May 15, 2011
Killers Sammy Littleton II and Matthew Hoffman will die for their crimes in jail, but not by lethal injection.
That’s not because the heinousness of their crimes didn’t warrant the death penalty, but rather because prosecutors wanted something from each of them.
In Hoffman’s case, Knox County prosecutors needed the triple-murderer to lead them to the bodies of his victims. In Littleton’s case, prosecutors wanted to ease the families’ pain and honor their wish to spare themselves the time and anguish of a trial and appeals.
Both murderers agreed to plead guilty and serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. In exchange, they are allowed to live.
The death penalty in Ohio is more than just a form of punishment – it’s a tool prosecutors rely on to get information, avoid lengthy and costly trials and to provide quick justice to families in pain. In contrast, pursuing a death-penalty case can mean decades before an execution date even is set.
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