Lid on final words by death row prisoners after Ohio inmate’s 17-minute speech!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NEW YORK - The final words of death row prisoners in Ohio, the United States, could be shortened, edited or stopped under new state prison rules.

According to the New York Post, the change has been prompted by the execution of Michael Beuke, who took 17 minutes to make his final statement on May 13.

Beuke had spent 17 minutes reciting the rosary prayers of the Roman Catholic Church while strapped to the lethal-injection table at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

It was the longest final statement by any inmate in Ohio since executions resumed in February 1999.

“The warden may impose reasonable limits on the content and length of the statement,” the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in its new policy.

“The warden may also terminate a statement that he or she believes to be intentionally offensive to the witnesses,” it added.

Meanwhile, Carrie Davis, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, said that the decision would certainly be a violation of the First Amendment to the US constitution.

“It’s very troubling. This is something we sued over 10 years ago,” Davis said.

The amendment prohibits the making of any law impeding the free exercise of religion and infringing on the freedom of speech. (ANI)

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