The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case next month that tests the constitutionality of death penalty sentencing.
Maurice Mason, 52, of Marion raped and murdered a pregnant woman in 1993. He was sentenced to death by a judge following a jury's recommendation.
But Mason's attorneys say a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Florida case last year makes his sentence unconstitutional, because only the jury needs to consider the facts in the case and make that decision, not the judge. Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association have both filed paperwork supporting the sentence.
Oral arguments on Mason's sentence are set before the Ohio Supreme Court on January 23.