New twist in Ohio death penalty

Jim Krumel Contributing columnist

Jim Krumel Contributing columnist

Vicki Williams of Lima believes Cleveland Jackson showed little regard for her daughter, Leneshia, when he killed her in 2002. As for his death sentence, the only thing she sees as being “cruel and unusual punishment” are the 17 years she’s waited for his execution.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with her recently. It said a federal judge in Dayton was wrong when he ruled in January that Ohio’s execution protocol was cruel because it created a sensation of drowning.

Now the big question is what will Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine do? He delayed executions following the Dayton judge’s ruling, saying “Ohio is not going to execute someone under my watch when a federal judge has found it to be cruel and unusual punishment.” That’s no longer a factor.

More court news

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman is being asked to allow John Hinckley to move to California so Hinckley can hunt for a job in the music industry. Hinckley, now 64, is the man who shot President Reagan and three others in 1981 because he thought it would impress actress Jodi Foster.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent decades living at a psychiatric hospital in Washington before being released three years ago. Since then he’s lived at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia, under a set of 30 conditions. They include regular visits with mental health professionals, living within a 75-mile radius of Williamsburg, and not speaking with the media.

The judge is worried that Hinckley would be too far away from those who helped with his recovery should he move to California. Friedman also is concerned about Hinckley being near Foster. Yet he says Hinckley may be ready for “the next step.” That’s what is worrisome.

Other news snippets:

… Talk about lucky. Marilyn and Jimmie Lovelace won $50,000 last week in the Powerball lottery game. The Missouri couple also won a $3.7 million state Lotto jackpot prize in 2007.

… Then there’s Robert and Tiffany Williams, of Montoursville, Pennsylvania. They went on a spending spree after a bank accidentally deposited $120,000 into their account. They purchased an SUV, a race car, two four-wheelers and a camper. Police say the couple also paid bills and gave friends $15,000. They now face felony theft charges.

… Ten minutes after he was released from the Franklin County Jail in Columbus, 49-year-old Douglas W. Cook was killed when he was struck from behind by two SUVs while walking along a street Wednesday night.

… In the 18 years since the U.S. began its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, America has spent nearly $900 billion on the war effort and more than 147,000 people have died, Bloomberg News reports. Meanwhile, the regrouped Taliban controls or contests half of the country, more territory than any time since they were toppled in 2001.

… Nearly 8 in 10 Americans support legislation to protect people from surprise medical bills, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows. Surprise bills are described as the unexpected _ and often expensive _ charges patients receive after getting care from a doctor or hospital not in their insurance network. Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed interest in finding ways to protect consumers from the practice, but true to form, those in favor of taking action have been bombarded with attack ads from deep-pocketed lobbyists.

Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest. He can be reached at 567-242-0391.

Jim Krumel Contributing columnist Krumel Contributing columnist