Cuyahoga County Has 2nd-Most Wrongful Death Sentences in the United States.
Statement of Hannah Kubbins, Executive Director of Ohioans to Stop Executions
On Thursday, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) announced the addition of 11 previously unidentified cases to the official list of death row exonerations, increasing the national total of persons exonerated from death sentences from 174 to 185. Two of those cases are from Ohio, raising our total number from 9 to 11.
Thomas Pearson and Charles Tolliver were both wrongly convicted in Cuyahoga County and sent to death row. Cuyahoga County has sent innocent people to death row six times, tied with Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania for the second highest number of death penalty exonerations in the country.
Yesterday, a new death penalty repeal bill with unprecedented bipartisan support was announced. Kwame Ajamu, one of those exonerated from Ohio’s death row, broke the news of the new wrongful convictions during the press conference, saying:
“[We now know that] Ohio sent 11 people to death row who were later exonerated and freed. These are just the ones we know about. How many have been innocent and executed? How many are still innocent and on death row? What are we going to do about this?”
Ohio’s track record with wrongful convictions is just one of many factors that shifted public opinion about capital punishment in Ohio. The only way to prevent wrongful executions is to repeal Ohio’s death penalty.