HB 136, a bill that would exempt individuals with serious mental illness from receiving a death sentence, passed out of the Ohio House by a 76-17 vote on June 6, 2019. The bill is on its way through the Senate. It has already passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee, and the only obstacle to passing this bill is getting it on the floor for a vote. This means we need you to call Senate President Larry Obhof at (614) 466-7505 to urge him to get this bill on the floor.
You can also click here to find your legislator to let them know you support this bill.
What HB 136 does:
- Gives protection for individuals with one of four diagnoses: Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Delusional Disorder;
- Allows for conviction and legal responsibility;
- Follows the same legal process as landmark US Supreme Court cases;
- Gives judges discretion;
- Fixes flaws with capital trial mitigation phase.
Citizens are getting involved by making one call and one contribution.
After you’ve called Senate President Obhof, make a secure contribution to OTSE.
Background on mental illness reform
The Ohio General Assembly is considering SB 54 and HB 136 which would prohibit death sentences for individuals with serious mental illness. The bill was 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
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