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Death Penalty Foes Rally To Stop Ohio's First Execution In More Than Three Years

Jo Ingles
Ohio Public Radio
The participants protested the planned execution of Ronald Phillips on July 26.

Ohio is set to execute an Akron man inmate later this month. If it happens, it will be the first execution in the state in three-and-a half years. And death penalty opponents are trying to stop it.

Retired United Church of Christ pastor, the Rev. Lynda Smith, is one of about a dozen people who stood outside the building where Gov. John Kasich’s office is located, holding signs and sending a message to him to stop executions in Ohio.

“People of color, poor people, get sent to prison and wind up on death row a lot more than white rich people," Smith says.

The state’s next execution is that of Ronald Phillips, who was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.

His execution had been put on hold while courts determined if Ohio’s lethal injection method is constitutional. But a federal appeals court ruled last month the state can proceed.

So barring any action by the U.S. Supreme Court, Phillips will be put to death on July 26.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.