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Published: Thursday, 11/3/2011

Judge leading 1st review of Ohio death penalty raises concerns about fairness of state law

BY ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
AP LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER

COLUMBUS — The retired judge chairing the first-ever review of Ohio's 30-year-old death penalty law says he is concerned whether the state's law is being properly applied.

James Brogan also says he's concerned about the discretion state prosecutors have in deciding whether to pursue a death sentence at all. Brogan is a former state appeals court judge.

A death penalty review committee convened by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor held its first meeting Thursday in Columbus at the offices of the Ohio State Bar Association.

O'Connor, a Republican and former prosecutor, made it clear the committee won't examine whether Ohio should have capital punishment.

O'Connor told committee members the goal is to produce a fair, impartial and balanced analysis of the state's law.



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