Families of murder victims call for end to state’s death penalty

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Some families of murder victims are calling for an end to Ohio’s death penalty.

Saturday, the First Community Church in Columbus hosted the Cast No Stones Conference.

A panel included exonerated death row inmates, victims’ family members, and social activists.

They said executions are costly, inconsistent, and often drag out a family’s pain during lengthy appeals.

This year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine put the state’s executions on hold after a federal judge classified the lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment.

Activists said it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness.

“There is this pause again in Ohio, and it’s an opportunity for conversation, and that’s what this is all about,” said Abraham Bonowitz from Journey of Hope: From Violence To Healing.

“The death penalty does not help you heal,” added Melinda Dawson, the daughter of a murder victim. “It is almost a life-long experience.”

The state currently has 24 executions scheduled between now and 2024.

The conference will continue from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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