Prosecutors Put Out Their Own Report On Death Penalty Changes

Four prosecutors on a task force that reviewed the death penalty in Ohio have released a report objecting to some of the recommendations the task force put out two weeks ago. 

The dissenters – representing Ohio’s three largest counties and the Attorney General’s office – also included their own ideas of recommendations that they say they want lawmakers to consider if they’re going to change the death penalty law. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says one suggestion is to allow a presentation on behalf of the victim in the sentencing phase of a capital trial.

The prosecutors have already spoken out about their concerns about a recommendation to require either biological evidence or a videotaped confession for a death penalty conviction. In their 49 page report yesterday, the prosecutors also say they’re very concerned about recommendations to remove the death penalty when a murder happens during certain crimes, such as kidnapping or rape. And they also want a more information about a recommendation to eliminate the death penalty as a sentence for those with mental illness. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor convened the committee in 2011. Supporters of the committee's work have said the 56 recommendations improve the law while making sure only the worst of the worst criminals face capital punishment.