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Ohio's Death Penalty has been the subject of a recent report by an ABA committee (cited here on 10/1), which surprised no one by calling for a moratorium. On September 30, the Cincinnati Enquirer published an OpEd piece by Ann Marie Tracey, law professor at Xavier University and former state judge, who agrees with the committee's report. One of her problems with the current process is that potential jurors in capital cases who refuse to vote for a death sentence are dismissed. This past Sunday the Enquirer printed an OpEd by Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters which responds to the report and Professor Tracey.

Lethal Injection: Since the Supreme Court has selected Baze v. Rees for review this fall, Death Penalty opponents have been amplifying their claims about the excruciating pain caused by the three-drug cocktail used to euthanize condemned murderers. One popular claim is that prisoners in the United States are executed by means that the American Veterinary Medical Association regards as too cruel to use on dogs and cats. This is not true but it plays well. A story by reporter John Moritz in the Fort Worth Star Telegram discusses how opponents have concocted this fiction.

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Someone needs to tell this to Justice Stevens, who mentioned this canard at oral argument in Hill v. McDonough. Judge Sutton demolished the canard in the Sixth Circuit's decision in Cooey.

Stevens is probably to busy lamenting the death of Adm. Yamamoto and reminiscing about when Americans could safely speed down two-lane highways.

As for the professor, she just shows herself to be a committed ideologue, rather than what we should have as law professors. Since when does society have to seat jurors who state who basically state that they do not have to follow the law? I think the "death is different" meme that we hear leads to some pretty fuzzy thinking.

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