Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty Constitutionality

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty law, rejecting a challenge that argued juries and not judges should impose death sentences.

The court ruled Wednesday that a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring Florida’s death penalty law unconstitutional does not apply in Ohio.

Lawyers for convicted killer Maurice Mason unsuccessfully argued the U.S. Constitution requires juries to impose death sentences.

Ohio judges decide whether to accept juries’ capital punishment recommendations or impose a sentence of life without parole. Judges can sentence someone to death only after a jury recommendation.

The 54-year-old Mason was sentenced to die for raping and killing a woman in Marion County in 1993. A federal appeals court overturned his death sentence, but he remains imprisoned awaiting a new sentencing.