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Noon headlines, Jan. 8, 2013: Strickland, DNA, death row, flu
Strickland out of running, Ohio and U.S. Supreme courts take up death row, flu spreads throughout Ohio

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Former Gov. Ted Strickland will not take on his successor, John Kasich, in 2014.
Courtesy of WKSU
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In The Region:
  • Strickland won't run for Ohio governor
  • Ohio Supreme Court considers a twist on DNA arguments
  • In Ohio case, U.S. cuts timeline for federal death row appeals
  • Ohio's flu outbreak spreads
  • Strickland won't run for Ohio governor
    Former Gov. Ted Strickland is not interested in running to get his old job back.

    The Democrat, Strickland, issued a statement today saying he and his wife plan to remain active in politically active, but he won’t be a gubernatorial candidate next year.

    Strickland lost to John Kasich in the Republican sweep of 2010. And, though Kasich battled abysmal poll numbers much of last year, those numbers have recovered as the economy has gotten stronger.

    Strickland had been polling strongest among the Democrats, including Congressman Tim Ryan and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, as potential challengers to Kasich. 

    Ohio Supreme Court considers a twist on DNA arguments
    The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments this  morning on whether to order retesting of DNA evidence in a death penalty case. Tyrone Noling was convicted in 1996 of killing an elderly Portage County couple and remains on death row. His hope lies with DNA evidence on a cigarette butt found in the couple’s driveway.

    The DNA was tested before the trial. And it excluded Noling. Former  Portage County Prosecutor Victor Viglucci underscored that to the court:

    Vigliucci on how the evidence was weighed
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    “What better evidence can there be for the defense than we tested it and excluded them? And the jury had this information.” 

    But unlike other arguments about DNA, Noling’s lawyer Carrie Wood maintains this sample should be retested because of who it could include, not just exclude:  Another man who has been executed in another case.

    Wood on including other suspects
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     “If that cigarette butt placed Dan Wilson -- with notoriety  as someone who did this type of crime, who was in the area unlike Mr. Noling, who had killed an elderly gentleman before, who had subsequently burned a woman alive in a car, that’s not evidence a jury should consider in a new trial?”

    Noling and co-defendants confessed early  in the case, then recanted. Justice Paul Pfeifer was a senator who sponsored the bill reintroducing the death penalty is Ohio and is now one of its biggest critics. He was the justice, however, who grilled Wood the hardest on why Noling would confess to a crime he didn’t commit.

    There is no time line on when the high court will rule.

    In Ohio case, U.S. cuts timeline for federal death row appeals
    Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court says federal judges cannot indefinitely delay a death row inmate's federal appeals to see if the convict can become mentally competent enough to help his lawyer.

    The high court unanimously ruled  today against Sean Carter, a death row inmate from Trumbull County, and an Arizona death row inmate.

    Inmates appealing state death sentences to federal court have a right to a lawyer. But the courts never said whether the inmates have to be mentally competent enough to help their lawyers with their federal appeals. Carter and Gonzales wanted the high court to say that federal judges have discretion to hold up proceedings indefinitely until the inmates are ready.

    Justice Clarence Thomas says "at some point, the state must be allowed to defend its judgment of conviction."

    Ohio's flu outbreak spreads
    Ohio’s flu season began early and has hospitalized hundreds of people in Northeast Ohio since early December. According to the Plain Dealer, nearly 400 people have been diagnosed in Cuyahoga County – as much as 20 times the number over the last two years. And area hospitals throughout the region are limiting visitations to try to control the spread.

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