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Death penalty flaws costs Ohio in countless ways

It has been 27 years since neo-Nazi Frank Spisak Jr. terrorized Cleveland State University by fatally shooting three men over a seven-month period. A year later, Spisak was convicted of the murders and sentenced to die.

Last Tuesday, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue in the latest appeal arising from Spisak’s case …

The mere fact that Spisak is alive and litigating is a reminder of how seriously our judicial system treats capital cases. Before anyone is put to death, he or she is given multiple chances to test the finding of guilt and to present mitigating evidence. …

But these appeals come at a cost. An Urban Institute study in Maryland last year estimated that a death penalty case costs the state almost $2 million more than a non-death penalty case. …

And now, Ohio has a moratorium on executions, following the botched attempt to carry out Romell Broom’s sentence last month. The state is exploring alternate lethal injection methods. …

Capital punishment exacts a toll on those who carry it out. It delays closure for the victims of an awful crime. It also costs the state millions of extra dollars. The best reform to Ohio’s death penalty is also the simplest and the cheapest: End it.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer