In case you haven't been paying attention, we're up to 42 executions in the Buckeye State since we opened the killing field in 1999. That ties us with South Carolina for 9th place, one behind North Carolina. There's almost no question that we'll easily pass both of them before spring is over.
Last year, as often recently, we were number two in the nation. (We're Number 2! We're Number 2!) Texas killed 17; we killed 8; Alabama was third with 5. We were the only state to kill more in 2010 than in 2009.
We killed Frank Spisak two weeks ago. Johnnie Baston is up next, March 10. Three weeks ago, the good women and men in Columbus set nine more dates, taking us up through October.
That was then. This is now. New month, new dates. We're into next year.
Reginald Brooks - November 15, 2011
Charles Lorraine - January 18, 2012
Michael Webb - February 22, 2012
If all goes as the state hopes and the supremes plan, we'll kill 10 this year. Only the Christmas vacation stops it from being 11. But there are 11 with dates. Real dates. Serious ones.
Will we kill them all on schedule? Nobody knows, but probably not. It's likely that one or more will get some sort of stay. But monthly murder. Scheduled into next year.
Put aside the rest and there's still what I imagine of the room.
There they are. Sitting around the table. Picking dates to kill.
Even if you think it's a good idea, even if you favor the death penalty and favor it for these guys, even then, you've got to sense (if you think about it at all) that there's something macabre about the scene. Don't you?
Yesterday, I wrote about Maureen O'Connor and how she really should keep recusing herself from anything involving the Brett Hartman case that she oversaw as Summit County Prosecutor.
I pointed out that she had signed the order setting an August 16 date for his murder by the state of Ohio, and that Hartman has asked to vacate the date because O'Connor had a conflict of interest.
This morning, along with setting the dates for Brooks, Lorraine, and Webb, the Court addressed Hartman's motion to vacate.
New date set, O'Connor not participating.
Want to guess the date? Yep. August 16.
But this time they did it right.
Small comfort that.