[A] criminal defendant is entitled to an effective defense, especially in a death penalty case.So said Governor Kasich.
And then he said the other part. Not the one we're so used to seeing. Not "harmless error." Not "close enough for government work." Not "but fuck, the guy's guilty."
No, this time he said,
The Parole Board’s conclusion is that Ronald Post did not come close to receiving such a defense. After my own careful review, I agree.Which is kind of remarkable. As was the Parole Board's opinion.
Post is guilty and won't acknowledge it even now, the Board said. But we still shouldn't kill him. The Governor was less explicit, but he said the same thing.
Therefore I am ordering that he spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of ever getting out.Of course, that was actually his situation before. As I've said repeatedly here, the difference between a death sentence and LWOP is the manner and timing of death, not its place. Both are sentences of death in prison. It's not clear to me which is worse.
Certainly some prefer the idea of being murdered. Get it over with. Kill me now.
But as I also keep saying, these decisions aren't really about the condemned. They're about us.
Life does not need to be made torturous. But murder is, simply, murder.
The difference matters.
Ronald Post will not be murdered by the State of Ohio, in our names, to make us all feel better or something, on January 16.
That's no small thing.
And doing it not because he deserves it, but because fairness and decency demand it.
No small thing at all.
Now, about that plan to use tolls from the Turnpike to pay for construction in Columbus.
Post Warrant of Commutation