Monday, April 9, 2012

The Impending Execution of Mark Wiles

Mark Wayne Wiles sits on death row awaiting execution by the people of Ohio. The execution is scheduled for 18 April. I present a summary of his case from the adverse appellate decision of Wiles v. Bagley, 2009.
Mark Wiles murdered a fifteen-year-old boy with a kitchen knife during a botched burglary in 1985. After he waived his right to a jury trial, a panel of three Ohio judges convicted him of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary, then sentenced him to death. … 
In 1982, Wiles went to work as a part-time laborer for Charles and Carol Klima on their horse farm, where they lived with their son Mark. One day in early 1983, the family learned that $200 in cash was missing. That same day, Wiles had reported for work, but he could not be found after the Klimas learned of the missing cash, and he did not return to collect his paycheck or for that matter return to work any longer on the farm. In the spring of that year, Wiles began serving a 4 - 25 year sentence in an Ohio prison for an unrelated burglary he had committed the previous year. 
On August 7, 1985, after serving eighteen months of this sentence, Wiles returned to the Klima farm, entered the unlocked house while the family was gone and began to search the house for valuables. While he was still in the house, Mark Klima returned and confronted him. Wiles stabbed the boy 24 times with a kitchen knife, stole approximately $260 and fled. Carol Klima returned home to find her unconscious son lying on the floor with a knife buried in his back. Later that day, Mark Klima died in a hospital emergency room. 
Wiles initially fled from the authorities. Five days after the murder, however, he turned himself in to the police in Savannah, Georgia, telling them that he was wanted for murder in Ohio. After being informed of his rights, he told the police what he had done and signed a confession admitting that he had killed Klima. 
A state grand jury indicted Wiles for aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated burglary -- one for the 1985 home invasion, one for the 1983 $200 theft. He waived his right to a jury, and a three-judge panel heard his case. After the guilt phase of the proceedings, the court determined that there was insufficient evidence that he had committed the 1983 burglary but convicted him on the aggravated-murder and the other aggravated-burglary count. After a mitigation hearing, the court determined that neither Wiles' youth (he was 22-years old at the time of the murder) nor his confession outweighed the aggravating circumstances of his crime. The court imposed a death sentence, and the Ohio Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence.
No one claims, not even Mark Wiles himself, that he is factually innocent of the crime for which he is scheduled to die. I offer this excerpt from Ohioans to Stop Executions.
Ohio is planning to execute Mark Wiles on April 18, 2012. Mr. Wiles was convited of murdering 15-year old Mark Klima in 1985 in Portage County. Mark Wiles accepts full responsibility for his actions and expresses sincere and profound remorse. He has been attempting to apologize to the Klima family since 2005.
I oppose any execution in which the person to be executed may be factually innocent of the crime for which he is to be executed. In all other cases, I stand mute.

In the case of Mark Wayne Wiles, I stand mute.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did not burn a candle at midnight to protest
the execution of Mark Wiles.I did not cry for Mark Wiles. I oppose the death penalty as a policy. The death penalty serves no purpose. It does nothing to prevent crime and makes us a worse not better nation. Make a list of countries that have the death penalty and a list of those that don't and decide which group you want your country to be with. Virtually no countries that have the death penalty have a fair and equal justice system.

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