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Ohio Restarts Executions

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AP reports:

Ohio on Wednesday executed a man for fatally stabbing the 15-year-old son of his former employers during a 1985 farmhouse burglary, marking the state's first execution in six months.

Forty-nine-year-old Mark Wiles died by lethal injection at 10:42 a.m., ending an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty that occurred while the state and a federal judge wrangled over Ohio's lethal injection procedures. It was the 47th execution since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999.

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"Finally, the state of Ohio should not be in the business of killing its citizens," Wiles concluded, reading a statement that the warden held over his head. "May God bless us all that fall short."

Wiles' stomach rose and fell several times and his head moved slightly, then his mouth fell open and he lay still for several minutes before he was pronounced dead.

John Craig, a cousin of Wiles' victim Mark Klima and a witness of the execution, appeared briefly before reporters to respond to Wiles' last words.

"It's my opinion that Mark Wiles gave up his citizenship to Ohio when he murdered my cousin and became an inmate, more or less a condemned man," Craig said.

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Before the execution, [prisons director Gary] Mohr said he was "absolutely confident" in the state's ability to carry out the procedure properly.

"We have more documentation on this than anything in my 38 years that I've been in this business," Mohr said. "It's the most documented execution in the United States of America."

Worst Headline of the Day Award goes to London's Daily Mail for their story on this execution: "Man who brutally killed boy during 1984 burglary becomes first person to be executed in Ohio in 6 months after ordering pepperoni pizza for last meal".

3 Comments

While Ohio was able to carry out final justice, a volunteer execution was stayed in Delaware because, get this, the federal judge didn't have enough time. Outrageous.

Hopefully that stay will be lifted before Friday.

Congress really needs to investigate how federal public defenders are spending government funds. Civil actions and petitions filed over the objection of the inmate are not what these offices are funded for.

I doubt that the stay will be lifted. The voluminous filing was made six days before the scheduled execution, and the judge declared himself unable to plow through all the materials. Of course, the judge doesn't appear to have considered the problem with the last-minute filing.

I agree with your point about what these FPDs get to do. However, any legislation needs to be carefully drafed, given the caselaw out there about restricting what attorneys can do for a client (an issue absent here). I would prefer to see federal court jurisdiction withdrawn completely with respect to competence, method of execution and mental retardation.

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