Panel: Weigh Mental Illness in Ohio Capital Cases

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A committee examining capital punishment in Ohio wants lawmakers to debate whether the death penalty should be off the table for offenders with serious mental illness.

Mental illness has long been a factor in deciding whether someone should be executed in the state, but the new proposal deals with eliminating it as an option upfront, before a person is charged.

The task force convened by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor agreed by a 15-2 vote Thursday to recommend lawmakers consider the idea.

The concept is a long way from ever becoming law. The recommendation would first need legislation, and that would be followed by a long debate in the General Assembly over the definition of serious mental illness.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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