With the release of a new report from Harvard University’s Fair Punishment Project examining various factors impacting the 26 Ohio prisoners currently scheduled for execution, Ohioans to Stop Executions executive director Kevin Werner issued the following statement. Mr. Werner is available for further comment at 614-981-3148. See the new report here: http://fairpunishment.org/
“This report is shocking but not surprising. It demonstrates how far off the rails Ohio’s death penalty has veered. There is a fundamental morality problem when Ohio reserves execution for those with the lowest intellectual functioning, with the most troubling histories of childhood abuse, and for individuals with mental illnesses.
“When 88% of the scheduled executions have documented evidence of intellectual disability, horrific childhood abuse and mental illness, there is no defensible position that we’re getting the death penalty system right in Ohio. This is the clearest evidence we’ve seen that death is reserved for the most vulnerable Ohioans.
“Ohioans to Stop Executions represents the voices of millions of Ohioans who believe we can protect society and hold dangerous criminals accountable without executions. We reiterate our call to end executions in Ohio and we urge that the millions of dollars saved be used to provide better supports for murder victim families, and better measures to prevent violent crime in the first place.
“If executions are to continue, then Governor Kasich and the legislature must work to implement the recommendations of the Supreme Court Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty to ensure that the system is fair, accurate, and does not target the most vulnerable of Ohio’s citizens.”