Panel: Weigh mental illness in death-penalty cases in Ohio

Associated Press

COLUMBUS

Lawmakers should debate taking the death penalty off the table for killers with serious mental illness even before they’re charged, under a recommendation approved Thursday by a committee examining capital punishment in the state.

Mental illness long has been a factor in deciding whether someone should be executed in Ohio, but the new proposal deals with eliminating it as an option upfront.

The proposal, approved 15-2 by the Ohio Supreme Court task force, recommends that lawmakers take up the question once the committee issues its final report early next year.

Cleveland appeals court Judge Kathleen Keough called it “an issue of common decency.”

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