(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement in response to proposed legislation to end Ohio’s death penalty:
“This bill’s introduction provides a platform for a much-needed, long-overdue debate about our broken capital-punishment system, which fails day after day to deliver justice to victims and their families.
I support the death penalty, especially for the most heinous offenders and as a way to protect our corrections officers. Consider offenders already serving a life sentence who commit murder in prison – what penalty should they receive?
The bottom line: Ohio’s death penalty is a farce and a broken promise of justice – and it must be fixed. This discussion has been a long time coming, so let’s have it now. If Ohio chooses to end capital punishment, let it own the decision in the full light of day. I will stand on the other side, with the families of the slain.”
Bipartisan legislation being introduced by four state lawmakers could end the death penalty in Ohio. Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), State Senator Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), Assistant Minority Leader Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus), and State Senator Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) introduced or spoke in favor of the legislation. The legislation would change the death penalty to life in prison for those people who were accurately accused.
Later this week, AG Yost will issue the “2022 Capital Crimes Report,” which includes information and a procedural history on each case that has resulted in a death sentence in Ohio since 1981, the year the state instituted the death penalty.
Robert Van Hook was the last murderer to be put to death in Ohio, he was put to death in July of 2018 for a crime he committed in 1985