November 24, 2014

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Attorney challenges death penalty

ELYRIA — Another accused killer facing the death penalty if convicted is hoping that he can convince a Lorain County judge to declare Ohio’s lethal injection process unconstitutional.

Jack Bradley, defense attorney for Christopher Birriel-Torres, filed a motion Thursday asking Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi to declare the state’s lethal injection process cruel and unusual.

Bradley said he took the step after learning that the Ohio Supreme Court had refused to halt an order from Common Pleas Judge James Burge that forces the state to turn over detailed information on how it carries out executions.

The state’s argument that Burge overstepped his authority when he agreed to hold hearings on the constitutionality of the death penalty has yet to be ruled on by the high court.

Birriel-Torres and Jonathon Robles-Cruz are both charged in the 2006 slaying of Edgardo Alicea, whose body was discovered near railroad tracks in Lorain.