Mentally ill would be spared death penalty under proposed Ohio legislation

FILE PHOTO - This November 2005 file photo shows the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A person judged to suffer from severe mental illness at the time of a killing that could result in a death sentence would be spared from capital punishment under a bill before Ohio lawmakers.

The proposed legislation would allow a hearing before trial on an offender’s mental illness and permit a judge to rule out the death penalty if severe mental illness is proven.

Current death row inmates could also challenge their sentences on the basis of mental illness at the time of their crimes.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee planned to hear testimony from supporters of the measure Wednesday. Sponsors are Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, and Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat.

Illnesses covered by the bill include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s