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Bill introduced to exempt individuals with SMI from the death penalty

Senators John Eklund (R-Geauga) and Sandra Williams (D-Cuyahoga) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would exclude individuals with serious mental illness from the death penalty just as individuals with intellectual disabilities and juveniles are currently exempted.

Specifically, the bill would exempt defendants from the death penalty who, at the time of the offense, had a serious mental illness (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and delusional disorder) that significantly impaired their capacity to: 

  1. exercise rational judgment in relation to their conduct;
  2. conform their conduct to the requirements of the law; or
  3. appreciate the nature, consequences or wrongfulness of their conduct.

Defendants would still be found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

The bill will have sponsor testimony in the Senate Health Committee on Tues., Feb. 21.

The OPPA has taken a position of Active Support with Technical Assistance.


Related news:

Dayton Daily News (2/17/17) - Murderers with mental illness may be spared execution in Ohio


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