Ohio Executions Scheduled for 2017-2022
Ohio had scheduled 27 executions to take place between July 2017 and September 2020.
The first execution took place July 26, 2017.
On September 1, 2017, Governor John Kasich revised the dates in 19 of the 26 scheduled executions, which pushed out the dates through April 2022.
On February 19, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio will not carry out any of the scheduled executions until it devises a new execution protocol that is approved by the courts. Since that time, he has been granting reprieves and rescheduling executions for a later date.
|Was Life Without
Parole an Option?
|Otte, Gary||9/13/17||CUYAHOGA||12/21/71||W||WM, WF||N||Executed|
rescheduled to 2/13/18
rescheduled to 10/17/18
|HAMILTON||6/8/57||W||WM||Y||Reprieve Issued until October 17, 2018; Sentence Commuted to Life Without Parole on July 20, 2018|
rescheduled to 6/5/19
|CUYAHOGA||4/30/48||W||WM||Y||Reprieve Issued until June 5, 2019. Died March 3, 2018.|
rescheduled to 4/11/18
|LUCAS||1/2/66||B||WF||N||Sentence Commuted to Life Without Parole on March 26, 2018|
|Van Hook, Robert||2/13/18
rescheduled to 7/18/18
rescheduled to 2/13/19
rescheduled to 9/12/19
|FRANKLIN||10/13/63||W||WM||N||Reprieve granted on January 25, 2019 by Gov. Mike DeWine. Twice rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 2/12/20
|CUYAHOGA||9/23/57||W||WM||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 10/14/20
|HAMILTON||12/4/67||B||2BF, BM||Y||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 10/17/19
|HAMILTON||4/16/73||B||BM||Y||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 12/9/20
|STARK||12/10/61||B||WM||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 5/29/19
rescheduled to 11/13/19
|ALLEN||6/26/78||B||BF||Y||Reprieve granted by Gov. Mike DeWine on March 7, 2019. Twice rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 2/18/21
|HAMILTON||7/10/54||B||BF||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 4/16/20
|GUERNSEY||9/16/60||W||WF||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 4/21/21
|HAMILTON||7/25/52||B||WF||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 12/11/19
|LUCAS||7/12/49||W||WM||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 6/23/21
|LUCAS||5/30/73||W||WM||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
|Wogenstahl, Jeffrey||4/17/19||HAMILTON||11/23/60||W||WF||N||Stay granted by the Ohio Supreme Court on October 24, 2018 pending "exhaustion of all state post-conviction proceedings, including any appeals."|
rescheduled to 1/16/20
|FRANKLIN||3/5/74||B||2BM||Y||Reprieve granted by Gov. Mike DeWine on March 7, 2019. Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 11/13/19
|CUYAHOGA||6/25/61||B||WM||N||Reprieve granted by Gov. Mike DeWine on March 7, 2019. Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 8/12/20
|LUCAS||8/24/75||B||OF||Y||Rescheduled by Gov. John Kasich on September 1, 2017. Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 10/20/21
|LUCAS||1/29/41||B||WF||Y||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 12/9/21
|ROSS||9/24/61||W||WM||N||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 2/16/22
|TRUMBULL||8/23/66||W||2WF||Y||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
rescheduled to 4/21/22
|ASHTABULA||7/18/77||B||BM||Y||Rescheduled death warrant pending|
|Hutton, Percy||6/22/22||CUYAHOGA||10/28/53||B||M||Death warrant pending|
|Carter, Cedric||8/24/22||HAMILTON||2/12/73||B||WF||N||Death warrant pending|
In July 2017, DPIC looked at how geography, race, and sentencing alternatives played a role in these cases. Based on the facts we reviewed, we found:
- GEOGRAPHY: Two-thirds (18 of 27) of the death sentences were concentrated in just 3 of Ohio's 88 counties: Hamilton (7); Lucas (6); and Cuyahoga (5). In DPIC's 2013 Report, The 2% Death Penalty, we found that 2% of the counties in the U.S. account for more than half of all the prisoners on death row nationwide and for more half of all the executions that have been carried out in the country since executions resumed in the 1970s. These three Ohio counties are among the 2% of counties responsible for most of the prisoners on death row, and Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties are among the 2% of counties that account for a majority of the executions in the U.S.
- RACE: Of the 27 men who have been or are scheduled to be executed, 14 are white and 13 are black. All 14 white men were condemned for killing white victims, whereas 38% of the black men (5 of 13) were condemned for interracial murders of white victims. At least one of the condemned prisoners—James Frazier, who is black—was tried in 2005 by an all-white jury in Lucas County. Toledo is the county seat and according to the 2010 census, African Americans constituted more than 27% of its population. But, in Frazier's case, only 3 of the 44 prospective jurors were black. The prosecutor used peremptory strikes to remove 2 of those jurors (the record does not indicate what happened to the third black prospective juror), and Frazier's jury ultimately ended up with no black jurors.
- SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES: If a defendant was charged with an aggravated murder that occurred before July 1, 1996, the sentencer was not permitted to impose life without the possiblity of parole as a sentence alternative to the death penalty. The only alternative sentence to death were life with the possibility of parole after a term of years. Of the 27 men who have an execution scheduled bewteen 2017 and 2022, 16 (61.54%) were sentenced based on a law that meant if death was not imposed, then the defendant could possibly be released at some point in his life.
The availability of life without parole as a sentencing option clearly made a difference in jury determinations of life or death in Ohio. Capital cases for pre-July 1, 1996 murders continued to go to trial for several years after Ohio amended its sentencing statute, but by 2000 virtually all of the new death sentences were cases in which juries had been provided a life-without-parole option. As in Texas, Virginia, and Georgia, when juries were given the life-without-parole option, the number of death sentences dropped sharply. From 1990-1999, Ohio imposed an average of 12.7 death sentences per year. From 2000-2009, that average fell by two-thirds, to 4.3 death sentences per year. This leaves little doubt that many of the men and women juries sentenced to death before life without parole was available as an alternative would not have been sentenced death under the amended statute. Indeed, former Cuyahoga County District Attorney Tim McGinty made this very point in April 2014, advocating that the death sentence imposed on Arthur Tyler, who McGinty had prosecuted, be commuted. At that time, McGinty acknowledged that life without parole was sufficient sanction for Tyler and that "the absence of the option of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in this case may have led to the imposition of the death sentence."
After the Ronald Phillips execution, the Fair Punishment Project reviewed the remaining cases for each of the men scheduled to be executed, and published a report detailing the following findings regarding the condemned prisoners' backgrounds:
- At least* 17 out of the 26 men experienced serious childhood trauma – horrifying instances of extensive physical and sexual abuse of the type known to have long-term effects on brain development and mental health.
- At least* 11 have evidence of intellectual disability, borderline intellectual disability, or a cognitive impairment, including brain injury.
- At least* 6 men appear to suffer from a mental illness.
According to the Project's findings, many of these men fall within several of these categories. Also, three of the men were convicted of crimes that occurred when they were under the age of 21— "a period during which an individual’s brain, especially the section related to impulse control and decision-making, is still undeveloped." DPIC also noted that 12 (or 46.15%) of these men were under the age of 25 at the time of the crime for which they were sentenced to death, a period during which neuroscientists say the pre-frontal cortex of the brain is still maturing.
*The Project uses the term at least "because three of these men waived the presentation of mitigation at their trials. And several had lawyers who conducted little to no investigation at both the trial and post-conviction phase or failed to seek the assistance of psychologists and other experts, despite the presence of familial mental illness, which is often hereditary. Therefore, in those cases, we know very little about existing impairments, even though execution dates are looming."