NEW VOICES: Another Ohio High Court Official Announces Opposition to Death Penalty

On June 13, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton told members of an Ohio task force reviewing the state’s capital punishment system that her views on the death penalty have moved from support to opposition. Justice Stratton, a Republican, served three terms on the Court, during which time the state executed 49 death row inmates by lethal injection. Stratton has opposed executing mentally ill defendants, but more recently explained that she is now opposed to the death penalty in general because she does not believe it deters crime, or that victims’ families gain the finality they seek when the murderer is put to death. Judge Stratton said, “I have evolved to where I don’t think the death penalty is effective. I don’t have a moral inhibition … Overall, it’s just not the best way to deal with it on a number of different levels.” In 2011, Justice Paul Pfeifer, an original sponsor of Ohio’s current death penalty law and a current Justice on the Ohio Supreme Court, also announced his opposition to capital punishment.

(A. Johnson, “Former Justice Stratton says she’s now opposed to death penalty,” Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 2013). Read about other New Voices.