2016 execution date set for condemned Ohio killer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court set a 2016 execution date Friday for a Columbus man convicted in the execution-style murders of two men during a 1997 robbery that netted just $100.

Despite a request from prosecutors that Kareem Jackson, 39, be executed by the end of the year, the court set his execution date for Jan. 21, 2016.

Jackson was convicted of aggravated murder and other charges in the killings of Antorio Hunter and Terrance Walker in a Columbus apartment on March 24, 1997.

Prosecutors say Jackson shot both men in the back of the head as they lay on the floor and begged for their lives. They were killed after Jackson and his friends stole $100 in cash and marijuana from them.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien had asked the court to set Jackson's execution within six months, saying that execution date in 2015 or beyond "would be upside down, and further foster the lack of confidence in the handling of capital cases by the criminal justice system and the judiciary."

"These were execution-style killings. The victims were begging for their lives," O'Brien wrote. "Whatever one thinks of the death penalty, it is the law of the land, and these death sentences have been upheld in all cases after more than a decade of the substantial judicial review that such cases entail."

Defense attorneys disagreed, arguing that they were new to the case, needed more time to prepare for Jackson's eventual request for clemency, and that an imminent execution date would amount to a violation of Jackson's constitutional rights.