Because it doesn’t have access to lethal injection drugs, Ohio’s last execution was in 2018. And now, a group of bipartisan legislators has introduced a House bill, a companion piece to a pending Senate bill, to abolish capital punishment altogether.
But, according to WTGV-13, while sponsors say they have more support this year than they have previously, “Senate President Matt Huffman, who controls what gets put up for a vote in the chamber, has said he doesn’t support the bill.” The station also notes that the state Prosecuting Attorney Association also opposes abolition.
However, one powerful argument for abolition comes from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who wrote in his 2022 annual report on capital punishment, “This broken system is also enormously expensive,” Citing an Ohio Legislative Service Commission report that analyzed the cost of the death penalty in other states, Yost says, “If these estimates apply to Ohio, then the extra cost of imposing the death penalty on the 128 inmates currently on Death Row might range between $128 million to $384 million. That’s a stunning amount of money to spend on a program that doesn’t achieve its purpose.”
Yost adds that “This system satisfies nobody. Those who oppose the death penalty want it abolished altogether, not ticking away like a time bomb that might or might not explode. Those who support the death penalty want it to be fair, timely, and effective. Neither side is getting what it wants while the state goes on pointlessly burning through enormous taxpayer resources.”