Friday, February 18, 2011

R.I.P. Frances Spisak

Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution
On February 17, 2011, Ohio executed Frances Spisak for the 1982 murders of three people on the campus of Cleveland State University. Spisak shot and killed Tim Sheehan, a CSU employee; the Rev. Horace Rickerson; and 17-year-old CSU student Brian Warford.  Spisak was alleged to have said that he committed the killings because he was "a follower of Adolf Hitler and was in a war for survival "of the Aryan people."  Michael Benza and Alan Rossman, Spisak's attorneys, released the following statement: "We know what the media is going to say about about Frances Spisak. But the truth is Frances was seriously mental ill and committed the crimes because of this mental illness not because of hate. What we need to talk about is why is it okay to kill the mentally ill? We have the ability to provide treatment and protect the public without killing mentally ill people who commit crimes. Maybe some day we will see executions of mentally ill people for what it is:  barbaric."  This is the seventh execution in the United States this year, the first in Ohio.


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