The men on death row in Ohio will no longer need to worry about relocating to a prison in Toledo: the proposed move has been abandoned ten months after it was announced. Jeffrey Wogenstahl and the other death row inmates at Chillicothe Correctional Institution were notified last week that they will not, after all, be moving to Toledo.
The move would have meant rationalizing precious belongings to fit into the volume allocated for packing. It would have entailed a long journey in shackles, uncomfortable and devoid of dignity. It would have involved getting to know new staff and a different building (more modern, but without windows that open to waft in the smells of outdoors).
It was October, 2016 when the move to Toledo was first announced. Since then, rumors about the likely timescale have suggested the move would be delayed: it could happen after Christmas, maybe later; and maybe not even until summer 2017. As time has gone by, more doubt has crept in about whether the move was going to happen at all. So last week’s announcement has come as no surprise, but has finally lifted the stress of uncertainty.
We are pleased that there is now one less unknown for Jeff to face. And we hope it is not long before he can demonstrate his innocence, and leave death row behind for good.