Death penalty debated as another inmate executed

Protesters from the group "Ohioans to Stop Executions" rallied at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday to protest the execution of convicted murderer Gary Otte. (WSYX/WTTE)

An Ohio man who killed two people in Parma, near Cleveland, was put to death Wednesday. Gary Otte was convicted of killing Robert Wasikowski and Sharon Kostura in 1992. A group of protesters prayed outside the Statehouse as Otte was put to death.

There have been protests outside the Statehouse for weeks after Governor Kasich rescheduled several executions.

"This is not necessary," said Jim Tobin with Ohioans to Stop Executions. "We just don't need this. We can keep them in prison and keep them safe from society."

Tobin said the death penalty is used inconsistently and is costly to the state. The protesters said they weren't defending the heinous crimes committed. They felt like there were better ways to give victims justice.

"Oftentimes we see that this justice they're supposed to be served doesn't happen until 20 plus years later and then if and when that person is executed they still may not feel that closure," said Hannah Kubbins, one of the other protesters with Ohioans to Stop Executions.

The group left the Statehouse shortly after learning Otte had died. The bells of nearby Trinity Episcopal Church rang across the street. Many of the people there said they would be back in November for the next execution. Alva Campbell is scheduled next.

"This guy is the perfect example why you should have the death penalty," said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien who tried that case.

Campbell was sentenced to death for carjacking and killing Charlie Dials in 1997 in Columbus. Dials, who was 18 at the time, was trying to pay a traffic ticket when he was attacked. Campbell was convicted of murder as a juvenile, freed, then committed a series of robberies. Campbell escaped from a Franklin County deputy and took her gun right before killing Dials.

"He's never claimed innocence. He confessed to it," O'Brien said. "These guys all claim mental health issues and probably you're not such a evil SOB as he is without having arguable mental health issues because normal people don't do what he's done throughout his whole life."

Dials' grandmother said her family wants Campbell to be executed. She said Campbell never showed any remorse. He's scheduled to die November 15th.

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