Study: Ohio county leads country in recent death sentences

Donnesha Cooper

FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, Donnesha Cooper touches a photo of her daughter, Alianna DeFreeze, in Cleveland. The five death sentences handed down the past two years in the Ohio county that is home to Cleveland surpassed any other county in the U.S., according to a new report from an anti-death penalty organization. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said the figure is appropriate given the number of violent offenses in the county since he took office in 2017, including the abduction, torture, rape and killing of 14-year-old DeFreeze. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

COLUMBUS (AP) – A new study finds that Ohio’s Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, saw more death sentences in the past two years than any other U.S. county.

The report from the Death Penalty Information Center says the county had five death sentences in 2018 and this year, compared to two sentences in counties in California and Arizona. Prosecutor Michael O’Malley says the figure is appropriate given the number of violent offenses since he took office in 2017.

Whether those inmates will ever be executed is another question since executions are on hold in Ohio because of a lack of lethal drugs.

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