Columbus – Today, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) announced that she will soon reintroduce legislation to replace Ohio’s death penalty with life in prison. The senator sees a groundswell of support for a serious discussion regarding the irredeemably flawed sentence. 

“In view of recent high-profile problems that Ohio and other states have had in obtaining legal lethal drugs to carry out executions, it is past time to take a serious look at the flawed use of the death penalty,” said Senator Brown. “I will soon be reintroducing legislation to replace the death penalty in Ohio with the sentence of life imprisonment.”

Between 1973 and 2016, courts across the nation exonerated at least 156 death-row inmates. Several of the exonerations occurred in Ohio. During that same time period, the nation executed over 1100 people. For every ten individuals that the government kills, one person is exonerated. These numbers suggest a possibility that innocent individuals have been or will be executed.

Not only are innocent lives at stake, the cost of capital punishment—in comparison to life imprisonment—is vastly more expensive. In addition, research has shown that the death penalty has been and continues to be applied unevenly by juries. The race and gender of both the suspect and victim all too often determine unjust outcomes in death penalty cases. And groups such as Ohioans to Stop Executions are drawing broad support in their efforts to stop to the practice.

“At this point, the death penalty is indefensible,” added Senator Brown. “It is time for us to move past this unnecessary and flawed practice.”

For inmates presently on death row, Senator Brown’s legislation would replace death sentences with life imprisonment without any possibility of parole. For future convictions, the bill replaces the capital punishment sentence with existing sentencing life imprisonment guidelines.

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