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Ohio Supreme Court To Consider Death Penalty In Case Next Month

Ohio Supreme Court chambers.
Dan Konik
Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case next month that tests the constitutionality of death penalty sentencing. 

Maurice Mason, 52, of Marion raped and murdered a pregnant woman in 1993. He was sentenced to death by a judge following a jury's recommendation.

But Mason's attorneys say a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Florida case last year makes his sentence unconstitutional, because only the jury needs to consider the facts in the case and make that decision, not the judge. Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association have both filed paperwork supporting the sentence.

Oral arguments on Mason's sentence are set before the Ohio Supreme Court on January 23.

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.