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The Future Of The Death Penalty In Ohio

death penalty
Kiichiro Sato
Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio, in 2005

During the lame duck session in December, the Ohio General Assembly gave final approval to legislation prohibiting execution of the severely mentally ill. House Bill 136 cleared the Ohio House on Dec. 17 and Governor DeWine signed the bill into law. DeWine has also imposed an unofficial moratorium on all executions in the state due to ongoing problems finding lethal-injection drugs.

Meanwhile, federal executions under the Trump administration are accelerating, even as the U.S. saw the lowest number of executions nationwide since 1991. President Trump is moving forward with the execution of five inmates during his lame duck period, but President-elect Joe Biden has said that he opposes capital punishment.

So what does the future hold for executions in the state of Ohio and our nation? Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss are Ohio House Representatives Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz and Rep. Brett Hillyer; Death Penalty Action Communications Specialist Allison Cohen; Ohioans to Stop Executions Executive Director Hannah Kubbins; and death row exoneree and Witness to Innocence Board Chair Kwame Ajamu.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.