Death penalty debate stalls suspected killer's hearing

CLEVELAND -- The prosecutor in a triple-murder case in Ohio wants the judge to allow the death penalty as an option.

In a filing Wednesday in Cleveland, the prosecutor in the case against 36-year-old Michael Madison defended Ohio's death penalty as constitutional.

The prosecutor asked Judge Nancy McDonnell to clear the way for a possible death penalty at the trial in April.

The defense argued in an earlier filing that the death penalty in Ohio is imposed in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner and should be ruled out at the trial.

A pretrial hearing scheduled for Thursday was postponed.

Madison is charged with killing the women and leaving their bodies in trash bags in East Cleveland.

He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, kidnapping, corpse abuse, rape and a weapons charge.


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