Updated: Oct 11, 2021

News Brief

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Death-Row Exoneree Kirk Bloodsworth Receives Supplemental Compensation Under New Maryland Wrongful Imprisonment Statute

Oct 06, 2021

Kirk Bloodsworth, the first for­mer death-row pris­on­er to have been exon­er­at­ed by DNA test­ing, has become the first per­son to receive sup­ple­men­tal com­pen­sa­tion under a new Maryland wrong­ful impris­on­ment statute. 

Bloodsworth, who was wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death in 1984 on charges that he had raped and mur­dered 9‑year-old Dawn Hamilton, won a new tri­al as a result of pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct but was wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed a sec­ond time and sen­tenced to life impris­on­ment. DNA test­ing in 1993 exclud­ed him as the killer and iden­ti­fied anoth­er man who was in prison for anoth­er sex­u­al assault com­mit­ted after he had raped and killed the young girl.

Maryland grant­ed Bloodsworth $300,000 in com­pen­sa­tion in 1994 for his wrong­ful con­vic­tion. A new law passed dur­ing Maryland’s 2021 leg­isla­tive ses­sion amend­ed the state’s com­pen­sa­tion law to autho­rize the pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion for each year of wrong­ful incar­cer­a­tion at a rate equal to the aver­age of the state’s annu­al medi­an income, as cal­cu­lat­ed over the pre­ced­ing five years. The new statute also per­mit­ted exonerees who had received com­pen­sa­tion on or before July 1, 2005 to seek sup­ple­men­tal compensation.

The Maryland Board of Public Works deter­mined that Bloodsworth would be enti­tled to $721,237.40 in com­pen­sa­tion under the new for­mu­la. Subtracting the pri­or pay­ment Bloodsworth received in 1994, an admin­is­tra­tive law judge on October 6, 2021 approved pay­ment of $421,237.40 in sup­ple­men­tal compensation. 

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News Brief: Ohio Governor Reprieves and Reschedules Four More Executions

Sep 13, 2021

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (pic­tured) has issued reprieves fur­ther post­pon­ing four exe­cu­tions that had been sched­uled between January and May 2022. The governor’s orders, announced September 10, 2021, resched­uled the exe­cu­tions for between December 2024 and May 2025.

DeWine grant­ed reprieves to death-row pris­on­ers Warren K. Henness, Stanley T. Adams, John E. Drummond, and James G. Hanna. A news release announc­ing the reprieves, said Governor DeWine is issu­ing these reprieves due to ongo­ing prob­lems involv­ing the will­ing­ness of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sup­pli­ers to pro­vide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), pur­suant to DRC pro­to­col, with­out endan­ger­ing oth­er Ohioans.” 

U.S. phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers uni­form­ly oppose the use of their med­i­cines to exe­cute pris­on­ers. in 2013, to mis­lead drug man­u­fac­tur­ers about the intend­ed use of their med­i­cines, DRC arranged for the pur­chase to be made by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and sur­rep­ti­tious­ly divert­ed the drugs to DRC to be used for lethal injec­tion. DeWine has said the com­pa­nies have informed him they would halt sales to state facil­i­ties or agen­cies if Ohio again mis­us­es med­i­cines intend­ed for ther­a­peu­tic pur­pos­es as exe­cu­tion drugs. 

This is the fourth time DeWine has reprieved and resched­uled Henness’s exe­cu­tion since January 2019. Henness was pre­vi­ous­ly sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed on February 13, 2019, September 12, 2019, May 14, 2020, and January 12, 2022. DeWine resched­uled his exe­cu­tion for December 17, 2024. The three oth­er men all pre­vi­ous­ly received exe­cu­tion reprieves from for­mer Governor John Kasich in September 2017. DeWine resched­uled Adams’ exe­cu­tion date from February 16, 2022 to February 19, 2025; Drummond’s exe­cu­tion was moved from April 21, 2022 to April 16, 2025; and Hanna’s exe­cu­tion was resched­uled from May 18, 2022 to May 142025.

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