Anti-death penalty group names award for ex-prisons director

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state’s largest anti-death penalty group is giving a new award named after former state prisons director who died last month of a heart attack.

The group Ohioans to Stop Executions says former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton will be the first recipient of the Terry J. Collins Award on April 12 at an event at the Statehouse.

Collins oversaw more than 30 executions and defended Ohio’s execution procedures as prisons director. He then became an anti-death penalty advocate in retirement.

Ohioans to Stop Executions says the award bearing Collins’ name recognizes a leader in government who once supported or implemented the death penalty — but later reversed positions on the death penalty and actively advocated to end executions.