CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals panel has upheld a decision denying an Ohio inmate’s appeal of his death sentence for killing his cellmate.
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. District Court in Cincinnati upheld a lower court’s ruling today that denied death-row inmate James Hanna’s appeal.
The 63-year-old Hanna had argued that his death sentence was improper, alleging prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of defense counsel.
In 1997, Hanna was serving a life sentence at the Lebanon Correctional Institution when he attacked his cellmate, Peter Copas, with a shank fashioned from a paint brush, stabbing him in his eye socket as he slept and beating him with his hands and a padlock.
Copas died from an infection partially caused by errors in his medical treatment about three weeks later.