248 N.E.2d 614 (Ohio 1969), 68-533, State v. Crampton

Docket Nº:68-533.
Citation:248 N.E.2d 614, 18 Ohio St.2d 182
Opinion Judge:TAFT, C.J.
Party Name:The STATE of Ohio, Appellee, v. CRAMPTON, Appellant.
Attorney:Harry Friberg, Pros. Atty., Melvin L. Resnick and Alice L. Robie, Toledo, for appellee., John J. Callahan and Gerald S. Lubitsky, Toledo, for appellant. Mr. Harry Friberg, prosecuting attorney, Mr. Melvin L. Resnick and Miss Alice L. Robie, for appellee., Mr. John J. Callahan and Mr. Gerald S. L...
Judge Panel:MATTHIAS, SCHNEIDER, HERBERT and DUNCAN, JJ., concur. [ ** ]
Case Date:June 11, 1969
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 614

248 N.E.2d 614 (Ohio 1969)

18 Ohio St.2d 182

The STATE of Ohio, Appellee,

v.

CRAMPTON, Appellant.

No. 68-533.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

June 11, 1969

Page 615

Syllabus by the Court

1. A person accused of murder in the first degree is not denied his constitutional right to a fair trial where veniremen are excused for cause from serving as jurors because their opinions preclude them from finding the accused guilty of an offense punishable with death. (Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510, 88 S.Ct. 1770, 20 L.Ed.2d 776; Boulden v. Holman, 394 U.S. 478, 89 S.Ct. 1138, 22 L.Ed.2d 433; and State v. Pruett, 18 Ohio St.2d 167, 248 N.E.2d 605, followed.)

2. It is not error to sustain an objection to a hypothetical question calling for an answer based upon an improper test for legal insanity. (State v. Staten, 18 Ohio St.2d 13, 247 N.E.2d 293, approved and followed.)

3. An accused is not deprived of his constitutional rights against self-incrimination by a procedure under which the jury, which determines an accused to be guilty of first degree murder, is authorized to determine whether mercy should be recommended so that the penalty should not be death.

4. The punishment of death for the crime of murder in the first degree where the jury does not recommend mercy, does not violate the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments.

5. The punishment of death for first degree murder, where the jury does not recommend mercy, does not deprive a person of due process or equal protection of the laws. [18 Ohio St.2d 183]

Defendant was indicted for first degree murder in the killing of his wife on January 17, 1967. After pleading not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, he was tried before a jury which rendered a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree and did not recommend mercy. After defendant's motion for a new trial was overruled, the court sentenced defendant to death in the electric chair.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction.

The cause is before this court upon appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Harry Friberg, Pros. Atty., Melvin L. Resnick and Alice L. Robie, Toledo, for appellee.

John J. Callahan and Gerald S. Lubitsky, Toledo, for appellant.

TAFT, Chief Justice.

Defendant's first contention is that a person accused of murder in the first degree is denied his constitutional right to a fair trial when veniremen are excused for cause from serving as jurors because their opinions preclude them from finding the accused guilty of an offense punishable with death.

Our decision in State v. Pruett (1969), 18 Ohio St.2d 167, 248 N.E.2d 605 and the

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reasons stated in the opinions in Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), 391 U.S. 510, 88 S.Ct. 1770, 20 L.Ed.2d 433; Boulden v. Holman (1969), 394 U.S. 478, 89 S.Ct. 1138, 22 L.Ed.2d 433 and State v. Pruett, supra, require us to reject this contention. [*] [18 Ohio St.2d 184]

Defendant further complains about the charge of the court with respect to insanity.

It may be noted that the state also objected to this charge. Apparently, this charge on insanity was substantially the same as the charge given on that subject in State v....

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