Execution Moratorium Soon To Expire; A Site Especially For Political Junkies

Executions in Ohio were temporarily halted in May, when US District Judge Gregory Frost ordered a moratorium till August 15 so attorneys for those challenging the death penalty have time to prepare for arguments about the new way the state wants to execute killers. This makes a report issued by the state’s death penalty task force this spring especially timely. The panel brought forward 56 recommendations. But four prosecutors presented to the court a minority report. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien talks about their dissenting report.

There were opponents of the state’s death penalty on the task force as well - for instance, attorney Jon Paul Rion, the Dayton attorney representing the family of Dennis McGuire, who are suing the state over McGuire’s January execution. Rion is on the board of Ohioans to Stop Executions. Kevin Werner is that organization’s executive director, and he has some thoughts on the death penalty task force report as well.

While reporters often joke that we went into this profession because we’re terrible with math, we need to know a lot more about numbers, percentages and statistics than many other non-journalists. Election years are an excellent example of how important numbers are to political reporting, and there’s now a website that shows that in very careful detail. The site ohioelectionresults.com was set up by longtime Republican political strategist and consultant Mike Dawson, former press secretary to Gov. George Voinovich and a top aide to former US Sen. Mike DeWine.

And that’s it for this week. For my colleagues at Ohio Public Radio and Television, thanks for watching. If you’d like to ask questions, make comments, or watch this week’s show or earlier episodes, please visit our website at statenews.org, or watch on the Ohio Channel’s website or at ideastream.org/ohio. And you can follow Jo Ingles, Andy Chow and me on Twitter. And please join us again next time for “The State of Ohio”.

We close this week with images and sounds from the opening day of the 160th Ohio State Fair in Columbus. The fair runs through August 3.

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