Attorney General says Ohio’s death penalty system “breaking down”

Ohio News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Attorney General’s office has released its annual report on capital crimes in Ohio, calling the state’s system time-consuming, costly, and lethargic.

“Well, we’ve got a system that’s breaking down,” said Ohio Attorney General David Yost.

The report shows of the 341 death sentences in Ohio, only one out of every six has been carried out. The report also shows those who were put to death in Ohio first spent an average of nearly 20 years on death row.

Part of the summary of the report reads, “In short, Ohio imposes death sentences on perpetrators of brutal and revolting murders, then spends years debating, reviewing, appealing and failing to act on those decisions.”

“If we’re going to have capital punishment in Ohio for the worst of the worst, then we need to have an efficient system that works,” Yost said.

Yost has not decided on if the death penalty should be repealed but said a debate is needed.

“We’ve identified some problems and it’s time to take another look at this,” he said.

The report lists several changes that may help fix Ohio’s current system. At the Ohio Statehouse, a group of bipartisan lawmakers believe the answer is to repeal the death penalty.

“There is no doubt that Ohio’s death penalty does not work,” said State Senator Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). “We’ve seen of the couple hundred that have been put to death, we’ve seen nearly 10 that have been exonerated.”

“We should be better than our worst criminal when it comes to decision making, when it comes to what happens to them as a consequence and the death penalty serves no one well,” said State Sen. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood).

Ohio’s last execution was carried out in July of 2018.

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