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Ohio prosecutor: restrict death cases to 'worst'

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says he wants capital punishment to be the exception rather than the rule in his office, following decades in which the county was criticized for bringing death penalty charges frequently, then dropping them in favor of plea bargains or lesser charges. In arguing that death sentences should be reserved for the worst of the worst criminals, his office has cited four recent cases where capital punishment charges were justified:

—Darryl Durr, executed in 2010 for strangling a 16-year-old girl with a dog chain in 1988

—Neo-Nazi Frank Spisak, executed in 2011 for killing three people on the Cleveland State University campus in 1982 in a shooting spree that targeted blacks.

—Reginald Brooks, executed in 2011 for shooting his three sons while they slept, shortly after his wife filed for divorce in 1982.

—Anthony Sowell, currently on death row, sentenced to die in 2011 for killing 11 women on Cleveland's east side between 2007 and 2009, all recovering or current drug addicts, most of whom were strangled.

Source: AP Research

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