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by Kevin Osborne 04.12.2012

Another State Ends the Death Penalty

Connecticut is 17th to abolish capital punishment

Connecticut will soon join the list of states that have ended the use of capital punishment.


In an 86-63 vote, legislators in Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday night. The state Senate approved the measure April 5, in a 20-16 vote.


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, has indicated he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk, probably sometime this week. A similar bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Jodi Rell, a Republican, in 2009.


Connecticut’s law is prospective in nature, and won’t affect the sentences of the 11 people currently on the state’s death row.


In the last five years, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have repealed the death penalty, according to CNN. California voters will decide the issue in November.


Other states that have abolished capital punishment are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


Meanwhile, a man who spent 21 years on Ohio’s death row until he was exonerated in 2010 will speak tonight at a forum in Clifton.


Joe D’Ambrosio will discuss his experience and why he believes the death penalty should be scrapped at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center, located at 328 W. McMillan St. D’Ambrosio will be joined by the Rev. Neil Kookoothe, a Roman Catholic priest who worked to get him released.


D’Ambrosio was wrongfully convicted of the 1988 murder of Anthony Klann in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County prosecutors withheld 10 pieces of evidence that would have exonerated D’Ambrosio at his trial and implicated another suspect in the crime, a judge ruled in March 2010.


D’Ambrosio is the 140th Death Row exoneration in the United States since 1973 and the sixth in Ohio.


This week’s Porkopolis column looks at a report from Amnesty International about the use of capital punishment throughout the world, and how the United States is one of the only industrialized nations that still condones the practice.


by 03.17.2009
Posted In: News, Social Justice, Public Policy, Community at 08:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Murder Sucks

Murder sucks. Rape sucks. In fact, all violent crime sucks. Eradicating it sure would make the world a nicer place to live. I don’t know anyone who would argue with any of that. But after all that agreement, unity breaks down. Emotional outrage and grief take hold and rational thought evaporates. What then?

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by 11.22.2010
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice, Courts, Spending at 06:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Freedom Tour Will Visit Cincy

Ineffective. Fiscally irresponsible. Overcrowded.

Those are some of the words used by reform advocates to describe Ohio's criminal justice system. As part of its effort to publicize disparities in the state's prisons, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio will bring its Freedom Tour here on Dec. 6.

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by Paul Smyth 06.15.2009
Posted In: Environment, Financial Crisis, Social Justice at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Building a Framework for the Future

More than 200 people attended Imago’s Earth Spirit Rising conference at Xavier University this weekend, where they were challenged to rethink their actions and their effect on the planet.

Speaker Paula Gonzalez, a Dominican nun and futurist, cast the challenges ahead in stark terms: “We must realize the scale of our times, which is on the scale of transitions like going from hunter-gathering to agriculture, or industrialization. You must take the messages of this conference home in your heart, in your soul, in your gut, and get off your butt and act.”

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by Danny Cross 10.31.2011

Morning News and Stuff

The Cincinnati Enquirer announced its endorsements over the weekend, and four incumbents were left thinking, “What the [expletive] did I do?!?” The current councilpersons who the paper decided not to endorse are Republican Wayne Lippert, who was appointed in March, and Republicans Leslie Ghiz and Charlie Winburn, along with Democrat Cecil Thomas.

Ghiz was described as having a penchant for starting arguments that have been “personal, petty and nasty,” while Winburn's “unpredictable behavior” was noted along with Thomas' problems fully grasping budget and finance issues.

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by Danny Cross 10.10.2011

Morning News and Stuff

More than 20 Occupy Cincinnati protesters last night received citations for staying at Piatt Park after its official closing time, a process which included warnings by police and then some peaceful ticketing before police left the occupiers to their business. CityBeat has launched a page dedicated to our ongoing coverage of the protests, including a live feed of #occupycincinnati and #occupycincy hashtags.

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by 12.21.2010

Remembering Those Who Died Homeless

Today is the winter solstice, the day of the year with the longest amount of darkness. That means it's also Homeless Memorial Day.

Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has held memorial services for individuals who have died from causes related to their lack of housing on this day.

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by 02.13.2009
Posted In: Public Policy, Social Justice, News, Community at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Abolitionists Win One

Three years ago Eddie Sanders Sr. invited CityBeat into his home to talk about the clemency campaign he and his family were just beginning on behalf of his nephew, Jeffrey Hill (See Killing a Family March 1, 2006).

After sitting on death row for 15 years for the murder of his mother while high on cocaine, Hill was expecting his execution date to be scheduled.

At the end of the interview he said the ideal outcome would be to see Jeff walk out of prison. Two years and 354 days later that incomprehensible dream became a reality.

Governor Strickland followed through with the Adult Parole Board's recommendation to grant Hill clemency with parole eligibility.

Hill is already being prepared to transfer to the Warren County Correctional institute from the Super Max prison in Youngstown where death row inmates are house.

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center is asking everyone to write to Stickland and the Parole Board to express appreciation. IJPC sent out the following request via e-mail today:

To thank the Governor:

Call: 614-466-3555

Write to:

Governor's Office

Riffe Center, 30th Floor

77 South High Street

Columbus, OH 43215-6108

They also offer suggestions.

“Here are some things you may want to mention in your message about Jeff's case,” writes IJPC.

“Thank you for recognizing the disparities in the system and the important considerations the appeals process fails to address. 

“Thank you for being open to the possibility that human beings can change.

“Thank you for leading the state towards a new time of compassion.

“This is just one more example of how messy and complicated the death penalty is Ohio and we can't have it.”

To thank the Parole Board:

Call: 614-752-1159, ext. 2

Write to:

Cynthia Mausser, Chair of Ohio Parole Board

770 West Broad Street

Columbus, Ohio 43222

by 04.09.2009
Posted In: Community, Social Justice at 08:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The World We Live In

Money worries have many people focusing on their checkbooks and losing sight of the world around them. Taking care of “my own” comes before everything else is why people aren’t aware of what’s happening in Cincinnati as a result of the economic downturn, according to Tracy Cook, executive director of ProKids.

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by Kevin Osborne 02.07.2012
Posted In: News, LGBT Issues, Social Justice, Public Policy at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional

In a long-awaited decision, a federal appeals court today declared that California's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian people.

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