Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ohio Death Row Inmate Challanges Request to Postpone Execution

Inmate Doesn't Want to Die-But Doesn't Want Help From Fellow Inmate

Many people have been working to save Kevin Keith from execution in Ohio. He is schedule to die on September 15. I have previously written about Keith's claims of innocence on this blog.

However, Keith is now trying to distance himself from someone with a legitimate interest in keeping him alive. Death row inmate Danny Lee Hill, who raped and killed a 12-year-old boy in 1985, wanted Kevin Keith's execution delayed so lawyers could interview Keith, according to the Associated Press.

Keith's attorneys wanted no part of Hill's request. The judge presiding over Hill's claim of mental disability was not thrilled by the request. Last week, lawyers for Keith sent a letter to Governor Ted Strickland, the only person left who could spare Keith, and made it clear they had nothing to do with Hill's motion.

Not long afterward, Hill's attorney dropped the request, citing in part "concerns expressed by the Court," referring to U.S. District Judge John Adams. Stephen Maher, senior assistant state Attorney General, has argued that federal court rules "provide numerous ways to obtain any relevant information Keith may have before his execution."

According to the Associated Press, Keith's attorneys have identified an alternate suspect and provided alibi witnesses. They argue that witness identification of Keith as the shooter was flawed. Keith says he's innocent of killing three people in 1994, including a 4-year-old girl, and has asked Governor Strickland for clemency. State and federal courts have upheld his conviction and death sentence. The Ohio Parole Board ruled unanimously last month to not recommend clemency.

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