Reps. Antonio & Ramos, Advocates Renew Call To Abolish Death Penalty
Propose alternate, non-violent state punishment
December 05, 2013
 
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State Reps. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) on Tuesday called for an end to the death penalty in Ohio, highlighting a proposal that would replace the death sentence with life in prison without parole.  


“It is time for Ohio to abolish this archaic punishment,” said Rep. Antonio. “The many flaws surrounding the death penalty show the punishment to be expensive, impractical, unjust, inhumane and erroneous. It is time to evolve to a more just society and replace the death penalty to life without parole in Ohio.”


The legislators discussed a multifaceted rationale to end the death penalty in Ohio, citing new developments in DNA evidence testing; racial disparities in sentencing; disparities in the local affordability of capitol indictments; and a shortage accessing lethal execution drugs due to the refusal by manufacturers to have their drug, originally created to save lives, be used as a lethal injection.


Ohio ran out of pentobarbital, the primary drug used for lethal injections, in September of this year. The state will use two new drugs for the next scheduled execution, drugs which have never been used to carry-out the death sentence in Ohio.  


“This isn’t how our criminal justice system should work. Seeking the death penalty comes at a greater cost to taxpayers and a painful, lengthy trial process for families seeking closure,” said Rep. Ramos. “Studies continue to show that the death penalty is applied unequally and arbitrarily. The geographic area or socioeconomic background you come from should not determine whether you are sentenced to death or life in prison.”


The lawmakers were joined with advocates from Ohioans to Stop Executions, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus and the St. John’s Episcopal Church of Columbus.


In May of this year, Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.  

 
 
 
  
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The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.