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Bills seek to end the death penalty in Ohio - and have backing from some staunch conservatives

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.
AP
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.

Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt was once a supporter of the state's death penalty. But she says she's had a change of heart.

That change came in part after speaking with Joe D'Ambrosio, a man who sat on Ohio's death row for 20 years for a murder he didn't commit before he was exonerated in 2012.

Now, Schmidt is among a group of conservative lawmakers — and others — backing bills in the Ohio House and Senate that would end the state's death penalty. It's not the first time such legislation has come before the General Assembly, but supporters say they have momentum from across the political spectrum on their side this time.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about the bills, wrongful convictions and the death penalty are State Rep. Jean Schmidt, Joe D'Ambrosio and Ohioans To Stop Executions Executive Director Hannah Kubbins.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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