Twenty-three years ago, Jeffrey Wogenstahl was immersed in reading law books and writing his own appeal, because he felt that his legal representation at trial had been inadequate.
There have been many changes since then. One that should gladden Jeff is the big decline in American public support for the death penalty. Gallup polls indicate that from an all-time high of 80% support in 1994, the level of approval has been declining, and was only 55% last month.
Using different questions, a Pew Research Center poll last year determined that even fewer of the US public –49% – support the death penalty.
Gallup’s report on last month’s poll concludes with “Implications”. And of those, the following is particularly relevant to Ohio:
“Thirty-one states, primarily in Republican-leaning regions, allow the death penalty. The likelihood of many of those states changing their laws hinges on whether rank-and-file Republican support for capital punishment remains high or declines in the future.”
We can only hope that rank-and-file Republican voters in Ohio will gain in understanding about the unfairness, brutality and excessive cost of the death penalty, and demand an end to it. For Jeff and for us, that will be a day to celebrate!