Ohio justice calls for end of death penalty

Ohio justice calls for end of death penalty

COLUMBUS — An Ohio Supreme Court justice who helped write the state's death penalty law three decades ago and has more recently questioned its interpretation called Tuesday for an end to capital punishment in the state.

Justice Paul Pfeifer also said Gov. John Kasich and any future governor should consider commuting the sentences of Ohio's death row inmates to life without parole.

"These are important matters that need all of our thoughtful attention — need the attention of the Legislature to consider seriously whether we're well-served by this statute any longer," he said in remarks following his swearing-in ceremony.

"The time has come for us to make that change," Pfeifer said.

Pfeifer, a moderate Republican, was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as Ohio debated the capital punishment bill that became law in 1981.

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