NEW VOICES: Ohio Republican Leads Efforts Against Death Penalty

Ohio Rep. Terry Blair (pictured) is one of two Republican co-sponsors of House Bill 160, a bill that would replace the death penalty in the state with life without the possibility of parole. Blair, whose opinion on the death penalty puts him in the minority in the 59-member House Republican caucus, attributes his views to his religious beliefs. “I don’t think we have any business in taking another person’s life, even for what we call a legal purpose or what we might refer to as a justified purpose… The creeds of the church say that life is to be protected all along, from natural birth to natural death.” Blair is co-sponsoring the bill with Democrats Ted Celeste and Nickie Antonio. Exeuctions are on hold in Ohio after U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost halted an execution because of concerns about the state’s lethal injection process. Ohio prison officials have submitted a modified lethal injection protocol in anticipation of resuming executions next month. In 2010, Ohio was second only to Texas in the number of executions carried out.

(“Blair takes lead in fight against death penalty,” Dayton Daily News, August 21, 2011). See New Voices, Recent Legislation, and Religion.