Legislation to abolish the death penalty in Ohio has a fourth hearing this week


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  • Momentum continues to build to end death penalty in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Legislation to abolish the death penalty in Ohio is due for a fourth hearing today.

The House Criminal Justice Committee will hear from interested parties on House Bill 183, which has a companion bill in the Senate.

The Reverend Crystal Walker, executive director of the Greater Dayton Christian Connections group, whose son was murdered in 2013, said the death penalty could not bring him back and that she would not want his killer’s family to feel the loss she feels.

“All it does is cause heartbreak and pain to another family,” Walker said. “And we have to stop this because someone loves the abuser as much as they love the victim.”

Opponents of the repeal have argued that the death penalty is reserved for “the worst of the worst” offenders, and say its removal would put serial killers or mass murderers on the same level as anyone else. committing aggravated murder. Ohio has not staged an execution since 2018 due to issues acquiring an appropriate drug for the lethal injections.

Jonathan Mann, vice president of Ohioans to Stop Executions, said he grappled with the moral implications of the death penalty following his father’s assassination in 2017. He claimed it was not a deterrent, adding that there was currently no legal means for executions in the state. .

“The cocktail of drugs that had previously been used for lethal injection has been called barbaric and inhuman,” Mann said. “And what we’re talking about here from the point of view of the death penalty and ending lives are philosophically humane ways of doing it – which don’t currently exist.”

Melinda Elkins Johnson of Barberton, the daughter of the murder victim, said when her mother was murdered in 1998 her husband was falsely accused and could have been sentenced to death. She said that no one believed her claims that he was innocent and did not view her as a victim herself.

“Not once has victim support or the DA’s office attempted to contact me for any reason,” Johnson said. “I received no favors. I was completely an outcast in their eyes.”

Supporters of the repeal argued that the money used for executions should be reallocated to provide assistance to the families of the victims, including mental health care, and money to pay for funeral expenses, mortgages or tuition fees.

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