Mary Alice Reporting – A death penalty related bill sponsored by Ohio’s 98th District Representative passed and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

House Bill 136 prohibits the death penalty for aggravated murder when the offender is found to have been mentally ill at the time of the offense.

Sponsor Brett Hillyer noted that the Senate amendments made to the legislation contributed to the overall effectiveness of the bill’s definition.

“By specifying that, one, the defendant is able to take advantage of the provisions in 136 that they will, in fact, be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and two, made several procedural corrections that made it truly doable for the courts an effort to advance the principals in 136.”

The bill applies to defendants who are found to be incapable of understanding the consequences of his/her actions, practicing rational judgment, or considering the legality of his/her actions.

The House Bill defines a serious mental illness as a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or delusional disorder.

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