From: Marion Star
BY DAN HORN • The Cinncinati Enquirer • December 24, 2010
MARION — Ohio executed more inmates in 2010 than in any year since the state returned to capital punishment almost three decades ago, and four death penalty cases are pending in Marion County courts.
The state’s eight executions ranked Ohio second in the nation – behind only the 17 carried out in Texas – and bucked a trend that has seen the number of executions in the United States fall by about 60 percent since the 1990s.
State officials say the resolution of court cases that had held up many executions in Ohio is the main reason the numbers increased this year. Those cases, which challenged lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment, delayed several cases and led to a temporary execution moratorium.
With most of those cases resolved, Ohio’s executions occurred at a faster pace than usual in 2010.
“Those cases have finally run their course through the courts, so they can start scheduling those execution dates,” said Brian Niceswanger, a Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman.
Ohio, which executed five people last year, was the only state to see an increase this year. The jump pushed the state ahead of Alabama for the second most executions in the nation.
Texas once again was the leader by a wide margin, but executions there fell from 24 to 17.
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