The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t hear a challenge to Ohio’s death penalty law in a case involving a convicted murderer and rapist from Marion.
The Supreme Court chose not to review a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court in April that upheld the death sentence for 54-year old Maurice Mason. Mason’s team claimed Ohio’s death penalty law had the same problems as Florida’s, which the high court had ruled unconstitutional.
Kort Gatterdam is Mason’s attorney, and he’s disappointed but not dissuaded. “It doesn’t mean they’re finding Ohio’s death penalty statute is constitutional. There may be another case down the road where they choose to hear this issue," Gatterdam said.
The US Supreme Court said the Florida law was unconstitutional because it gave judges too much authority to impose the death penalty. Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled that though a judge sentences someone to death in Ohio, that authority comes directly from the jury.