Ohio's governor granted temporary reprieves to two death row inmates just hours after a federal appeals court blocked the execution of one of them -- adding to the mounting confusion over the state's capital punishment system.
Earlier Monday, the state's attorney general's office asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Thursday's execution of Lawrence Reynolds Jr. to go forward as scheduled.
However, Gov. Ted Strickland announced he would delay Reynolds's execution until March, at the earliest. Another death row inmate, Darryl Durr, scheduled to be executed in coming weeks, also was granted a reprieve until at least April 2010.
The conflicting moves came after the botched execution attempt of Romell Broom last month, which raised serious questions about the state's lethal injection procedures."Additional time is needed to fully conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of an alternative or backup lethal injection protocol that is in accordance with Ohio law," Strickland said in his announcement.
That is complicated but at least the governor is showing some good sense. I guess no one's surprised that the State's Attorney General is trying to get executions carried out against Governor Strickland's wishes.
What do you think is the problem with the "lethal injection protocol?" I've never understood this one. I'd bet any street junkie could devise a system that works every time. Why can't the states?
Perhaps we need to add botched executions to the list of reasons to oppose capital punishment. The other major reasons seem to be the possibility of executing an innocent person, the exorbitant cost and the racial disparity.
For me the main reason has always been a desire to avoid the moral contradiction of telling the people "do not kill," and then killing them if they do. That's pre-meditated murder by the government.
Another thing that occurred to me is that Governor Strickland may be trying to move Ohio into the confederacy of enlightened states, states like New Jersey and California to name just two, places where the death penalty has been abolished either de jure or de facto. Then you have guys like the Attorney General who want to keep Ohio in that other group headed up by Texas. You know the one, it's got Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and many others.
What's your opinion? Is Ohio progressing towards a better future? Would abolishing the death penalty be part of that progression?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.