Ohio proposal would prohibit criminals with serious mental illness from being executed



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COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio proposal would ban the execution of killers who had a serious mental illness at the time they committed the offense.

The measure introduced Wednesday was among the recommendations from a state task force that spent over two years studying Ohio's capital punishment law.

Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati and Democratic Sen. Sandra Williams of Cleveland sponsored the bill. They say it wouldn't allow defendants to escape punishment. The senators say defendants still may be found guilty and imprisoned under their proposal.

The measure would prohibit the execution of those who had mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder and were consequently significantly impaired in their ability to fully understand the crimes committed. Voluntary use of drugs or alcohol wouldn't constitute a serious mental illness.

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