Monday, April 27, 2009

Ohio inmate must prove his mental disability again to avoid death penalty

From The AP:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The state is fighting to reinstate the death sentence of a convicted killer, arguing he must prove again that he is mentally disabled under U.S. Supreme Court standards.

Ohio says the mental state of Michael Bies has never received a proper hearing because state court findings came six years before the Supreme Court in 2002 barred the execution of the mentally disabled.

The 36-year-old Bies killed a 10-year-old boy in Cincinnati in 1992.

The Supreme Court on April 27 will hear Ohio's challenge to a federal appeals court decision last year that overturned Bies' death sentence. A ruling is expected by summer.

At least 85 death row inmates, including four from Ohio, have successfully challenged their death sentences under the 2002 decision.