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Lawmakers look to abolish the death penalty in Ohio

 
Lawmakers look to abolish the death penalty in Ohio
Posted December 3rd, 2013 @ 3:14pm by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Some lawmakers are looking to abolish the death penalty in Ohio.

"It's a punishment which has shown to have been administered with disparities across economic and racial lines as well as having been shown to fail as a deterrent to violent crime," said Rep. Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat.

The bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Dave Ramos, a Democrat from Lorain, says it's also more expensive than life in prison without parole.

"While some money can be saved by not housing the inmate, obviously, far more is lost when as much as $10 million per case is spent at trial," he said.

Ramos also pointed to statistics that show that more than six in ten of death row inmates come from just 7 of the state's 88 counties.

"Hamilton County, for example, accounts for almost 25 percent of all inmates on death row, but only 9 percent of the capital crimes of murder have taken place in Hamilton County," he said.

Opponents also argue that the death penalty targets low income Ohioans who cannot afford high-powered attorneys and minorities.

"The death penalty is inherently classist and racist with the poorest and those of color sentenced far more often to the death penalty than others," said Rev. Lee Anne Reat of St. John's Episcopal Church in Columbus.

Getting the death penalty abolished won't be easy. Republicans control the Ohio House and Senate and many support capital punishment. Gov. John Kasich is also a supporter of the death penalty and has given no indication that might change.

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