Contact: Hannah Kubbins, [email protected]
(Columbus, OH) — This morning, Senators Nickie Antonio (D-23) and Stephen Huffman (R-5) announced their intention to introduce a bill that will repeal Ohio’s death penalty.
The Senators were joined by colleagues from both sides of the political aisle, as well as leaders from Ohioans To Stop Executions, a statewide grassroots group representing more than 8,000 Ohioans. OTSE leads a network of state organizations that support repeal of the death penalty in Ohio.
The bipartisan legislation comes at a time when the death penalty is declining nationwide, and in Ohio. Last month, the Commonwealth of Virginia, a former confederate state that has executed more people than any other, passed its own bipartisan bill to end the death penalty. The Governor is expected to sign it any day. In Ohio, a bill that would exempt individuals with serious mental illness from receiving a death sentence recently passed and was signed into law by Governor DeWine in January. This legislation was a common sense step step toward creating a more equitable criminal legal system. However, a recent poll has shown Ohioans are ready for more: they’re ready to repeal Ohio’s death penalty.
“Ohio is ready to end a costly and risky policy that has delivered nothing but harm. With our sponsors at the helm, we will have an unprecedented bipartisan dialogue to address the question of whether Ohio’s death penalty is worth retaining,” said Hanah Kubbins, Executive Director of Ohioans to Stop Executions and the OTSE Action Fund. “This is a system that convicts innocent people with alarming regularity, puts victim family members through many more years of pain, is not an effective response to violence, and costs taxpayers millions of dollars for what amounts to security theater and a distraction from justice and public safety.” she said.
Jonathan Mann, OTSE’s Vice Chairperson of the Board, lost his father tragically to homicide nearly four years ago and also spoke at today’s press conference.
“If we care about victims and their family members, policy changes need to be made. Reversing the current policy would be extremely impactful.”
Ohioans To Stop Executions is a statewide grassroots group with more than 8,000 supporters, including murder victims’ family members and other survivors of violent crime, law enforcement professionals, families of the incarcerated, and death row exonorees. OTSE, based in Columbus, leads a network of over one hundred state and local organizations that support repeal of the death penalty in Ohio.