Ohio legislators are considering reforms that will no longer allow death sentences for individuals with serious mental illness. These reforms are long overdue. Citizens are getting involved by making one call and one contribution.
Call Rep. Robert Cupp at 614-644-9624 and tell him you support ending death sentences for individuals with serious mental illness. Rep. Cupp is the crucial swing vote on the committee considering the reform (House Bill 81).
After you’ve called Representative Cupp, make a secure contribution to OTSE.
Background on mental illness reform
The Ohio General Assembly is considering two reforms that would prohibit death sentences for individuals with serious mental illness. The reforms were first recommended in 2014 by an Ohio Supreme Court Joint Death Penalty Task Force in collaboration with the Ohio Bar Association.
Reforms were introduced in 2015 and 2017. Now a bi-partisan reform is poised to move forward. The reforms are widely supported by mental health advocates, faith-based groups, editorial boards and the majority of Ohioans.
Also see what former Ohio Governor Bob Taft has said in The Washington Post.
What the reforms do:
- Narrowly define five diagnoses as serious mental illness (SMI): Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Delusional Disorder;
- Apply if prior diagnosis exists and symptomatic at the time of the crime;
- Allow for conviction and legal responsibility;
- Follow the same legal process as Atkins and Roper established by the Supreme Court of the United States;
- Give judges discretion;
- Fix flaws within the mitigation phase.
Contact OTSE if you’d like more information at 614-560-0654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.