James Filiaggi Executed For Lisa Huff Murder

James Filiaggi was executed by the State of Ohio for the murder of Lisa Huff

According to court documents James Filiaggi and Lisa Huff were divorced after nine months of marriage and James would terrorize his ex wife. It would end with Filiaggi forcing his way into Lisa home where she would be shot multiple times causing her death

James Filiaggi would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

James Filiaggi would be executed by lethal injection on April 24 2007

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James Filiaggi execution

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When Was James Filiaggi Executed

James Filiaggi was executed on April 24 2007

James Filiaggi Case

It is impossible to know what James J. Filiaggi felt as he was executed yesterday. But it’s clear that his seemingly peaceful death was unlike the sheer terror his ex-wife faced 13 years ago as he dragged her into a neighbor’s bathroom and shot her execution-style with a 9 mm Luger pistol.

Filiaggi, 41, of Lorain, was declared dead at 11:30 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. But the fierce debate over the humaneness and constitutionality of lethal injection lives on. “I know I flipped some worlds upside down,” Filiaggi said as he lay strapped to the lethal-injection table in the small, windowless Death Chamber, where a large clock on the wall is the dominant feature. “For me, it’s fine,” he said. “But the state needs to learn this ain’t the answer.”

It was the answer for Ellen Jane Harris, who has wanted Filiaggi dead since he killed her daughter, Lisa, on Jan. 24, 1994. “He was an animal going after his prey,” Harris told reporters after witnessing the execution. “I realize his death will not bring my daughter back, but he has caused harm and pain to so many other people over the years, both physical and emotional.” Harris acknowledged that while some people believe that lethal injection is cruel, “I wish Lisa would have gone in such a peaceful manner.”

Filiaggi’s attorneys argued that the lethal combination of three drugs masks but does not eliminate excruciating pain, essentially torturing an inmate in the moments before death. A national study released Monday was critical of the fact that most states, including Ohio, do not adjust the amount of drugs administered based on the size and weight of prisoners. Filiaggi was 6 feet tall and weighed 225 pounds.

The execution was set for 10 a.m. but was delayed an hour for word on a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was rejected shortly before 11 a.m. Filiaggi was the first person executed in Ohio during Gov. Ted Strickland’s term. The 24 previous executions, going back to 1999 when Ohio started enforcing the death penalty again, occurred when Bob Taft was governor.

Described as “calm and compliant,” the condemned man did not sleep Monday night. He spent his final hours meeting with family and friends at his cell-side or talking with them on the phone. He rambled during his final two-minute statement, expressing love for his two teenage daughters (who refused to attend the execution) as well as three friends who watched him die.

Jeffrey Gamso, one of Filiaggi’s attorneys and the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, described the execution as “aggravated murder.” He said the execution was arbitrary and dependent on timing. Had Filiaggi decided earlier to pursue his appeal, he would have joined nine other inmates in a lawsuit challenging lethal injection, “and he’d be alive right now.”

Filiaggi was known as a “volunteer” because he chose to waive some of his late-stage appeals. However, late last week, he changed his mind and authorized Gamso to challenge injection as unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. In a 96-hour flurry, Filiaggi’s appeals were rejected by four courts. Strickland turned down two clemency requests, one of them on Monday.


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