Legislative Activity - Ohio


  • Conservative Support Moves Ohio Death Penalty Study Bill With bipartisan support, Ohio's House of Representatives passed a bill to create an 18-member committee to conduct an exhaustive study of capital punishment in the state. Under the bill, which passed by a vote of 64-30 in the Republican-controlled House, the committee would examine all capital trials since the state reinstated the punishment in 1981. The committee would examine issues such as race, gender, and the economic status of defendants and their victims. It would also investigate whether death row inmates receive adequate legal counsel, whether capital cases are resolved fairly, and how delays in the system can be overcome. Introduced by Rep. Shirley Smith (D-Cincinnati), the legislation received strong support from 31 House Republicans, including conservative lawmaker Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati). Brinkman, who set the vote in motion by backing Smith's bill, noted, "I am 100 percent pro-life. I told my wife that the first time I get a sentencing bill, I'm going to move this. I'd like to abolish (the death penalty) or have a moratorium, but you've got to start somewhere." (Associated Press, November 10, 2004, and The Enquirer, November 11, 2004). Senate leaders, however, may not allow the bill to come up for a vote in this session.
  • In December 2001, the Cincinnati City Council voted 7-2 on Dec. 19 in favor of a resolution supporting a suspension of all executions in Ohio. The city became the 60th local government to pass a moratorium resolution. This followed a similar moratorium resolution passed in Mt. Vernon, NY. (Equal Justice USA, 12/21/01)
  • In 2001, a Ohio eliminated electrocution as a method of execution in the state, making lethal injection the only execution method.