death penalty news----OHIO
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Rick Halperin
2017-09-13 16:15:13 UTC
Sept. 13


Ohio Executes Double Murderer Gary Otte

An Ohio man convicted of back-to-back murders 25 years ago was executed
Wednesday morning after the courts rejected his arguments that the lethal
injection the state uses could expose him to serious pain.

Gary Otte was the 2nd inmate put to death since Ohio ended a 3-year execution
hiatus prompted by a lethal injection that raised questions about the drugs
being used. Outside the prison in Lucasville, anti-execution activists tolled
bells to mark his death, which the Associated Press recorded at 10:54 a.m.

In a tweet on the eve of the execution, his attorney, Vickie Werneke, said that
while Otte had fought vigorously to stop the state from killing him, he was "at
peace." Prison officials said he did not sleep the night before the execution.

Otte, 45, was sent to death row for fatally shooting Robert Wasikowski and
Sharon Kostura during home invasion robberies in a Cleveland suburb in 1992.

His last-ditch appeals included claims that use of the execution sedative
midazolam is unconstitutional and that he should have been spared the death
penalty because he was under 21 at the time of the crime.

The anti-execution activist Sister Helen Prejean also took up Otte's cause,
tweeting that he has a low IQ and psychological problems.

But the U.S. Supreme Court and the state's highest court declined to halt the

The state has scheduled another 2 dozen executions between now and 2020.

Otte becomes the 55th condemned inmate to be put to death in Ohio since the
state resumed capital punishment in 1999.

Otte becomes the 18th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA
and the 1460th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

(sources: NBC News & Rick Halperin)

A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

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