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Judge: Vote on Ohio Execution Illegal
AJC ^ | 1/15/04

Posted on 01/15/2004 4:58:28 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

Ohio (AP)--A federal appeals' court vote denying a convicted killer's request to delay his execution was illegal because two judges improperly participated in the vote, a federal judge who wrote a dissenting opinion said.

Judge Eric Clay of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the delay would have been granted if not for the two senior judges' votes. He did not specify the tally of the 12-judge vote.

Federal law allows senior judges to participate in a vote by the full court only if they participated in the initial panel ruling on the same case, he said. The two judges, Richard F. Suhrheinrich and Cornelia G. Kennedy, were not on the three-judge panel that ruled against the convict's request Monday.

Clay issued his dissenting opinion Tuesday, when the full court ruled against blocking Lewis Williams' execution.

Williams, 45, struggled with guards and pleaded for help before he was executed Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. He was sentenced to death for shooting a Cleveland woman in a 1983 robbery.

No one at the appeals court would comment on the dissenting opinion. A message was left with the attorney general's office seeking comment.



TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: execution

1 posted on 01/15/2004 4:58:29 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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