Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty for Serial Killer


The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentences of convicted serial killer Michael Madison last week. Madison, who was convicted of murdering three women after confessing to killing one, claimed that he did not recall killing the two others. The 2013 conviction was not without controversy however, as the defense took issue with several aspects of the prosecution including psychiatric reports, jury selection, and even the constitutionality of the death penalty.

The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision, written by Judge Pat Dewine, affirmed the convictions of all but two of the twelve charges Madison was convicted of. The Supreme Court also refused to alter the sentences handed down at the time of trial. Judge Dewine wrote, “Over a nine-month period Michael Madison murdered three women in his East Cleveland apartment.” The decision goes on to detail both the case and the murders, describing the discovery by police officers of a number of garbage bags containing the victims scattered near Madison’s home.

In interviews with detectives, Madison claimed he did not recall killing two of his three victims, saying that on the night he killed Shirellda Terry  he was “really drunk and high.” He did, however, recall waking up next to her dead body and putting the body in his garage. Madison claims to have no recollection whatsoever of the third murder.

A grand jury indicted Madison on fourteen different counts including multiple accounts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, and gross abuse of a corpse. Madison was found guilty on all charges except for two counts of gross abuse of a corpse. The Supreme court would later reverse two of the kidnapping convictions but upheld the rest.

It is unclear when the sentence will be carried out or if Madison intends to continue his appeals. Governor Dewine has stayed three death penalty cases until 2022 citing the difficulty Ohio is having attaining the pharmaceutical drugs used in lethal injections, meaning that it is unlikely Madison will face execution in the near future.

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Ben Kolodny is a reporter for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. Follow Ben on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]




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