The Death Penalty in Ohio: A Shameful Legacy and Urgent Need for Change

Ohio Introduces New Death Penalty Procedure

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state is currently working to repeal its death penalty, a policy that has failed to deter violent crime or heal the victims of murder. Across the country, there is growing support for legislation that would replace it with life in prison without parole.

A bill authored by State Senators Nickie Antonio, Louis Blessing, Hearcel Craig and Catherine Ingram has been introduced.


The death penalty has a shameful, racist history. Between 1882 and 1968, nearly three-fourths of lynching victims were Black Americans, despite making up no more than 15% of the national population. Ohio’s modern death penalty has the same ugly, racist legacy.

In 1974, Ohio reinstated the death penalty after Furman v. Georgia. Governor Richard Celeste commuted eight death sentences in 1991, citing evidence of racial bias. In 2001, the state eliminated electrocution as a method of execution, leaving lethal injection as the only option.

But the state’s execution system continues to be plagued by inefficiencies and delays. And with new legislation pending, bipartisan support is growing to end the death penalty in Ohio. It’s time to put an end to this expensive, unreliable, geographically arbitrary and racially biased punishment. Then, we can begin to heal from our shameful past.


A gallows is an apparatus used for hanging. The word is often confused with the act of hanging, but there are some differences between the two terms. Both can be dangerous, but each has different contexts. This is why it’s important to be familiar with the terms before using them.

The gallows was used for capital punishment in Ohio until 1897, when it was replaced by the electric chair. This was considered to be a more humane form of execution, and it was used until 1963.

In recent years, there has been a movement to abolish the death penalty in Ohio. This has been led by former Governor Bob Taft, the great-grandson of President William Howard Taft. He has questioned the effectiveness of the death penalty and has highlighted racial disparities in executions. He also criticized the state’s inability to obtain lethal injection drugs. Lou Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, disagrees with Taft’s views. He says that the death penalty is necessary for some of the most heinous crimes.

Electric chair

The jolt of electricity was supposed to be quick and painless, but autopsy photos of burned inmates gave ammunition to critics. They also cited studies showing that the skull insulates the brain from electrical sensations.

The new execution method was a back-up to lethal injection after Ohio prison officials couldn’t obtain the drug pentobarbital. It was also untested because the state switched from a single drug to a combination of drugs that had never been used together before.

Pharmaceutical companies feared that they would be publicly identified as suppliers of the drugs and refused to sell them. They were right. The Ohio Newspaper Association blasted the legislation as “a bad idea that should not have been rammed through during a postelection session without due and serious consideration.” The ACLU of Ohio is opposing it. As are the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center and a broad group of partners from faith leaders to conservative allies. The ACLU says that for every six people executed in Ohio, one has been found innocent of the crime they were charged with.

Lethal injection

In Ohio, the state executes inmates via lethal injection. A video has gone viral on social media showing a news broadcast that reads, “OHIO INTRODUCES NEW DEATH PENALTY PROCEDURE.” The logo for the news station is ONN, which stands for the Onion News Network. It’s a satirical video from the publication.

The first drug used in the execution cocktail is supposed to anesthetize inmates. But autopsies show it doesn’t. They have found inmates experience a breathing problem called pulmonary edema that can lead to fluid build-up in the lungs.

This can cause the inmate to wheeze and gasp for air. It can also cause a choking sensation. This is why judges have been hesitant to approve the use of midazolam for lethal injection. They want a more reliable drug that can prevent inmates from experiencing pain during their death. However, that’s been hard to find. Some pharmaceutical companies have blocked their drugs from being used in the lethal injection process.

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