Our mission is simple: end the death penalty in Ohio.
Who we are
OTSE is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to reduce use of and ultimately end capital punishment in Ohio. We are ordinary Ohioans with an extraordinary vision for how society addresses violent crime and victims’ families needs.
What we believe
We think Ohio will be better off when the needs of victims’ families come first. We believe the death penalty only creates more victims and does not serve the needs of Ohio’s law enforcement community. We value smarter criminal justice policies that hold offenders accountable and keep communities safe. We believe Ohio can do both, and that begins with rethinking death in a society that values life.
What informs our beliefs
Victims’ families. Time and again our vision and beliefs are informed by Ohio’s homicide survivors. They have already lost the most but are harmed even more by the trauma that comes with decades of uncertainty. When they speak, people listen. And they’re saying the death penalty only causes more harm to them and their healing.
Wrongfully convicted. When execution is the outcome, the system must be perfect 100% of the time. Wrongfully convicted men and women are a stark reminder the system all too often makes mistakes. When mistakes are made there is no going back after execution.
Data analysis. We take a data driven approach, and the data is clear. Ohio’s death penalty is not reserved for the worst crimes and offenders. It is relegated to a few counties for people living with mental illness, drug addiction, and extreme poverty who commit homicide against white victims. The most likely outcome of a death sentence is not execution.
OTSE was founded in 1988. OTSE worked to raise awareness and education around state executions as Ohio began executing again in 1999.
Since then, OTSE has educated Ohioans as diverse as our great state. We’ve worked in big cities and small towns with Democrats, Republicans and Independents through faith-based organizations and civic groups. That’s why today we have thousands of members and supporters across Ohio. And we’re ready to make history.
Check out this video to learn more about our history.