Thursday, May 20, 2010
Dayton Ohio-area Judge Removes Self From Capital Case Because the Death Penalty is Morally Indefensible
Wagner noted that the American Law Institute, which developed the model penal code used across the country in death penalty statutes, including Ohio, withdrew that code in October. The original version was written in 1962, and the model code was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as a way to 'avoid the unconstitutional, unfettered discretion found in the implementation of capital punishment,' Wagner wrote.
Now, the ALI, a group of lawyers, judges and legal scholars, say they cannot devise a standard that would remove the arbitrary nature of capital punishment. 'Further, believing it impossible, they have given up on even finding a standard that will work.'
Wagner noted other concerns, including that, as of 2008, 62 percent of death row inmates had killed a white victim, while only 32 percent had killed a black person. He also wrote that, since 1973, 139 defendants nationwide have been released from death row after evidence showed they were actually innocent. Five of those were in Ohio, and another seven Ohio inmates were removed from death row after they were found to be mentally retarded, Wagner wrote."
Judge Wagner sounds like he should be a contributing writer at Bad Lawyer. At the link you can see Judge Wagner's official profile from the Montgomery Common Pleas Court website.