'The Catholic Bishops of Ohio urge Ohio leaders to end the use of the death penalty. At this particular time, there may not be sufficient legislative support to achieve this important goal. In the meantime, the bishops support recommendations from the Ohio Supreme Courtʼs death penalty taskforce that call for limitations on the use of the death penalty. One recommendation would prohibit the use of the death penalty for persons with severe mental illness.
The Catholic Conference of Ohio Bishops joins with the Ohio Alliance for the Mental Illness Exception (OAMIE) in urging passage of SB162.
SB 162 is pending in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The death penalty is not the answer to the problem of violence committed by persons with severe mental illnesses. The better policy is access to appropriate mental health care.
“The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty.”
Pope Francis, Address before the U.S. Congress, September 24, 2015
SB162 exempts people who were severely mentally ill at the time of the crime from the death penalty. We have advocated for this legislation for some time, and it has finally passed committee by a wide margin.'
Senate President Faber's contact: 614-466-7584.
More background and an email action is at www.OAMIE.org.
Read the Ohio Catholic Bishops' statement in support of SB162 here.