Saturday, 27 January 2007

Strickland interview on death penalty to be in Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer

Strickland interview on death penalty to be in Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer:

This preview article by Jon Craig, posted to the Enquirer website today, has some excerpts from the interview.

From today's article:
Gov. Ted Strickland says he’ll be deliberate but decisive, sensitive but not soft while reviewing death penalty cases.

In an interview with the Enquirer, Strickland called capital punishment “probably the toughest” issue he faces as governor, “certainly among the toughest.”

Read more in Sunday's Enquirer.

On his 12th day in office this month, Strickland granted temporary reprieves to three convicted killers, delaying their executions for further review. But he said he’s not considering a moratorium on executions.

“One of the reasons that I wanted this delay was that I have very, very superficial knowledge of any of these cases,’’ he said. “I really don’t want my action here to be misinterpreted. These are life and death situations and it’s not something that I felt that I could adequately make a decision about in a compressed period of time.’’

Strickland said his legal counsel and legal staff reviews all documents in the cases and conducts interviews of victims’ families and inmates wherever appropriate. The governor considers their reports as well as the recommendation from the Ohio Parole Board, which is required to hold a clemency hearing on every case.

Prosecutors and families of several murder victims criticized Strickland, while death penalty opponents and defense attorneys praised his cautious approach.
As a former prison psychologist, hired under contract at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville from 1985 until his election to Congress in 1992, Strickland said he occasionally evaluated Death Row inmates.

Strickland said he has “serious questions” about capital punishment in general, from a killer’s ability to hire adequate lawyers to built-in biases against minorities or others who can’t afford competent legal counsel or access to DNA testing.
Also, there are probably situations where there are differences in the intensity of prosecutions depending on the county involved as well as public sentiment in various communities, Strickland said.

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