Ohio House Democratic Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement today in response to a ruling by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Merz that declared Ohio’s new three-drug lethal injection process unconstitutional. Merz also indefinitely suspended three planned executions of Ohio inmates, including one scheduled in February.
“When the proposed drugs for lethal injection are found to be unconstitutional because they may cause ‘substantial risk of serious harm’, it is immoral for the state to continue to fight to use them,” said Antonio. “I believe it is long past time we abolish the death penalty in Ohio and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.”
Antonio has repeatedly introduced legislation to end capital punishment and replace it with life without parole, citing research that shows the death penalty does not deter violent crime and is administered with disparities across economic and racial lines. In the 131st General Assembly, she sponsored Ohio House Bill 289 with Dayton-area Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miami Township) and plans to reintroduce the bill in the coming months.