Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ohio Governor Commutes Death Sentence on Eve of Execution

Ohio Governor John Kasich commuted double murderer Shawn Hawkins' death sentence to life in prison. Governor Kasich said that Hawkins role in a 1989 double murder in Cincinnati is "frustratingly unclear," according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Because the doubts are so serious, Kasich said, "Ohio shouldn't deliver the ultimate penalty in this case." On the other hand, he said, Hawkins played a "significant, material role in this heinous crime" and should "spend the rest of his life in prison and have no chance of ever getting out."

According to the Disptach, Hawkins was scheduled to be executed this week at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville for killing Terrence Richard, 18, and Diamond Marteen, 19, in a drug deal gone bad. The two men were found shot to death in a car in a Cincinnati suburb, on June 12, 1989.

It was the first time since taking office in January that Governor Kasich used his gubernatorial clemency power to stop an execution; he previously allowed four killers to be put to death, reported the Disptach.

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