Volume 17.1

Autumn 2019

Guest Editor's Note

A Personal Journey into the Morass of Ohio's Death Penalty

by Lawrence Herman

When I started teaching Criminal Law in 1959, I was not opposed to the death penalty. By August 1960 I was an abolitionist. I testified at legislative hearings, participated in debates, drafted proposed statutes, and wrote an article. When I retired from teaching in 2014, I was still an abolitionist, but disheartened. Ohio still had a death penalty and I was tired. Then I read two books...


Abolition of the Ohio Death Penalty?—Not for Lack of Trying

by Margery Malkin Koosed

Nationally, the death penalty is dwindling. Twenty-nine states now have the death penalty, down from thirty-eight states twelve years ago. Of those twenty-nine, four states have declared a moratorium on executions, including California...


From Proponent to Opponent: My Lifelong Struggle with the Death Penalty

by Jim Petro

I have a long history with the death penalty. As a young attorney with an interest in politics in the mid-1970s, I could never have anticipated that over the course of my career I would inadvertently, and frequently, interface with the death penalty, or that I would evolve from a proponent to an opponent. My changing views...


Ohio's Modern Death Penalty—From Architect to Opponent

by Justice Paul Pfeifer

Ohio's death penalty statute has, in practice, resulted in a "death lottery" that should be abandoned. In fact that may have just happened. Will there ever be another state-imposed execution in Ohio's history? For a variety of reasons, hopefully not....


Why Europe Abolished Capital Punishment

by John Quigley and S. Adele Shank

“Whatever may be the conclusion of this night of this House, no doubt arises that the punishment must pass away from our land, and that at no distant date capital punishment will no longer exist. It belongs to a much earlier day than ours, and it is no longer needed for the civilization of the age in which we live.” J.W. Pease, a member of the House of Commons, made this declaration in London...


Tinkering with the Machinery of Death: Lessons from a Failure of Judicial Activism

by Kent Scheidegger

In the “evolving standards” view of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment, the limitations imposed by that provision are supposed to reflect a national consensus. When it comes to regulating the process by which murderers who are eligible for capital punishment are actually selected for it, the only consensus is that the Supreme Court has made a complete mess of it....


Place, Race, and Variations in Federal Criminal Justice Practices

by Mona Lynch

Thank you so much to the Reckless and Dinitz families for creating and supporting this wonderful lecture series, and to Ryan King, Dana Haynie, and everyone here at the Criminal Justice Center and the Moritz College of Law for this invitation and for being so welcoming. I am truly honored to be invited to give the Reckless-Dinitz lecture and humbled by the slate of scholars who have come before me at this podium. And I am even more humbled when I look around the room...


Gundy and the Civil-Criminal Divide

by Jenny Roberts

It could have been the case that declared “most of Government . . . unconstitutional,” by reviving a robust application of the doctrine that prohibits Congress from delegating its law-making power to the other branches. At least that is what many awaiting the Court’s widely-anticipated 2019 decision in Gundy v. United States...


A Vision of Criminal Violence, Punishment, and Relational Justice

by Mary Graw Leary

Since the inception of a state-run criminal justice system, many have debated and critiqued its features and goals. Often this dialogue takes place largely among academics and theorists with limited impact on policy and an even more marginal influence on the day to day reality of those most affected by the system. In every generation or so, however, a consequential movement emerges, for better or worse. These include movements regarding the evolution of the prison...


The Science of Change: Familial Searches And Y-STR DNA

by Rachel Armstrong LaRue

On January 1st, 2007, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives received another devastating call. Janecia Peters, a twenty-five-year-old mother, had been found shot to death and dumped in a trash bin. She was the serial killer’s tenth victim. Dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” for his alleged thirteen-year hiatus from killing, police knew the perpetrator murdered at least ten young women over a twenty-two year period from 1985 to 2007. The murderer followed...


Prior volumes of the Ohio State Criminal Law Journal can be viewed here.