Republicans and Democrats want to end death penalty in Ohio

A survey published in 2021 stated that 54% of the citizens of this state are against this measure.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the state of Ohio are seeking an end to the death penalty in that state, however, Attorney General Dave Yost called the measure a farce and welcomed debate on it. Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio and Senators Steve Huffman, Hearcel Craig and Michele Reynolds announced last Tuesday their plans to end the death penalty and punish capital crimes with life in prison without bail.

"It is time for the state of Ohio to take a pragmatic, economically prudent and principled step to end capital punishment," said Antonio. "It will take all of us working together to make such an important change in Ohio. Today we join together to respond to the growing demand for abolition, against the backdrop of public opinion increasingly favoring life sentences over the application of the death penalty in Ohio and across the country."

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Yost said he supports the death penalty, especially for "the most egregious offenders," those who are already serving life sentences and who, he said, have nothing to lose by killing a corrections officer. "The bottom line: the death penalty in Ohio is a travesty and an unfulfilled promise of justice, and it must be fixed. This debate is long overdue, so let's do it now," Yost said. "If Ohio decides to end capital punishment, let the decision be made in the light of day. I will stand with the families of those killed."

Public opinion

A Tarrance Group poll released in 2021 by the Death Penalty Information Center, showed that 51% of Ohioans were against the death penalty. The legislators also referred to the same survey which said that the death penalty was applied with different criteria according to the race and economic conditions of the accused. And, above all, that it had failed as an instrument to curb crime. "Like many Ohioans, I once supported the death penalty, but over time, with prayer and reflection, I have come to believe it is the wrong policy for the state of Ohio," Huffman said.