“It is time for Ohio to abolish this archaic punishment,” said Rep. Antonio. “The many flaws surrounding the death penalty show the punishment to be expensive, impractical, unjust, inhumane, and erroneous. It is time to evolve to a more just society and replace the death penalty to life without parole in Ohio.”
The legislators discussed a multifaceted rationale to end the death penalty in Ohio, citing new developments in DNA evidence testing [which have released more than 156 death row inmates due to actual innocence]; racial disparities in sentencing [the poor and minorities are discriminated against]; disparities in the local affordability of capitol indictments [counties vary as to whom should be indicted with a capital punishment specification]; and a shortage accessing lethal execution drugs due to the refusal by manufacturers to have their drug, originally created to save lives, be used as a lethal injection.
Ohio ran out of pentobarbital, the primary drug used for lethal injections, in September of this year. The state will use two new drugs for the next scheduled execution, drugs which have never been used to carry-out the death sentence in Ohio.
“This isn’t how our criminal justice system should work. Seeking the death penalty comes at a greater cost to taxpayers and a painful, lengthy trial process for families seeking closure,” said Rep. Ramos. “Studies continue to show that the death penalty is applied unequally and arbitrarily. The geographic area or socioeconomic background you come from should not determine whether you are sentenced to death or life in prison.”
The lawmakers were joined with advocates from Ohioans to Stop Executions, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus and the St. John’s Episcopal Church of Columbus.
In May of this year, Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.