Task Force Recommends 56 Ways To Change Ohio Death Penalty


UPDATED: Wednesday May 21, 2014 11:46 AM

A task force report released Wednesday recommends 56 changes to make to Ohio’s death penalty.

The task force was made up of 22 judges, lawyers and lawmakers who were assigned by the Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice and the Ohio State Bar Association to review death penalty laws.

Among the recommendations, the committee said the state should amend the law so that defendants who suffer from “serious mental illness” by excluded from the death penalty.

It also encouraged that laws be changed so that the death sentence cannot be considered unless there is one of the following:

  • Biological or DNA evidence
  • Videotaped confession
  • Video recording that links the defendant to the murder

The task force also recommended removing the following offenses from the death penalty specification: Kidnapping, Rape, Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Robbery and Aggravated Burglary.

Not all 22 members of the task force agreed with the findings. A group of three members, including Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, released a dissenting report.

It stated that “the Task Force veered off its narrow mandate and is making recommendations that are anti-death penalty. The work of the Task Force was strongly influenced by a pro-defense majority bent on an agenda of abolition, not fairness.”

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