- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A defense lawyer says setting an execution date for a death row inmate convicted of a 1996 killing serves no purpose with Ohio executions on partial hold.

Attorney Michael Benza represents condemned prisoner John Stojetz (STOH’-yets), who’s sentenced to die for killing a 17-year-old prisoner in a race-related slaying. The Madison County prosecutor asked the Ohio Supreme Court last week to set a date for putting Stojetz to death.

The 63-year-old Stojetz, who is white, was convicted of fatally stabbing 17-year-old Damico Watkins, who was black, at Madison Correctional Institution on April 25, 1996.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has delayed four executions while the state seeks a new lethal injection method. Benza says setting a date now serves no purpose for the criminal justice system, the families involved or Stojetz.

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