(The Center Square) – Ohio Republican Attorney General Dave Yost isn’t ready to get behind the most recent bipartisan push to end the death penalty in the state.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with religious groups and other policy groups from the state, recently announced a plan to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives that would ban the death penalty.
Yost, though, isn’t sold on the idea.
“Bad ideas do not magically become good ideas simply because both of our broken political parties agree on it,” Yost said.
Ohio’s last execution came in July 2018, and there are currently 31 people on death row.
In April, as previously reported by The Center Square, Yost said an Ohio inmate typically spends 21 years on death row and costs taxpayers up to five times more for a capital case versus a noncapital case.
Yost, who supports the death penalty, welcomes the conversation but wants victims’ families to be heard.
Similar bipartisan legislation was introduced by Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, D-Columbus, and Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, in the Senate in March but has had only one hearing.
“By continuing to allow capital punishment in Ohio, we are permitting an unjust, expensive, inhumane, and occasionally erroneous practice,” Antonio said. “It will take both chambers and continued bipartisan work to accomplish this momentous and much-needed change in the state of Ohio.”
Huffman said the death penalty should be abolished for moral and financial reasons.
“I plan to continue to work diligently toward abolishing the death penalty in Ohio, as it lacks moral and financial justification in our current society,” Huffman said. “Replacing the death penalty with life without parole is a terminal sentence. It provides a definitive answer with the assurance that a person convicted of the most heinous capital case will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars and die in prison.”