“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also in order to improve prison conditions, with respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom” - Pope Francis #Pledge4Mercy
Since 1885, Ohio has executed over 400 persons and 142 people are currently on death row, making it one of the largest death rows in the entire country. Methods of execution have varied from hanging, the electric chair, and, beginning in 2009, lethal injection.
In 1974, Ohio reinstated the death penalty, only two years after the US Supreme Court’s decision in 1972 which declared several states’ death penalty laws unconstitutional. Executions did not begin again until 1999. In 1991, Gov. Richard Celeste commuted the sentences of eight inmates on death row, citing a “disturbing racial pattern” in sentencing. Concern about wrongful convictions also prompted the General Assembly to pass a criminal justice reform bill in 2010 related to DNA evidence. The Buckeye State has also had its share of exonerations of innocent persons, including, most recently, Joe D’Ambrosio who was released in 2012, 23 years after he was convicted.
In March 2011, HB 160 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly to end the death penalty; sponsor testimony was given in April. Gov. John Kasich recently commuted a sentence to life without parole and postponed several executions due to questions about the death penalty procedures.
For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:
The Conference represents the Church’s position before the Ohio General Assembly, various state departments, bureaus, agencies and other organizations. The Conference also provides facilitation, coordination and joint programming for diocesan groups involved in various Church ministries
The Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC) began in 1998 as a vehicle to promote education and action for social justice within the Marianist Family. We are supported by the Marianist Brothers and Priests, the Marianist Lay Network of North America (MLNNA), and the Marianist Sisters. We work under the direction of the Marianist Family Council of North America.
Ohioans to Stop Executions (OTSE) is actively working to end the death penalty in Ohio. OTSE is a nonprofit engaging community organizations, faith leaders, students, teachers and regular citizens in a thoughtful dialogue about Ohio’s death penalty. OTSE provides educational resources and information about the manner in which Ohio’s death penalty is administered.