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Mental illness and the death penalty

TODAY’S MODERATOR


Should killers with serious mental illnesses not be subject to Ohio’s death-penalty statute? A task force is recommending that state lawmakers automatically exempt those individuals from the death penalty, according to the Associated Press.

The task force was the idea of Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. She tasked the group — attorneys, judges and lawmakers — with studying Ohio’s capital-punishment system and making recommendations for improving it.

Cleveland appeals court Judge Kathleen Keough told the AP’s Andrew Welsh-Huggins that the mental-illness recommendation is “an issue of common decency. … A person suffering from serious mental illness should not be subject to the death penalty.”

Do you agree? Or should that question be determined during the course of a trial, rather than when the accused’s mental state is established? What other changes to Ohio’s capital-punishment law would you recommend? Send your thoughts and opinions to mwilliams@coxohio.com.


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