Use of the death penalty fell to historic lows in Ohio and across the United States in 2016, according to year-end statistics on capital punishment released today by the Death Penalty Information Center.
“Ohio echoes national trends demonstrating a decline in the use of capital punishment across the country,” said Kevin Werner, executive director of Ohioans to Stop Executions. “New capital indictments are down steeply in our state in 2016, with prosecutors seeking executions in only ten cases. This is down from 26 cases in 2015, and 29 cases in 2014.”
Ohio saw a slight rise in new death sentences (4), however two of those cases carried over from indictments in previous years.
With the state seeking to resume executions in January after a three-year hiatus, Ohioans to Stop Executions highlights declining use of and support for executions in our state and across the nation. Millions of Ohioans prefer alternatives to the death penalty and call on Governor Kasich to not allow executions by granting clemency to all those with pending execution dates during the remainder of his term in office.
Former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, who had a role in 18 executions during his term in office, is quoted in the new report from an op-ed published recently in the Columbus Dispatch. “I am convinced that the death penalty is just not worth it any more, and I don’t think it can be fixed,” wrote Petro, who joined the board of directors of Ohioans to Stop Executions in September. “If we’re going to have the death penalty, then it must not be carried out until the legislature implements the task force’s reforms intended to ensure fairness and accuracy.”
Ohio Numbers for 2016:
New Death Sentences: 4
James Tench (Medina) Sentenced 2016, Indicted 2016
Michael Madison (Cuyahoga) Sentenced 2016, Indicted 2013
Glen Bates (Hamilton) Sentenced 2016, Indicted 2015
Damantae Graham (Portage) Sentenced 2016, Indicted 2016
Trends: 2016 (4)
- First death sentence from Portage County since 2005
- Second death sentence in Medina County since 1981 (he other was in 2013)
- Only death sentence out of Cuyahoga County under prosecutor Tim McGinty
- First death sentence from Hamilton County since 2010. 27th Defendant sentenced to death under Joe Deters
New Capital indictments: 10
Trends: 2016 (10)
Abraham J. Bonowitz
Communications, Organizing & Strategy
Ohioans to Stop Executions