Death Penalty

Prayer For Those Facing the Death Penalty

God of Compassion, You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust. Expand and deepen our hearts so that we love as You love, even those among us who have caused the greatest pain by taking life. For there is in our land a cry for vengeance as we fill up death rows and kill the killers in the name of justice, in the name of peace. You suffered execution at the hands of the state but you did not let hatred overcome you. Help us to reach out to victims of violence so that Your enduring love may help them heal. Holy Spirit of God, You strengthen us in the struggle for justice. Help us work tirelessly for the abolition of state-sanctioned death and to renew our society in its very heart so that violence will be no more.


Death Penalty

History of Capital Punishment in Ohio  

Capital punishment has been a part of Ohio’s justice system since early in the state’s history. From 1803, when Ohio became a state, until 1885, executions were carried out by public hanging in the county where the crime was committed. In 1885, the legislature enacted a law that required executions to be carried out at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus – 28 convicted murderers were hanged at the penitentiary. . . .  In 1897, the electric chair, considered to be a more technologically advanced and humane form of execution, replaced the gallows.  From 1897 to 1963 there were 315 persons put to death in the electric chair including three women. . . . In 1972, the United States Supreme Court declared the death penalty to be unconstitutional. . . . In 1974, the Ohio General Assembly revised Ohio’s Death Penalty law, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the new law in 1978. . . .  After drafting a new law to reflect the strict criteria for the imposition of the death sentence, Ohio lawmakers enacted the current capital punishment statute, which took effect Oct. 19, 1981. . . . In 1993, a bill granting prisoners the option to choose between death by electrocution or lethal injection was passed. . . . . On February 19, 1999, inmate Wilford Berry, “The Volunteer”, became the first inmate to be executed in Ohio since 1963, having waived all of his appeals – 8 others have “volunteered” since. . . . On November 15, 2001, the electric chair was  eliminating as a form of execution. The only method of execution in Ohio is lethal injection. On November 30, 2009, DRC became the first state in the country to adopt a one-drug protocol for lethal injections.  The revised protocol also includes a back up method for intramuscular injection, should vascular access be problematic. . . .

To date, Ohio has executed a total of 393 convicted murderers.

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