Media

Op-Ed: The death penalty is arbitrary and should be repealed (August 25, 2021)

“In 2010 as a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge, I was assigned a death penalty case. I couldn’t do it. I refused to hear the case because I believed Ohio’s death penalty laws did not meet the demands of our state and federal Constitutions.

At the time, I issued an explanation for my recusal, which I summarize here as a plea to Ohio’s legislative bodies that have before them House Bill 183 and Senate Bill 103, both of which propose to abolish the death penalty in Ohio.”

Read the rest of this op-ed by Justice A.J. Wagner in the Dayton Daily News.

Letter to the Editor: Bipartisan anti-death penalty bill (August 21, 2021)

“I was pleased to see the article with the headline, “Why area Republicans sponsored bills to abolish Ohio’s death penalty” in the July 19 edition. As someone who has followed the movement to abolish Ohio’s death penalty for a long time, this moment feels very different from past attempts at repeal, and that is largely due to the strong bipartisan support for both bills. “

Read this letter to the editor by Robert Stoughton in the Dayton Daily News here.

Why area Republicans sponsored bills to abolish Ohio’s death penalty (July 19, 2021)

“The Republican state lawmakers from southwest Ohio sponsoring bills in the Ohio House and Senate to end the death penalty both say they represent society’s changing views on capital punishment.

Both state Sen. Stephen Huffman, R-Tipp City; and state Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, say they previously supported the death penalty. Now they have concluded it’s imperfect, unfair, expensive and incompatible with pro-life views.”

Read the rest of this article from the Dayton Daily News.

In Support of SB 103: Death Penalty Abolition (July 7, 2021)

“On behalf of the Office of Ohio Public Defender (OPD), I write in support of Senate Bill 103 and all efforts to abolish the death penalty in Ohio. The time has come to extinguish this inhumane practice. 

The death penalty is the most inefficient government program in existence. If any other law was this expensive, this flawed and this ineffective at delivering results, there is no doubt the General Assembly would rescind that law. Ohio’s own Attorney General called the death penalty “time consuming, costly and lethargic.” He called it “broken.”1 The death penalty is not about justice; it is about vengeance. State sponsored vengeance. “

Read the rest of this article by Ohio Public Defender, Tim Young, in the Ohio State Bar Association Magazine.

Letter to the Editor: Ohio must follow other states’ leads and abolish death penalty (July 1, 2021)

“The first death row inmate to be statutorily removed from death row due to severe mental illness at the time of his crime was resentenced to life imprisonment without parole last week. This first exemption is a welcome small step in our movement away from the death penalty, but it is time to abandon the death penalty altogether.”

Read this letter to the editor by Marge Koosed, board chair of Ohioans to Stop Executions, in the Columbus Dispatch.

Letter to the Editor: Death penalty offers only a false promise of closure and justice (June 17, 2021)

“I read Kyle Kirker’s op-ed “Schmidt wrong to put convicts above victims” and as someone who lost a loved one to murder, I can tell you that Mr. Kirker is extremely wrong in his assessment of HB 183 and the abolition of Ohio’s death penalty.”

Read this letter to the editor by Jonathan Mann, vice chair of Ohioans to Stop Executions, in the Clermont Sun.

TV: Bill to abolish death penalty gets 2nd hearing in Ohio Senate committee (June 16, 2021)

“Members of an Ohio Senate committee will hear from supporters of a new bill to abolish the death penalty.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding the second hearing for SB 103Wednesday, which has bipartisan support with seven Democrats and four Republicans among the sponsors and co-sponsors.”

Watch this video from ABC 6 in Columbus here.

TV: Death penalty ban supporters make pitch to Ohio state senators (June 16, 2021)

“Ohio hasn’t carried out an execution since Gov. Mike DeWine took office and there are none on the calendar this year. Still, the death penalty is legal in the state, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers hope there is enough support this year to make Ohio the 24th state to ban the punishment.”

Watch this video from ABC 13 in Toledo here.

Letter to the Editor: By ending the death penalty, we can divert resources where they’re really needed (June 11, 2021)

“It’s time to end the death penalty in Ohio, and particularly in Cuyahoga County. According to a recent study, Cuyahoga County had the nation’s 133rd highest homicide rate from 1972 to 2019. Yet as noted in the May 5 Plain Dealer, astonishingly, we ranked 12th in the nation in sentencing people to deathduring that same time period. How is this humanly possible?”

Read this letter to the editor by Richard Clark in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Op-Ed: It is time for Ohio to repeal the death penalty (June 9, 2021)

“‘The criminal justice does not always get it right. I think that’s the starting point here.’ This quote was from Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor, a former county prosecutor, in an April article by Laura A. Bischoff. While the article addressed the need for greater post-conviction review, there can be no stronger statement supporting the death penalty repeal.”

Read this op-ed by David Sablosky published in the Hamilton Journal-News.

Press Statement:

May 26, 2021

Statement by Hannah Kubbins, Executive Director of Ohioans to Stop Executions on Today’s Sponsor Testimony on HB 183

Our country is divided on almost every issue as if we are literally split down the middle. However, the death penalty is so broken and flawed that everyone, from all beliefs and backgrounds, can agree that the time has come to end it. Read more.

Radio: Future of the Death Penalty in Ohio (May 19, 2021)

“For the sixth time in a decade, state lawmakers have introduced a bill to end the death penalty in Ohio.

But this time a broad coalition is pushing for abolition. Faith leaders, Democrats, Conservative groups, and Republicans in both chambers of the statehouse as well as former Governor Bob Taft have all voiced support.”

Listen to this episode of All Sides with Ann Fisher.

Print: Black faith leaders, lawmakers, push to end death penalty in Ohio (May 18, 2021)

“A coalition of Black ministers, lawmakers and national activists announced a new effort Tuesday to abolish the death penalty in Ohio, citing growing bipartisan opposition and the country’s recent reckoning over racial injustice.

The death penalty is a modern cousin to lynching, with people of color disproportionately sentenced to death, said members of the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus and the Ohio Council of Churches. They also pointed to the March abolition of the death penalty in Virginia, the first southern state to do so.”

Read this story from WLWT.

TV: In-Depth: 2 Ohio bills look to end state’s death penalty (May 18, 2021)

“The push to end Ohio’s death penalty is gaining momentum and according to local state lawmakers, is gaining bipartisan support in Columbus.”

Watch this News 5 Cleveland Story here.

Press Release:

May 18, 2021

On May 18 at 10 a.m., a virtual press conference announced broad support for Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 183 from the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus, Black faith leaders, as well as national and statewide activists. Both bills are identical, strongly bi-partisan, and would abolish Ohio’s death penalty. Ohio’s death penalty demonstrates a persistent and horrific trend of valuing white lives over Black lives. A Black defendant is twice as likely to receive a death sentence if the victim is white. Furthermore, people of color comprise the majority of death row while only accounting for 15% of Ohio’s general population. The death penalty propagates racial injustice and can no longer be tolerated in a system that should idealize fairness and racial equity. Read more.

Print: Ohio AG: Clear death penalty roadblocks or get rid of it (April 6, 2021)

“Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost last week used an annual report to draw attention to the fact that 140 people are languishing on death row because Ohio’s death penalty machinery ‘has grown increasingly time consuming, costly and lethargic.'”

Read this story from the Ohio Capital Journal here. 

Op-Ed: Former governor, attorneys general: Ohio death penalty broken, costly and unjust. It must be repealed. (March 9, 2021)

“Forty years ago, several of us supported the crafting of Ohio’s death penalty law, believing it would be a fair and just system.

Seeing it in operation has convinced us it is not.

We urge the Ohio legislature to repeal what we helped wrought.”

Read this op-ed published in the Columbus Dispatch here.

Editorial: End Ohio’s death penalty (March 4, 2021)

“Ohio should follow Virginia’s lead and abolish the death penalty.

If the Old Dominion State, which The Associated Press reported has executed more people in its history than any other state, can do it, then so can Ohio.”

Read this editorial from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram here.

Radio: There Is Bipartisan Support In Ohio To Abolish The Death Penalty (March 2, 2021)

Listen to this story from 1480 WHBC in Canton featuring HB 183 sponsor Rep. Adam Miller.

Press Release: February 18, 2021

(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. Read more.