Groups set death-penalty rally



YOUNGSTOWN -- A rally with the theme "Rethinking Ohio's Death Penalty" is planned for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the gates of Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road.
The event, a collaborative effort of the Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee, Youngstown Prison Forum and Loved Ones Of Prisoners, is being held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
OSP is the state's supermax prison where most of Ohio's death row prisoners are held. Upcoming executions are former Trumbull County resident Kenneth Biros, Jan. 23; James Filiaggi, Feb. 13; and Christopher Newton, Feb. 27. However, Gov. Ted Strickland, who took office Monday, said he would not have enough time to review the Biros case, so it's likely the first execution of his administration would be postponed. Strickland said former Gov. Bob Taft reviewed such cases for months.
Ohio has executed 24 prisoners since it reinstated the death penalty after introducing lethal injections in 1999. More than half of these executions have taken place since 2004, making Ohio the state with the second-highest execution rate, after Texas.

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