Brett Hartmann Receives Stay of Execution in Ohio (UA 76/09)

Brett Hartmann received a stay of execution from the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on 31 March. He was due to be executed in Ohio on 7 April for the murder of Winda Snipes in 1997. Brett Hartmann’s lawyers had appealed to the Sixth Circuit to stay the execution and allow them to file a new habeas corpus petition on the grounds that there was new evidence supporting Brett Hartmann’s claim of innocence, including their claim that one of the state’s key witnesses may have committed perjury when he testified at the trial. The court has stayed the execution at this time, but has not allowed the petition to go ahead under the stringent rules that apply in US federal law to filing successive habeas corpus petitions. The Ohio Parole Board had recommended that Governor Ted Strickland not intervene to stop the execution. The governor, who is not bound by this recommendation, had not made a decision on the case by the time the judicial stay was handed down.