Eve Stratton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office who prior to joining Vorys served as justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio for 16 years, recently testified on behalf of Ohio House Bill 81. A Hannah Report story covered her testimony.
The story states:
“HB81 would prohibit the state from executing individuals who are found to be suffering from serious mental illness (SMI) at the time their crime was carried out. Stratton and others testifying as proponents said 75 percent of Americans polled on the issue believe those with SMI should not be given the death penalty.
‘Everybody that I’m aware of, except for the prosecutors’ association, is in favor of this bill,’ Stratton said. ‘I’m refusing to give any more ground for compromise because then it will get watered down and becomes useless.’
‘I met personally with several prosecutors, and not one thing I suggested was sufficient. They wanted no change. They felt the law was adequate as it was. But I can tell you it’s not,’ Stratton added, noting the grim realities suffered by those with SMI and the fact that jurors often incorrectly considers MI an aggravating factor instead of a mitigating one.
She said there are many reasons to pass this bill, which she emphasized still allows for life imprisonment without parole. For example, she said the bill would save many small counties from having to break their budgets prosecuting capital cases. However, she said the most important reason to pass the legislation is that those with SMI are ‘unable to really understand’ why they committed the crime.”
To read the entire story, visit the Hannah Report website. (Subscription may be required).