Wednesday, June 29, 2005

AP Study of Ohio's Death Penalty

The Associated Press took a long hard look at how the death penalty is applied in Ohio and made some startling discoveries.

The study began in January 2003 by examining the 2,543 death penalty indictments handed down in Ohio counties from October 1981 when the death penalty was reinstated, through 2002.

After determining the outcome of these cases, 607 we removed for reasons such as cases where the charges were dismissed, the accused was under 17 at the time of the crime and cases that were inaccurately reported as being capital cases.

Some of the facts that were uncovered may suprise you.....

Many Americans believe that the death penalty is reserved for the "worst of the worst". Those people may be shocked to learn that of the 274 people that were sentenced to death in this 21 year period, 196 of them were convicted of killing a single person. About 50% of the indictments that were handed down ended in plea bargins. 131 of these people were convicted of killing multiple victims. Two Murders;Two Paths to Justice

The budget for capital case in the county where the murder was committed also plays a big roll. Capital cases are very costly and time consuming. Many counties simply don't have the resources to try a death penalty case. Small Counties Feel Pinch From Trials

Capital cases involving a white victim were twice as likely to receive the death penalty than those in which the victim was black.
Death Row Odds Vary