“It is time for Ohio to abolish this archaic punishment,” said Rep.
Antonio. “The many flaws surrounding the death penalty show the
punishment to be expensive, impractical, unjust, inhumane, and
erroneous. It is time to evolve to a more just society and
replace the death penalty to life without parole in Ohio.”
The legislators discussed a multifaceted rationale to end the death
penalty in Ohio, citing new developments in DNA evidence testing
[which have released more than 156 death row inmates due to
actual innocence]; racial disparities in sentencing [the poor
and minorities are discriminated against]; disparities in the
local affordability of capitol indictments [counties vary as to
whom should be indicted with a capital punishment
specification]; and a shortage accessing lethal execution drugs
due to the refusal by manufacturers to have their drug,
originally created to save lives, be used as a lethal injection.
Ohio ran out of pentobarbital, the primary drug used for
lethal injections, in September of this year. The state will use
two new drugs for the next scheduled execution, drugs which have
never been used to carry-out the death sentence in Ohio.
“This isn’t how our criminal justice system should work. Seeking
the death penalty comes at a greater cost to taxpayers and a
painful, lengthy trial process for families seeking closure,”
said Rep. Ramos. “Studies continue to show that the death
penalty is applied unequally and arbitrarily. The geographic
area or socioeconomic background you come from should not
determine whether you are sentenced to death or life in prison.”
The lawmakers were joined with advocates from Ohioans to Stop
Executions, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Congregation
Tifereth Israel of Columbus and the St. John’s Episcopal Church
In May of this year, Maryland became the 18th state to abolish
the death penalty.