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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.'”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Family members of murder victims push for the repeal of capital punishment in Ohio (November 16, 2021)
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.”
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.
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. “
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.'”
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!”
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.”
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.'”
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.”
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.”
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. “
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.”
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. “
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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?”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.'”
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.”
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.”
Radio: There Is Bipartisan Support In Ohio To Abolish The Death Penalty (March 2, 2021)
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.