmate medical treatment.
In 1885, the legislature enacted a law that required executions to be carried out at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus by hanging. In 1897 the gallows were replaced by the electric chair, which was considered to be a more technologically advanced and humane method of execution. Ohio also became the second state to use the electric chair. 28 hangings, and 315 electrocutions were carried out at the now defunct Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus from 1885 to 1963.
In November 2009, Ohio announced that it would only use a single drug for lethal injections, consisting of a single dose of Sodium thiopental, the first state to do so. The first single drug execution was that of Kenneth Biros, 51, on Tuesday, December 8, 2009. Biros was convicted of murdering 22-year-old Tami Engstrom near Masury, Ohio in 1991. Biros' counsel indicated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that Biros' execution, given that it is the first of its kind, may amount to "human experimentation." Various appeals for clemency were ultimately denied. Ohio announced in January 2011 that it will change the drug used from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital, as the availability of sodium thiopental has become quite scarce. The first execution using pentobarbital, was that of Johnnie Baston, on March 10, 2011.
Aggravated murder with at least one of the following special circumstances:
- The defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death for one or more persons in addition to the victim of the offense.
- The murder was committed for pecuniary gain or pursuant to an agreement that the defendant would receive something of value.
- The capital offense was committed by a person who is incarcerated, has escaped, is on probation, is in jail, or is under a sentence of imprisonment.
- The offender in the commission of the offense, purposefully caused the death of another who was under thirteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense and the defendant committed the offense with prior calculation and design.
- The offense was the assassination of the president of the United States or person in line of succession to the presidency, or of the governor or lieutenant governor of this state, or of the president-elect or vice president-elect of the United States, or of the governor-elect of this state, or of a candidate for any of the foregoing offices.
- The murder was committed against a witness in a criminal proceeding to prevent the witness from appearing, or for revenge.
- The offense was committed while the offender was committing, attempting to commit, or fleeing immediately after committing or attempting to commit terrorism.
List of individuals executed since 1976
All of the following individuals have been executed for murder since the Furman decision. All 52 were executed by lethal injection. Notable persons executed in Ohio before the Furman decision include Anna Marie Hahn.
|Name||Date of Execution||Victim||Governor|
|1||Wilford Berry, Jr.||February 19, 1999||Charles Mitroff||Bob Taft|
|2||Jay D. Scott||June 14, 2001||Vinnie M. Price|
|3||John William Byrd, Jr.||February 19, 2002||Monte Tewksbury|
|4||Alton Coleman||April 26, 2002||Tonnie Storey
Marlene Walters (sentenced to death in Indiana and Illinois)
|5||Robert Anthony Buell||September 24, 2002||Krista Harrison|
|6||Richard Edwin Fox||February 12, 2003||Leslie Renae Keckler|
|7||David M. Brewer||April 29, 2003||Sherry Byrne|
|8||Ernest Martin||June 18, 2003||Robert Robinson|
|9||Lewis Williams, Jr.||January 14, 2004||Leoma Chmielewski|
|10||John Glenn Roe||February 3, 2004||Donette Crawford|
|11||William Dean Wickline||March 30, 2004||Peggy Lerch
|12||William G. Zuern, Jr.||June 8, 2004||Hamilton County Deputy Sheriff Phillip Pence|
|13||Stephen Allan Vrabel||July 14, 2004||Susan Clemente
|14||Scott Andrew Mink||July 20, 2004||William Mink
|15||Adremy Dennis||October 13, 2004||Kurt Kyle|
|16||William Smith||March 8, 2005||Mary Bradford|
|17||Herman Dale Ashworth||September 27, 2005||Daniel L. Baker|
|18||William James "Flip" Williams, Jr.||October 25, 2005||William Dent
Alfonda R. Madison, Sr.
Eric Howard and Theodore Wynn, Jr.
|19||John R. Hicks||November 29, 2005||Brandy Green|
|20||Glenn Lee Benner II||February 7, 2006||Trina Bowser
|21||Joseph Lewis Clark||May 2, 2006||David A. Manning
Donald B. Harris
|22||Rocky Barton||July 12, 2006||Kimbirli Jo Barton|
|23||Darrell Ferguson||August 8, 2006||Thomas King
|24||Jeffrey Lundgren||October 24, 2006||Dennis Avery
|25||James Filiaggi||April 24, 2007||Lisa Huff Filiaggi||Ted Strickland|
|26||Christopher Newton||May 24, 2007||Jason Brewer|
|27||Richard Cooey||October 14, 2008||Wendy Offredo
|28||Gregory Bryant-Bey||November 19, 2008||Dale Pinkelman
|29||Daniel Wilson||June 3, 2009||Carol Lutz|
|30||John Fautenberry||July 14, 2009||Joseph Daron Jr.
|31||Marvallous Keene||July 21, 2009||Sarah Abraham
|32||Jason Getsy||August 18, 2009||Ann Serafino|
|33||Kenneth Biros||December 8, 2009||Tami Engstrom|
|34||Vernon Smith||January 7, 2010||Sohail Darwish|
|35||Mark Brown||February 4, 2010||Hayder Al-Turk
|36||Lawrence Reynolds||March 16, 2010||Loretta Foster|
|37||Darryl Durr||April 20, 2010||Angel Vincent|
|38||Michael Beuke||May 13, 2010||Robert Craig|
|39||William Garner||July 13, 2010||Deondra Freeman
|40||Roderick Davie||August 10, 2010||John Ira Coleman
|41||Michael Benge||October 6, 2010||Judith Gabbard|
|42||Frank Spisak||February 17, 2011||Rev. Horace Rickerson
|43||Johnnie Baston||March 10, 2011||Chong-Hoon Mah|
|44||Clarence Carter||April 12, 2011||Johnny Allen|
|45||Daniel Lee Bedford||May 17, 2011||Gwen Toepfert
|46||Reginald Brooks Sr.||November 15, 2011||Reginald Brooks Jr.
|47||Mark Wayne Wiles||April 18, 2012||Mark Klima|
|48||Donald Palmer||September 20, 2012||Charles Sponhaltz
|49||Brett Hartman||November 13, 2012||Winda Snipes|
|50||Frederick Treesh||March 6, 2013||Henry Dupree|
|51||Steven Smith||May 1, 2013||Autumn Carter|
|52||Harry Mitts Jr.||September 25, 2013||John Bryant
Sgt. Dennis Glivar Garfield Heights, Ohio police
The demographic information on the 34 inmates executed in Ohio between February 19, 1999, and January 7, 2010, is as follows:
- Mean Age at Time of Execution: 44 years, 1.9 months
- Mean Time from Death Sentence to Execution: 14 years, 6 months
- Median Time from Death Sentence to Execution: 15 years, 11 months
- Ohio death row inmates
- Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
- Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
- Death Row move to Chillicothe frees up cells | The Columbus Dispatch
- Killer executed for 1994 Toledo murder | The Columbus Dispatch
These links are to official State of Ohio records regarding executions in the state and Ohio administrative rules and statutes pertaining to capital punishment in Ohio
- Death House tour on YouTube
- Ohio execution chamber
- Ohio Executions 1999 to Present from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
- Capital Crimes 2005 Annual Report from the Ohio Attorney General's Office (issued April 1, 2006)
- Ohio Administrative Code 5120-9-12 Department of Rehabilitation and Correction -- Institutional rules: death row
- Ohio Revised Code § 2903.01 Aggravated murder
- Ohio Revised Code §§ 2949.21-2949.31 Death Sentence
- Ohio Revised Code § 2929.02 Penalties for murder
- All Ohio death row inmates
- Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Location of execution chamber).
- Ohio State Penitentiary (Location of death row for male inmates)
- Ohio Reformatory for Women (Location of death row for female inmates)