Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Month, Another Killing

They're gathering up the needles and tubes again down in Lucasville. This time it's Rommell Broom.

Broom is on death row for the 1984 kidnap, rape, and killing of Tryna Middleton in Cleveland. At his trial in 1985, the prosecutors violated their constitutional obligation to turn over all evidence favorable to the defense. In 1994, Broom finally got that information, but before he could use it to petition for a new trial, the Ohio Supreme Court said, in the context of another case, that Broom had no legal right to use that information. (It really does make as little sense as it sounds like. I discussed the situation, and its current status in Broom's case, here.)

As these cases do, Broom's moved through the courts and then the political system. In 2007, the Parole Board voted to deny him clemency (report here). Strickland didn't have to decide, then, what to do because his execution was stayed while lethal injection litigation made its way through the courts. Now, although lethal injection litigation continues in Ohio, and although a court just decided at the end of July that Broom can finally use the information he got in 1994 (opinion here), the state is gearing up to murder him on September 15.

Last week, the Parole Board issued a supplemental clemency report. They Board didn't change its mind. The fact that he can now use the evidence the state hid to try and show that he should never have been convicted - and certainly should never have been sentenced to die - they decided unanimously, is no reason not to kill him before he gets a chance to do that.

Last month, Strickland defied the Parole Board's recommendation of clemency and ordered the murder of Jason Getsy to go forward. It's about impossible to imagine that he'll ignore the Parole Board's recommendation of murder and grant Broom clemency, or even a reprieve. So it's up to the courts. I'm not holding my breath, though I'm wishing hard.

Mark it on you calendar. September 15. We Don't Give a Damn Day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Thats the first article I've found on the net for the defence in this case. I am entirely against the death penalty, but I don't think it helps the argument to say this evidence would have prevented conviction. That the girls were drunk doesn't hide the fact the girl ended up brutally stabbed and that the DNA match, while not perfect, was 1 in 2.8m. This guy did it. If he was murdered in the street I wouldn't feel particularly sorry. That the state intends to do it is a matter for regret, but there are more worthy causes to defend..