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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Ohio Parole board: No clemency for death row inmate

Ray Tibbetts
Ray Tibbetts
The execution of a 59-year-old man who killed his wife and the elderly man she cared for now may go forward after Ohio's parole board recommended Friday that Gov. John Kasich deny clemency.

Ray Tibbetts, 59, is scheduled to be executed on July 26.

The constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process, however, is still being considered in federal court. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reviewing a judge's order that found Ohio's execution procedures unconstitutional. 

Kasich's office has said it believes its appeal will be successful, allowing the state to move forward with the first executions since 2014 – when a man suffered during an execution.

Tibbetts is on death row for the 1997 killings of his wife, Judith Sue Crawford, and 67-year-old Fred Hicks in an Over-the-Rhine home. 

Prosecutors said Hicks, who used an oxygen tank to breathe, may have been asleep when Tibbetts stabbed him multiple times. Three knives and a blade broken from a knife handle were left in Hicks' body.

In voting 11-1 to recommend that clemency be denied, the parole board's report called the killing of Hicks "particularly senseless and gratuitous."

During his more than six years as governor, Kasich has commuted the sentences of five death row inmates to life in prison without parole. 

He has allowed 12 executions to go forward.

Source: cincinnati.com, March 10, 2017

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