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Ohio Executed a Serial Killer this morning. This is the 2nd serial killer executed in Ohio in the past week.  Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch reports that Marvallous Keene, sentenced to die for a 1992 killing spree that resulted in five deaths, was executed by lethal injection while seven witnesses for the victims watched.  Last Tuesday, John Fautenberry was also executed for the murders of five people.  A recent procedural change ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court will require future executions in the state to be no closer than three weeks apart. 

Suspects Want to Plead Guilty to Avoid DP:  Two parolees, scheduled to be tried in January for the 2007 home-invasion robbery and murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her 17 and 11 year-old daughters, want to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences to avoid the death penalty, as reported in this AP story by John Christoffersen.  Prosecutors, who have refused to agree to the deal, are being criticized by defense attorneys for costing taxpayers millions for the trial and appeals, and exposing the jurors to post-traumatic stress syndrome after hearing the details of the crime.  According to a story by WFSB Eyewitness News, the criminal records of both Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, who had multiple priors for burglary and larceny crimes, made them appropriate candidates for supervised parole in the community. Both men are facing capital felony and charges of felony murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and arson in connection with the killings. Hawke-Petit was sexually assaulted and strangled to death.  Her 11-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted before both girls were left bound in their beds as the house was doused with gasoline and set fire. Both died of smoke inhalation. The husband and father, Dr. William Petit, was beaten unconscious during the invasion but survived. 

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The temerity of defense counsel is stunning. Of course, if their defendants are so concerned about the jurors and the cost to taxpayers, they could simply plead guilty, take what the jury gives them and forego appeals.

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