Death Penalty: Review of New Penalty Phase of Trial
Rayshawn Johnson v. State of Ohio, Case No. 2012-0405
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court
Rayshawn Johnson of Cincinnati was sentenced to death a second time in the redo of the penalty phase of his 1998 murder trial. Johnson has appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court asking that his death sentence be set aside and a third sentencing-phase hearing be ordered in his case.
Johnson was convicted of murdering Shanon Marks in her Cincinnati home in November 1997. He was also found guilty of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, robbery, and kidnapping, and the court imposed the death penalty. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and death sentence in March 2000.
In a federal appeal, however, the district court ruled in 2006 that Johnson's attorneys were ineffective during the penalty phase of his trial and directed the State of Ohio to give Johnson a new mitigation hearing. In December 2011, the jury in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court recommended that Johnson receive the death penalty for the murder, and the court later sentenced him to death. Johnson filed an appeal directly with the Ohio Supreme Court.