Ohio lawmaker wants to expand death penalty

CLEVELAND (AP) — The case of three Cleveland women held captive for a decade is inspiring an Ohio lawmaker to call for expanding the state’s death penalty law.

State Rep. John Becker of suburban Cincinnati wants the death penalty to cover some sex-related crimes.

His proposal introduced Friday would allow for the death penalty in cases of rape, sexual battery and improper sexual contact with a minor if the suspect has a previous sex crime conviction and there are aggravating circumstances.

Becker says he was driven to call for a change after the three Cleveland women escaped in May.

Ariel Castro was convicted of repeatedly raping the women but he wouldn’t have been eligible for the death penalty under Becker’s proposal because he didn’t have a previous sex-related conviction.

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