[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----OHIO, MASS.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jul 14 23:05:52 CDT 2005
Petro appeals to Supreme Court
The state's attorney general has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse
an appeals court ruling that threw out the death sentence of Kenneth
Richey in an 18-year case that a prosecutor plans to retry.
Richey, a dual U.S.-British citizen, was sentenced to death for setting a
fire in 1987, killing a 2-year-old girl in northwest Ohio. The case has
attracted interest in Scotland, where Richey grew up.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January that Richey
received incompetent legal counsel at his trial and ordered him freed or
retried. Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers is asking a grand jury to
bring new charges, which could include another death sentence.
Richey was convicted in the 1986 death of 2-year-old Cynthia Collins.
Prosecutors say Richey intended to kill his ex-girlfriend but ended up
killing the child in the fire in the northwest Ohio town of Columbus
Grove. Richey maintained he did not start the fire, and numerous questions
have been raised about the evidence used to convict him.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro said Thursday that the 6th Circuit erred
in requiring the state to prove that Richey intended to kill Cynthia, not
her mother. Petro said that if Richey set the fire and killed anyone, it
is still murder under Ohio law.
(source: Associated Press)
Romney testifies in favor of state death penalty
Gov. Mitt Romney insisted on Thursday that no innocent people would be
executed under his plan to return the death penalty to Massachusetts, but
acknowledged that he could not guarantee that the plan would be completely
Romney told the joint House and Senate Judiciary Committee that his
proposal would ensure that no innocent people were put to death, by
including multiple levels of review and a unique "no doubt" standard of
Romney has said his bill is an answer to death penalty opponents who say
that innocent or undeserving people could be put to death, claiming that
his plan was a "gold standard" that would not execute anyone who did not
truly deserve capital punishment.
But when pressed by lawmakers, he acknowledged he could not definitively
say that the proposal would be completely foolproof.
"A 100 percent guarantee? I don't think there's such a thing in life.
Except perhaps death -- for all of us," he said. But a few minutes later,
he said he believed that no innocent people would be ensnared, calling the
proposal "as foolproof a death penalty as exists."
Rep. Michael A. Costello, D-Newburyport, one of the lawmakers who
questioned Romney about the plan, said that Romney's acknowledgment "does
knock out the initial premise" that the plan is foolproof.
"It isn't. The governor admits it himself," he said. "I think they put the
best and brightest together to try to come up with a foolproof policy, and
it isn't foolproof."
Many of the lawmakers who questioned Romney said they were death penalty
opponents, but a few spoke in favor of the bill.
Rep. Philip Travis, D-Rehoboth, said the proposal was the "right
Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees, R-Springfield, said that "the silent
majority is working and can't get in here to testify" in favor of the
Massachusetts is one of just a dozen states without capital punishment.
The last execution here was in 1947. Recent efforts to reinstate it have
failed, and any death penalty bill faces a tough battle in the
Romney filed his legislation in April, seeking capital punishment for
"very, very rare circumstances," such as terrorism, serial killing and
torturing, or murdering police or other public servants. He estimated that
only 1 or 2 people a year would face the penalty in the state every year.
Romney said his plan would have the nation's highest level of proof for
ensuring that only the guilty were executed, using scientific evidence
such as DNA and multiple checks and balances, including review by the
Supreme Judicial Court.
One opponent at the Statehouse for Thursday's hearing was Robert Curley,
the father of Jeffrey Curley, a 10-year-old Cambridge boy who was
kidnapped and killed in 1997. He said that no system of capital punishment
is without fault.
"The system isn't fair. Any time you become involved in a court proceeding
on any level, it doesn't take long to figure out that the deck is stacked
against people who can't afford a good lawyer," he said outside the
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty