Tag Archives: Abdul Awkal

Reprieve for Abdul Awkal

From News Channel 5 in Cleveland:

By: Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republican Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday issued a rare last-minute reprieve for a condemned killer, sparing Abdul Awkal for two weeks to allow a judge to hold a hearing on his mental competency.

Kasich ordered the delay to allow a Cuyahoga County judge to conduct a hearing on whether Awkal is too mentally ill to be put to death. Judge Stuart Friedman ruled Monday there was evidence to believe Awkal was not competent to be executed, but his ruling was not enough to stop the execution.

Kasich’s decision came shortly after the Ohio Supreme Court had refused to delay the execution to allow the hearing. Governors in Ohio have the ultimate say on executions.

I grieve for Latife Awkal and Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz of whose killings in 1992, Awkal was convicted. I grieve for all who mourn for them.

At the same time, I give thanks for Governor Kasich’s action. Executions are expressions of violence, revenge, and retribution. Executions cut off the possibility for repentance, rehabilitation, and restoration.

The execution of Abdul Awkal will not bring his estranged wife and brother-in-law back. The execution of any person diminishes us all. That is particularly the case when questions exist about person’s mental competence.

May God grant wisdom to the officials of the State of Ohio.

See you along the Trail.

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Urgent action needed: Ask Governor Kasich to issue reprieve

From Ohioans to Stop Executions

Ohio plans to execute Abdul Awkal on June 6 for the 1992 murders of his estranged wife and her brother in Cleveland. There is no reasonable doubt about that. The larger question is always about the death penalty itself. The specific question in this case focuses on the mental competency of Mr. Awkal.

Here are recent developments: Governor Kasich denied clemency to Mr. Awkal on May 30 without explanation.

The governor’s decision came after the Ohio Parole Board issued a split recommendation against clemency.

I join Ohioans to Stop Executions in calling concerned individuals to contact Governor Kasich’s office by phone at 614-466-3555 or by e-mail and urge him to issue a reprieve so courts can determine if Mr. Awkal is competent for execution. Attorneys for Mr. Awkal will present new evidence that Mr. Awkal is incompetent to be executed.

Learn more about the case.

I vote in Ohio – long story – but I do – and only in Ohio.

I have contacted Governor Kasich telling him that I do not want the State of Ohio to kill in my name!

See you along the Trail.

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6 June execution date in Ohio

The State of Ohio is scheduled to execute Abdul Awkal on 6 June. Awkal was convicted in 1992 for the murders of his wife, Latife Awkal, and his brother-in-law, Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz. The murders took place inside the courthouse on Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland.

The Awkals were scheduled for a meeting on 7 January 1992 in the family conciliation services office of the Domestic Relations Court over custody of their 15-month old daughter. Latife Awkal had filed for divorce from her husband.

For some reason or reasons, the situation took a violent turn. Awkal shot and killed his sister and brother-in-law. He then tried to flee with his daughter before a sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded him.

There appears little doubt of Awkal’s guilt. There appears no doubt. Guilt is not the question. The question is responsibility. Awkal has a long, well-documented history of severe mental illness that predates to before the murders. One source describes his illness as “a severe depressive/delusional disorder that results in audio and visual hallucinations, delusions of grandiose and paranoid themes, and suicide attempts.” Does that matter? While different courts have taken different views of the impact of his mental illness and his mental competence at different times, I believe there exists a reasonable doubt as to his level of responsibility.

On Friday 18 May, the parole board in Ohio recommended to the governor that he not grant clemency to Awkal. One member dissented from the decision.

I grieve for Latife and Mahmoud. I grieve for a child who lost one parent to death and another to incarceration. The use of violence in a courthouse and before an effort at reconciliation disturbs me greatly. I give thanks for the actions of the law enforcement officer who may well have prevented a greater loss of life. Nothing justifies Awkal’s actions. Nothing minimizes their brutality. And yet …

What is gained by the execution of Abdul Awkal? It does not bring his wife and brother-in-law back. It does not make our society any safer than we would be if Awkal remained in prison for life. It would be an act of revenge – an act of violence – that further dehumanizes our society. Can we not do better?

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights