Ohio politicians vying to abolish death penalty

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A local lawmaker said she would like to abolish the death penalty.

Nickie Antonio introduced House Bill 389 hoping to sway her fellow lawmakers to join her in the effort to kill the death penalty in Ohio.

Representative Antonio said taking someone's life, for taking someone's life, is a bad practice and she wants Ohio "not" to do it anymore.

"It's wrong," Antonio said.

Antonio said if one does the crime, they should do the time, not die at the hand of the state.

"But if they committed this most heinous crime, our worst criminals, we as the state of Ohio and taxpayers should be better than them and so a sentence of life without parole I think is a very just punishment," Antonio said.

Antonio, who's from Lakewood, introduced the legislation to abolish capital punishment in Ohio.

She said minorities and the poor get hit the hardest.

Justice Pfeiffer has called capital punishment a death lottery because of how disproportionately people of color are impacted by it.

Cuyahoga County, while it has a small percentage of capital crimes, when compared to the other counties, it's sending the most people to death row.

"Currently, our criminals justice is not equal," Pfeiffer said.

Her colleague, fellow State Representative Stephanie Howse, co-signed the bill to get rid of the death penalty in Ohio.

"I do believe that we can find a way to administer justice, but do it in a way that is humane and right now I just don't think or believe that's it's a humane way to do it and a way to really try to help people make up for what they've done," Howse said.

Antonio added this reason to her argument.

"We have more than six folks in the state of Ohio who have been exonerated. That's means they were found not guilty but they were sitting on death row. They're free today, but if we had executed them we would have executed people who are innocent," Antonio said.

Actually, there have been nine people freed since 1976 for crimes they didn't commit and for which they were sentenced to die.

Another local politician, Republican, Nathan Manning from North Ridgeville, will decide if Antonio's bill will get any more hearings or stay in committee without further action.