Day: August 13, 2013

Ohio: Corrections officers placed on leave after Death Row inmate’s suicide

Two corrections officers on Death Row who were on duty when convicted killer Billy Slagle committed suicide early Sunday morning have been placed on administrative leave.

JoEllen Smith, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said today that officers Clay Putnam, 19, and John McCollister, 30, were placed on administrative leave yesterday with pay, standard policy in suspension cases. No other information was released about the department’s investigation.

McCollister has been with the agency since 2010 and Putnam became a corrections officer in January this year.

Slagle, 44, was found hanging in his cell on Death Row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution about 5 a.m. Sunday and died an hour later. Officers at the prison are supposed to make rounds of all cells every 30 minutes. His suicide came just hours before he was scheduled to go on around-the-clock watch beginning 72 hours prior to his execution.

He was scheduled to be lethally injected for the 1987 murder of 40-year-old Mari Anne Pope, his neighbor in Cleveland. (The Columbus Dispatch Thursday August 8, 2013)

EU Calls For Moratorium On Death Penalty After Florida Schizophrenic’s Execution

8/8/2013 9:12 AM ET

The European Union has called for a global moratorium on capital punishment in the wake of the execution of John Ferguson in the US State of Florida.

The 65 year-old man was executed on Monday at Florida State Prison despite a plea by mental health organizations to stop it, saying that executing Ferguson would violate the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which requires an individual to have a rational understanding as to why they are being executed.

A plea by Ferguson’s lawyer calling for the execution to be commuted, mentioning a 40-year history of paranoid schizophrenia, was turned down.

He was convicted in 1978 of first-degree murder after going on a pair of killing sprees. Ferguson shot to death six people execution-style during a drug-related home robbery north of Miami and then six months later, killing two teenagers after they left a church meeting.

EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday said “The European Union recognizes the serious nature of the crime involved and expresses its sincere sympathy to the surviving family and friends of the victims.” However, the High Representative said “EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances.” She called for a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition. “With capital punishment, any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an irreversible loss of human life,” the statement added.