From a joint statement by Attorney General Cordray and Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh:
- We are in the process of reviewing the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. A stay has been temporarily granted by the Sixth Circuit and will remain in effect until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its opinion in District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne. Based upon today's order, the execution of Brett Hartman will not go forward on Tuesday, April 7.
Hartman has been arguing for the right to retest evidence from the scene. On appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court he argued for limited testing basically to rule out an inconsistency between his story and the physical evidence. The claimed right to retest as described by the paper is more extensive -- basically retesting everything even though he pretty much admitted that he was in the victim's apartment so that physical evidence putting him there isn't a big surprise. The Supreme Court opinion, by the way, is available on this Brett Hartman Is Innocent site. As the opinion demonstrates, the evidence against him is actually quite overwhelming.
I don't know where the Supreme Court will come out on Osborne, so it's dicey to say when Hartman's planned execution will get back on track. By coincidence, this makes two consecutive Summit County defendants who got a stay pending a Supreme Court decision. The first, Richard Wade Cooey, has subsequently been put to death.