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Death Penalty

Death sentence is too pricey and should be overturned, lawyer tells Ohio Supreme Court

Posted Aug 21, 2013 6:58 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Toledo lawyer Spiros Cocoves told the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday that his client’s death sentence should not be carried out because the cost is too high.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor framed the issue in a question for Cocoves, the Toledo Blade reports. “So your argument is that, because it’s so expensive, the alternative should be imposed of life without parole?” she asked.

“Exactly,” Cocoves replied.

According to the story, “The argument didn’t seem to resonate.”

Cocoves is asking the court to overturn the death sentence of Calvin Neyland Jr., convicted of shooting and killing his former boss and another employee as Neyland was about to be fired from his trucking job. The justices appeared more interested in another issue: whether Neyland’s diagnosed paranoid personality disorder was a mental illness or just a mental condition.

Cocoves argued that Neyland's paranoia worsened when he was forced to wear leg restraints at trial, reducing his cooperation with his defense.

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