CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Prosecutors in Ohio shared opposition to a bill that would prohibit the death penalty for an inmate diagnosed with a mental illness at the time of the crime.
A press conference with several leading county prosecutors was held on Wednesday afternoon.
House Bill 136, which was introduced in March 2019, would outlaw the death penalty for inmates who are considered mentally ill at the time of the offense.
The bill would also require that any inmates currently on death row who can prove they had a mental illness at the time of the crime be resentenced to life in prison without parole.
Members of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Attorney General’s Office that spoke included:
- Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci
- Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick
- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley
- Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien
- Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates
- Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell
- Carol O’Brien, Deputy Attorney General for Law Enforcement for Attorney General David Yost’s office
The consensus from the group that oppose the proposal feel that the bill would effectively end the death penalty in Ohio because inmates would likely claim that they suffered a mental illnesses while committing the crime.
The Ohio House passed the bill in June 5 and is now awaiting approval from the state Senate.