Activist group is optimistic about ending death penalty in Ohio

“We had a lot of progress last year,” said Cohen. “We had the most bipartisan support that we’ve ever received for death penalty repeal. And the bills went the farthest in the process that they’ve ever gone.”

Read more of WOSU 89.7 NPR’s interview with OTSE’s Allison Cohen here

Picture of "dome" of OH statehouse

From education to marijuana: What Ohio lawmakers want to accomplish in 2023

Ending the death penalty included in some of lawmakers’ highest priorities for this General Assembly

Read the story in the Displatch

Reflections: The Death Penalty is not justice.

Although HB 183 and SB 103, identical companion bills that would repeal Ohio’s death penalty did not pass during this most recent Ohio General Assembly, the bills made more progress than ever before. There is bipartisan support in the Statehouse, and public opinion is on our side.

Read ACLU’s reflection of efforts to repeal the death penalty in 2021 and 2022

Groups against death penalty optimistic in pursuit of full ban in Ohio

Groups pursuing a full ban death penalty ban in Ohio are optimistic heading into a new year with a new state legislature.

Watch the video from ABC 13 Toledo here

GOP law-and-order pitch didn’t win many converts, expert says

Republicans nationwide went big on claims that crime was rampant in our cities and that it was crucial to elect hard-nosed conservatives to stop it. The November midterms showed that those appeals failed to win over many voters who weren’t already part of the GOP’s rural and exurban base, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center said Thursday.

Read more in the Ohio Capital Journal

Report: Executions continued decline but many ‘botched’

Public support and use of the death penalty in 2022 continued its more than two-decade decline in the U.S., and many of the executions that were carried out during the year were “botched” or highly problematic, an annual report on capital punishment says.

Read more coverage of the end-of-year report from the Death Penalty Information Center her

State lawmakers cross party lines to work together, pushing for clemency for Cleveland prisoner on death row

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is pushing to free a Cleveland man who is on death row for a 1984 rape and murder that he maintains he didn’t commit.

Anthony Apanovitch, who was freed for nearly two-and-a-half years after a judge in 2015 determined DNA evidence cleared him of some of the conduct for which he was convicted in the attack of Mary Anne Flynn, asked the Ohio Parole Board in April to recommend that Gov. Mike DeWine grant him clemency.

Read more here on

‘I have presided over the funerals of murder victims.’ Death penalty isn’t closure

“Many of my fellow Christians, including those in the Ohio legislature, are pro-life (like me) when it pertains to abortion, but either support capital punishment for convicted murderers or have never really thought about it.”

Read more from the founding pastor of Vineyard Columbus, Rich Nathan, here in the Columbus Dispatch

Ohio’s death penalty is bad for business

“I opened my company here in Ohio in 2011 for the same reasons many others do: The state is a great place to do business. But to keep funneling tax dollars into something that doesn’t work demonstrates fiscal irresponsibility, with authorities more focused on outdated notions of revenge than they are on spending wisely.”

Read more from Ohio business leader John Rush here, on Crain’s Cleveland Business

Image of prison cell with light coming through window with bars.

Experts: Trauma builds, ending for some at death row

“Invariably, the crimes over which people land on death row are soaked in trauma, often consisting of the most violent deaths suffered by sympathetic victims. But it’s also often the case that those accused of perpetrating them have traumatic histories of their own.”

Read more from Marty Schladen in the Ohio Capital Journal

Exoneree believes faith saved him: Advocates speak out against death penalty

“Kwame Ajamu, Derrick Jamison and Ray Krone are just four among hundreds of people across the United States that have been found innocent while on death row. One exoneree believes his faith saved his life. Jamison was sentenced to life after a false accusation of murder. After years of his execution being placed on hold, a federal judge requested a new trial for Jamison. He was found innocent due to the prosecutor withholding key evidence from his trial.”

Read more in the Lima News

Exonerated death row inmates visit Cincinnati to push for death penalty abolition

“A group of people who almost lost their lives for crimes they didn’t commit came to Cincinnati Monday, campaigning to make sure no one else suffers their fate, or worse. It was a false accusation that cost Derrick Jamison his freedom and almost cost him his life.”

Watch the video and read more on Cincinnati’s Local12

Cleveland man who spent decades behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit speaks out against the death penalty

“A Cleveland man who was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit is making good on his vow to end the death penalty in the United States. Kwame Ajamu, formerly known as Ronnie Bridgeman, spends a lot of his time speaking about his past.”

Watch the video and read more on News5 Cleveland

Death Chamber at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility; 393846 05: A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. The state of Ohio is one of the few states that still uses the electric chair, and it gives death row inmates a choice between death by the electric chair or by lethal injection. John W. Byrd, who will be executed on September 12, 2001, has stated that he will choose the electric chair. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Op-Ed: Family member of death row exoneree speaks out (August 25, 2022)

“When a man named Dale Johnston began dating my mother-in-law in 1998, I admit that I was uneasy. In the town where we lived, his name had become synonymous with brutality, violence, and evil.”

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Ohio Capital Journal here.

Ohioans Mark 4 Years Since Last Execution with ‘Day of Hope’

Ohio’s last execution was four years ago today, and advocates for ending the death penalty are hopeful it remains the last. 

At noon, people at rallies for a “Day of Hope” in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland will call for an end to capital punishment. 

Read the rest of this Public News Service article here.

Herald Dispatch logo

The Herald-Dispatch: Ohio should abolish the death penalty (June 29, 2022)

This year Ohio will not execute any prisoners on Death Row. That decision became official last week when Gov. Mike DeWine postponed the last execution that was scheduled for the year.

DeWine’s decision pushed the execution of Quisi Bryan, who was convicted of killing a Cleveland police officer, from this October into 2026. The decision was as much practical as philosophical. Ohio executes prisoners by lethal injection, but no drug maker is willing to supply drugs for that purpose.

According to the Associated Press, DeWine’s decision to postpone Bryan’s execution was one of several reprieves the governor has issued in recent years. DeWine has said he is concerned that drug companies — which oppose the use of their drugs in executions — could pull pharmaceuticals from state hospitals to punish Ohio if it did secure their drugs and use them for lethal injection.

Read the rest of this article from The Herald-Dispatch here.

Death Chamber at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility; 393846 05: A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. The state of Ohio is one of the few states that still uses the electric chair, and it gives death row inmates a choice between death by the electric chair or by lethal injection. John W. Byrd, who will be executed on September 12, 2001, has stated that he will choose the electric chair. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Fifty years in, death penalty still unworkable, group says (June 29, 2022)

If there’s a way to make the death penalty nonarbitrary and nondiscriminatory, the United States hasn’t found it, a group that studies capital punishment said in a report released Tuesday.

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Furman v Georgia. It effectively put the death penalty on hold after the court found that it amounted to cruel and unusual punishment when applied in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner.

In 1977 — after the high court approved some new state death laws — executions resumed, with Gary Gilmore dying in front of a Utah firing squad.

The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center has spent the past five years building a database containing every one of the 9,737 death penalty convictions between the time they restarted in the United States and Jan. 1, 2021. It came to a stark conclusion.

Read the rest of this article from The Capital Journal here.

Kwame Ajamu speaks about his time on death row. He spent 28 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

‘Completely broken’: Exonerated death row inmate speaks out on flaws of capital punishment (May 21, 2022)

Kwame Ajamu was only 17 years old when he was arrested and sentenced to die for a crime he didn’t commit.

“It was a warm spring day on May 19, 1975. Ajamu, his brother and friend were wrapping up a basketball game. On their way home, the trio passed a crime scene where a money order salesman had been robbed and killed. His body was still on the ground, outlined in chalk. It was only a matter of days before Ajamu woke up in his bed, flustered and confused as armed Cleveland Police officers swarmed his home to arrest him.”

Read the rest of this article from Akron Beacon Journal here.

Ohioans make a pro-life argument to end capital punishment (April 25, 2022)

An often-overlooked flaw of capital punishment is that it turns its supporters into de facto killers themselves, an opponent of the practice said during ‘Life Beyond the Death Penalty,’ hosted by Ohioans to Stop Executions.”

Read the rest of this article from Baptist Global News here.

Life Beyond Death: Looking to abolish the death penalty in Ohio (April 22, 2022)

“Anti-capital punishment advocates gathered to discuss ways of fighting for the termination of the death penalty Tuesday night at Ashland University.”

Read the rest of this article in the Ashland Times-Gazette.

TV: Family members make case against death penalty (April 14, 2022)

“Family members of murder victims in Ohio are lobbying state lawmakers to end the death penalty.”

Watch the rest of this story from ABC 13 Action News in Toledo.

Ohio’s death penalty opponents take their case to the court of public opinion (April 11, 2022)

Activists seeking to abolish the death penalty in Ohio took their case to the court of public opinion April 7 with virtual testimony from the family and friends of homicide victims about the immorality and futility of capital punishment.”

Read the rest of this article from Baptist Global News.

Op-Ed: Death penalty a moral injury for our state, incompatible with belief in a sacred right to life (April 8, 2022)

“As a registered nurse, I was trained to react quickly when a situation required my attention, to do my best in a challenge, and to ensure that the people I cared for were safe and protected. As a risk manager, I was trained to listen and observe. I have applied these principles to every area of my life: I am a mom, a new widow and a dedicated pro-life volunteer. I serve on the Respect Life Committee at Incarnation Church here in Dayton, and I am active in Dayton Right to Life.

As someone who believes deeply in the sanctity of life, I realize there is an issue that requires my immediate attention, and I must act. It’s time for the pro-life community to talk about the death penalty.”

Read the rest of the op-ed in the Dayton Daily News.

Magazine Feature: Killing Off Ohio’s Death Penalty (April 6, 2022)

“Derrick Jamison served 20 years on Ohio’s death row for a crime he did not commit. He lived in a one-man cell, his meal trays slid through a slot in the door. He said goodbye to 18 fellow inmates who were executed.”

Read the rest of this article in Cincinnati Magazine.

Op-Ed: ‘The death penalty is an affront to our ideals as an evolving society,’ senators say (March 26, 2022)

“Last year, we jointly introduced Senate Bill 103 that would end the use of the death penalty in the state of Ohio, replacing it with a sentence of life in prison without parole for capital cases.

This legislation is historic for a number of reasons. “

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch.

Anti-Death Penalty Group Thinks Execution May Be Thing Of Past In Ohio (March 25, 2022)

“Ohio has a storied history when it comes to executions, from county-by-county hangings to “Old Sparky” the electric chair in Columbus.

But has the last chapter been written?”

Read the rest of this story from 1480 WHBC.

In Ohio, Republicans are leading the effort to abolish the death penalty (March 11, 2022)

The anti-death penalty movement in Ohio is gaining traction with conservative support and leadership amidst a national rise in Republican opposition to capital punishment.”

Read the rest of this article on Baptist Global News.

Republicans are turning against the death penalty (March 8, 2022)

“It’s rare for a politician to admit they were wrong. But Jean Schmidt will own up to this: She used to support the death penalty.”

Read the rest of this article on Vox.

Bills to abolish the death penalty in Ohio slowly gaining traction (March 7, 2022)

“A bill to abolish the death penalty in Ohio, sponsored by state Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, has languished in a Senate committee for months; but its twin is being heard in the House, giving Huffman hopes that the idea will make progress.”

Read the rest of this article in the Hamilton-Journal News.

TV: Ohio Gets Closer to Abolishing Death Penalty (March 3, 2022)

“Ohio hasn’t executed a prisoner in about four years, but capital punishment continues to be a topic of debate at the Statehouse.The state moved one step closer to abolishing this centuries old form of punishment on Thursday.”

Watch the rest of this story from News 5 Cleveland.

Ohio Death-Penalty Repeal Efforts Move Closer to Goal Line (March 3, 2022)

Efforts to end executions in Ohio have reached a historic point.

An invitation-only hearing will be held by the House Criminal Justice Committee today on legislation which would end Ohio’s death penalty. It’s the fifth hearing on House Bill 183, and the farthest a death penalty repeal bill has gone in the legislative process.”

Click here to read the rest of this article on Public News Service.

‘From Noose to Needle’ program raises awareness of death penalty race disparities (February 28, 2022)

“Efforts to end capital punishment in Ohio were recently brought here, the site of the lynching to two black men by mobs in the late 1800s. The idea was comparing those two horrific deaths with the present-day numbers of the imbalance of executions of people of color to the white population.”

Click here to read the rest of this article in the Hamilton Journal-News.

Death penalty conversation reaches Oxford (February 25, 2022)

“The Ohio State House’s fight over the death penalty legislature recently reached Oxford in a Noose to Needle rally held by Ohioans to Stop Executions (OTSE). It was set to take place with a panel over Zoom and a public gathering in Uptown Park on Thursday, Feb. 17.”

Click here to read the rest of this article in The Miami Student.

Group highlights the parallels between lynching and the modern death penalty (February 17, 2022)

“An anti-death penalty group in Ohio is arguing that lynchings in the 19th and early 20th centuries had a lot in common with the way the modern death penalty is applied. On Thursday it will highlight Ohio lynchings to make that case.”

Click here to read the rest of this article in the Ohio Capital Journal.

Op-Ed: The end of the road for Ohio’s death penalty (February 12, 2022)

“Growing up in the Ohio Valley in the 1990s it was common to take a weekend trip to the now-defunct West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville. Why? To see the now-decommissioned electric chair known as “Old Sparky.” I remember looking at the chair horrified by the story being told by my tour guide and the placards on the wall. I simply could not believe that the wooden chair I was viewing had taken the lives of nine people. It was surreal. I was a kid, and that’s probably the first time I really thought about our country’s use of capital punishment. Now, it’s something I think about every day.”

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed published in the Herald Star.

Bills seek to end the death penalty in Ohio – and have backing from some staunch conservatives (February 9, 2022)

“Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt was once a supporter of the state’s death penalty. But she says she’s had a change of heart.

That change came in part after speaking with Joe D’Ambrosio, a man who sat on Ohio’s death row for 20 years for a murder he didn’t commit before he was exonerated in 2012.”

Click here to listen to the rest of this story on 91.7 WVXU (Cincinnati Edition).

Op-Ed: Risk of executing the innocent is too great (February 1, 2022)

“When the Ohio General Assembly voted to bring back the state’s death penalty in 1981, I firmly believe they did so with the best of intentions. Those lawmakers thought that our criminal justice system was unimpeachable and that the death penalty served the best interests of our citizens. I, too, used to believe that the death penalty was necessary for Ohio.

However, after learning how the death penalty really works in Ohio, I have changed my mind.”

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed from Rep. Jean Schmidt in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Radio: The Jimmy Malone Show (January 28, 2022)

Our director of organizing, Jennifer Pryor, was featured on The Jimmy Malone Show. You can check our her segment via the link below starting around 1:11:00.

Click here to listen to the Jimmy Malone Show.

Letter to the Editor: Record of exonerations is one of many reasons to eliminate Ohio’s death penalty (January 21, 2022)

“I support repealing Ohio’s death penalty. It’s a costly system that wrongfully convicts people with alarming regularity, burns taxpayer money, harms murder victim family members, and does not serve as an appropriate response to violent crime.”

Click here to read the rest of this letter from Bruce Freeman published in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Op-Ed: My wrongful conviction shows why Ohio should abolish the death penalty: Joe D’Ambrosio (January 19, 2022)

“It has been ten years since my official exoneration from Ohio’s death row. On Jan. 23, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s appeal against me. I was finally free.

I wish I could say that – in these ten years – the legal system has been fixed and that what happened to me will never happen again. But since my exoneration, five more people have been exonerated from Ohio’s death row, all from Cuyahoga County. Eleven people total have been wrongfully sentenced to death in our state.”

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed on here.

Letter to the Editor:Response to “A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty,”

“In his “Ohio Lawyer” column “A Prosecutor’s Perspective on the Death Penalty,” Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor Saleh Awadallah makes several misleading statements. He begins with the unsupported claim that serial killers, mass murderers, and child killers “are why capital punishment exists in Ohio as a sentencing option” – yet more than half of those on Ohio’s death row do not fit any of those descriptions.”

Click here to read the rest of this letter from OTSE board chair Marge Koosed on page 31 of Ohio Lawyer.

Op-Ed: Why we should repeal the death penalty in Ohio (December 6, 2021)

“Why would you, the average citizen who doesn’t know anyone on death row, care about repealing the death penalty? Honestly, it’s not an issue I have thought a great deal about until recently, despite the murder of my nephew many years ago. For my brother, the anguish and anger connected to that tragedy has never left him, yet he is firm in his belief that the death penalty makes no sense.”

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Athens Messenger by clicking here.

Letter to the Editor: Conservatives seek end of death penalty (December 5, 2021)

“We write in support of House Bill 183 and Senate Bill 103 in the Ohio General Assembly that would abolish the death penalty in Ohio. 

What is remarkable is there is a growing concern among Republicans about the cost and ineffectiveness of the death penalty.”

Read the rest of this letter in the Youngstown Vindicator here.

TV: Two bills Ohio Legislature could end death penalty in state (December 3, 2021)

“Ohio is getting as close as it’s come in years to abolishing the death penalty. Two bills making their way through the legislature represent a new lease on life for some and endless pain to others.”

Watch this story from WKRC in Cincinnati by clicking here.

Podcast: Discussions with DPIC (December 2, 2021)

“In the December 2021 episode of Discussions with DPIC, Death Penalty Information Center Deputy Director Ngozi Ndulue interviews State Representative Jean Schmidt about her work as the primary sponsor of a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives that would abolish capital punishment in the state. A long-time Republican elected official, Rep. Schmidt also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for ten years. She avidly supported the death penalty early in her career but now is an advocate of criminal justice reform. Ndulue and Schmidt discuss the Republican party’s and Schmidt’s own evolving views on capital punishment, its myriad economic and emotional costs, mistakes in the criminal legal system, and public safety. According to Schmidt, ‘the death penalty is creating more victims than the crime itself.'”

Listen to the podcast here.

Ohio lawmakers to again consider repealing the death penalty (November 21, 2021)

“The death penalty might be on life support in Ohio.

Lawmakers continue to consider two separate bipartisan measures that would make life in prison without the possibility of parole the harshest sentence available under state law.

Family members of murder victims pushed for the repeal of capital punishment in Ohio at a hearing for House Bill 183 last Monday.”

Read the rest of this article on The Ohio Press Network by clicking here.

Letter to the Editor: Consider facts when deciding death penalty (November 21, 2021)

“I read the Tribune Chronicle article titled “Death penalty debated.” Although Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Becker testified in opposition the legislation to repeal capital punishment, it seemed he wanted to re-litigate the common sense criminal justice reforms from the past few decades.”

Read the rest of this article in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle by clicking here.

Op-Ed: Republicans Across the Country Are Joining the Fight to End the Death Penalty (November 19, 2021)

“In Ohio, a political bell-weather state that has become very red in recent election cycles, former Congresswoman and now State Representative Jean Schmidt and Sen. Stephen Huffman are Republican prime sponsors of bills to end the death penalty. They are clear that the death penalty is a contradiction to their conservative beliefs.”

Read the rest of this op-ed by the national manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, Demetrius Minor, by clicking here.

Discussion continues on bill that would eliminate death penalty in Ohio (November 18, 2021)

“A fourth hearing was held Thursday on legislation that could abolish the death penalty in Ohio. 

House Bill 183 was introduced by Reps. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, and Adam Miller, D-Columbus, in March.”

Read the rest of this article from ABC 6 in Columbus by clicking here.

Legislation to Abolish Death Penalty in Ohio Has Fourth Hearing This Week (November 18, 2021)

“Legislation to abolish the death penalty in Ohio is set to have a fourth hearing today. 

The House Criminal Justice Committee will hear from interested parties on House Bill 183, which has a companion bill in the Senate. 

Rev. Dr. Crystal Walker, executive director of the group Greater Dayton Christian Connections, whose son was murdered in 2013, said the death penalty cannot bring him back, and she would not want his killer’s family to feel the loss she feels.”

Read the rest of this article from Cleveland Scene by clicking here.

Family members of murder victims push for the repeal of capital punishment in Ohio (November 16, 2021)

Click here to read the rest of the Gongwer article (available by subscription).

Letter to the Editor: Death penalty not a proven deterrent to crime, let’s do away with it (November 15, 2021)

“Supporters of the death penalty argue it keeps our communities safe, and revenge is justified as a deterrent to crime. This hyperbole and use of extreme case examples is an outdated scare tactic that has no place in Ohio.”

Read the rest of this letter in The Columbus Dispatch by clicking here.

Ending capital punishment in Ohio should be a ‘pro-life’ ideal, evangelical speakers declare (November 12, 2021)

Evangelicals must put their political and spiritual weight behind abolishing the death penalty because supporting the practice is tantamount to playing God, an evangelical preacher said during an online rally held to end executions in Ohio.”

Read the rest of this article in Baptist News Global by clicking here.

Letter to the Editor: ‘Barbaric’ death penalty needs to be abolished (November 7, 2021)

In his Oct. 31 letter to the editor, Louis Tobin responds  to a guest opinion column by Stephanie Ranade Krider in which she spoke out against the death penalty. Krider  stressed that all human lives are deserving of dignity, including those on death row.

Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, tries to suggest that revenge is a legitimate justification for the death penalty. He proceeds to describe heinous crimes in great detail as an argument in favor of capital punishment.

This kind of emotional appeal has no place in the debate. 

Read the rest of this letter in The Columbus Dispatch here.

Op-Ed:  ‘Right to life’ includes murders as much as it does unborn babies (October 25, 2021)

“I believe in the sanctity of life.

That includes the life of a baby in a mother’s womb, the life of someone with terminal illness, and, yes, the life of someone who has committed horrific violence. “

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch by clicking here.

Faith Groups Came Together for ‘Death Penalty Abolition Week’ in Ohio (October 18, 2021)

“Ohioans across religious traditions came together as one voice last week to speak out against capital punishment. 

Dozens of faith communities participated in vigils, prayer services and virtual conversations during Death Penalty Abolition Week, which came to a close Sunday with a virtual worship service, entitled, ‘Restorative Love, Redemptive Grace.'”

Read the rest of this article from Cleveland Scene here.

Podcast: Gin & Justice (October 5, 2021)

“This week on Gin & Justice, Justine and Amanda talk with the fabulous Allison Cohen from Ohioans to Stop Executions!  Allison has all the facts about why we need to abolish the death penalty. It does not make communities safer, it does not deter crime, it does not make sense financially, it takes decades of legal proceedings and appeals, and lastly but not least – we have had 186 exonerations from death row!”

Listen to the podcast here.

Faith communities unite during ‘Death Penalty Abolition Week’ (October 4, 2021)

“Faith communities from Ohio have pledged to take action during Death Penalty Abolition Week for Ohio Faith Communities from Oct. 8 through Oct. 17. The week of action was conceptualized by faith leaders within the #NoDeathPenaltyOH campaign, which seeks to abolish the death penalty during the current legislative session.”

Read the rest of this article in the Cleveland Jewish News by clicking here.

Op-Ed: Why Capital Punishment is “Inadmissible” (October 4, 2021)

“A pending bill in the Ohio General Assembly, S.B. 103 (the ‘Bill’), if passed and signed by Governor DeWine, will abolish the death penalty in Ohio. Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, on behalf of himself and all the Catholic bishops of Ohio, has submitted written testimony endorsing the Bill and urging its passage. For Catholics, any doubt about the morality of capital punishment has been resolved. As Archbishop Schnurr testified, the death penalty is ‘is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and we should work with determination for its abolition worldwide.'”

Read the rest of this op-ed in The Catholic Telegraph by clicking here.

Op-Ed: Why it’s time to declare the death penalty dead (October 3, 2021)

” ‘When you’re talking about death, you can’t afford to make even one mistake.’

Those words came from former Attorney General Jim Petro. In 1981, Petro, former Gov. Bob Taft and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeiffer crafted our current death penalty system. Yet, today, they support bipartisan bills to repeal the broken system they created.”

Read the rest of the op-ed from OTSE board chair, Marge Koosed, by clicking here.

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.

Op-Ed: 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.

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.

“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.