Ohio Death Penalty Basics

Ohio has not carried out an execution in over two years. Throughout this extended and unofficial moratorium, we have found unprecedented bipartisan support in Ohio’s legislature – and among Ohio voters – to repeal Ohio’s death penalty.

House Bill 136, a bill that exempts individuals with serious mental illness from receiving a death sentence, was signed into law by Governor DeWine in January 2021. During the several years it took to get this important piece of legislation passed and signed, conversations were sparked about the many irreparable problems with the death penalty including:

  • Arbitrary application based on geography and race.
  • Massive costs to taxpayers. Read more about the costs in Hamilton County alone.
  • Lack of deterrence to violent crime.
  • Wrongful convictions happen all the time – in Ohio there are nine death row exonerees who spent a combined 190 years on death row for crimes they did not commit.
  • A growing number of murder victim family members do not believe the death penalty helps them heal.

Along with a legislative change of attitude, public opinion has also shifted significantly.

A poll conducted by the Terrance Group the fall of 2020 found that 59% of Ohioans support replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

In February 2021, two identical death penalty repeal bills, Senate Bill 103 and HouseBill 183, were introduced with bipartisan support. With these bills introduced, the momentum to repeal the death penalty in Ohio is at an all-time high. Join us as we push for Ohio to become the 24th state to put an end to capital punishment.

Additional resources

Downloadable Fact Sheets

Myth vs. Facts

Death Penalty Costs

Wrongful Convictions

“The Time is Right”

The Families of Murder Victims

Racial Injustice