Ohio conservative leaders announced the launch of the Ohio branch of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCATDP) at a press conference Tuesday. CCATDP is an organization that questions how its conservative values align with the death penalty.
“Conservative Republicans in Ohio are increasingly becoming aware of the failures of an error-prone and expensive death penalty system that does nothing to make citizens of the state safer,” said Hannah Cox, National Manager of CCATDP. “Many of Ohio’s leading conservatives, people who have supported the death penalty their entire lives, are now changing their minds based on what they have learned.”
Former Gov. Bob Taft, Rep. Laura Lanese and former state attorney general Jim Petro were among the 35 conservative leaders that signed CCATDP’s national Statement of Support to End the Death Penalty.
The organization’s statement on ending the death penalty states:
We have come to the conclusion that the death penalty does not work and can’t be made to work, not in spite of our conservative principles, but because of them. There are many reasons why growing numbers of conservatives are questioning the death penalty. Some of us are concerned that instead of making us safer, capital punishment has proven to be a costly and ineffective government program. Others of us are concerned that the death penalty makes too many mistakes. Still others are concerned that the death penalty has no place in a culture seeking to promote life. In light of its track record, we call on our fellow conservatives to reexamine the death penalty and demonstrate the leadership needed to end this failed policy.
The Buckeye State reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Only one person received capital punishment from 1976 to 1999. However, since 2000 the state has executed 55 people.
Currently, 140 people sit on death row in Ohio.
Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back the latest execution date of Melvin Bonnell until March 18, 2021 after the state was having a hard time finding lethal-injection drugs, according to cleveland.com. Bonnell was convicted of killing a 23-year-old in 1986.
In December, GOP House Speaker Larry Householder, who is not with CCATDP, said House Republicans discussed ending the death penalty in the state, the AP reports.
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