Ohio lawmakers renew push to end death penalty

A bipartisan group of state representatives in Ohio reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would abolish the death penalty in the state.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 3:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - A bipartisan group of state representatives in Ohio reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would abolish the death penalty in the state.

Ohio hasn’t carried out an execution since July 18, 2018. There’s been a moratorium on executions in the state since Gov. Mike DeWine took office.

The state currently has 122 death row inmates, according to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Attorney General Dave Yost said in his annual Capital Crimes Report that costs to impose the death penalty for all of those inmates ranges between $128 million and $384 million.

“That’s a stunning amount of money to spend on a program that doesn’t achieve its purpose,” Yost said. “This system satisfies nobody. Those who oppose the death penalty want it abolished altogether, not ticking away like a time bomb that might or might not explode. Those who support the death penalty want it to be fair, timely and effective. Neither side is getting what it wants while the state goes on pointlessly burning though enormous taxpayer resources.”

The House legislation is a companion bill to one introduced in the Senate earlier this year. Death penalty opponents say they have more bipartisan support this year. But Senate President Matt Huffman, who controls what gets put up for a vote in the chamber, has said he doesn’t support the bill.

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association also opposes legislation to end the death penalty.