Jason Dean – White, age 31 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced in Clark County, Ohio
By: a jury
Date of crime: 2005
Victim: Titus Arnold
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Dean and an underage accomplice went on a crime spree as soon as they were released from prison culminating in the armed robbery and murder of Arnold over $6.  The Supreme Court threw out his original case due to the trial judge’s bias against him and his attorneys.  The defense brought in character witness family members to soften his image to the jury.  The prosecution argued the timing of the spree, the number of people affected, and remorselessness of Dean in the courtroom were aggravating factors.
Sources: Springfield News Sun (OH) 9/20/11 (http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/crime-law/jury-recommends-death-sentence-for-jason-dean-1/nMt7y/), Dayton Daily News (OH) 8/29/11 B6 (2011 WLNR 17177113), Clark County Prosecutor Press Release 9/30/11 (http://www.clarkcountyohio.gov/Prosecutor/pdf/Releases/

Edward Edwards – White, age 62

Sentenced in Geauga County, Ohio
By: a three judge panel (Defendant waived right to jury)
Date of crime: May 1996
Victim: Dannie Boy Edwards, 25
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Edwards persuaded the victim, his foster son, to go AWOL from the Army.  Under a ruse of arranging a way to elude the authorities, Edwards took the victim into the woods and shot him twice in the face, intending to collect on the victim’s $250,000 life insurance policy.  Edwards was already serving life sentences for two unrelated double homicides, and he repeatedly stated that he confessed to this crime specifically to receive the death penalty.  He died of natural causes before the execution date.
Sources: Plain Dealer (Clev.) B1 4/9/11 (2011 WLNR 7060490)

Deny Obermiller – White, age 26

Sentenced in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
By: a three judge panel
Date of crime: August 2009
Victim: Candace Schneider, 61, Donald Schneider, 60
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Obermiller handcuffed and strangled his grandfather and handcuffed, raped, and strangled his grandmother.  He pawned their belongings to fund his getaway.  Police discovered their bodies while natural gas was filling the house with several lit candles.  Obermiller confessed, pleaded guilty to all counts, and refused to allow his attorneys to put up any defense promising that he would not appeal the death sentence.  Obermiller had previously served nine years for aggravated assault and kidnapping.
Sources: Plain Dealer (Cleve.) B1 1/12/11 (2011 WLNR 730086), Plain Dealer (Clev.) B1 2/26/11 (2011 WLNR 3980044)

Anthony Sowell – Black, age 49 

Sentenced in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crimes: 2007-2009
Victim:  11 women killed, 3 other survivors
Prosecution’s case/defense response:   Sowell lured women into his home, raped and/or murdered them by strangulation, dismembered them, and hid their bodies throughout his home.  The defense argued that an untreated heart attack had cause brain damage that turned a hard-working man into a monster.  Character and expert witnesses testified to his troubled upbringing, mental problems, psychosis, and other disorders.  The prosecution highlighted Sowell conviction of attempted rape and testimony of sexual assault on another woman.  The brutal viciousness and regular attacks acted as extreme aggravating factors.
Sources: 8/1/11 AP DataStream 20:27:54, Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) 8/5/11 A1 (2011WLNR 15591939), 8/11/11 AP DataStream 07:50:24, Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) 8/13/11 A1 (2011 WLNR 16203256).