Local officials sign on to anti-death penalty bill

AP file photo/Kiichiro Sato This November 2005 file photo shows the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Corrections Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas, the nation's busiest death penalty state, have switched to pentobarbital for lethal-injection. Other states are worried that switching could prove a drawn-out legal and regulatory process that could put more executions on hold.

State Rep. Dennis Murray of Sandusky, a Democrat, and state Rep. Terry Boose of Norwalk, a Republican, disagree on many issues.

But they agree it’s time for Ohio to get rid of its death penalty. Both have signed on as co-sponsors to a new bill that seeks to abolish the death penalty, joining 16 other states that no longer have capital punishment.

If the measure becomes law, however, it will have to do so over the objection of Gov. John Kasich.

“The governor supports the death penalty,” said Rob Nichols, the governor’s spokesman.

The main authors of the House bill are state Rep. Ted Celeste, D-Grandview Heights, and Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood.

“The costs associated with litigation and multiple appeals for death row inmates can run tens of millions of dollars a year,” Celeste said. “This should be a part of the overall budget conversation as it has the potential to provide major financial savings at a time when we are facing an enormous deficit.”




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