Grounded in relationships with people on death row, IJPC works to abolish the death penalty in Ohio and beyond by educating the Greater Cincinnati community and encouraging our network to advocate for reform or repeal. The only organization in Greater Cincinnati specifically committed to abolishing the death penalty, IJPC specifically challenges Hamilton County’s aggressive pursuit of capital punishment.
IJPC holds the position that implementing the death penalty, even for the most serious of crimes, is morally wrong and a violation of basic human rights. In addition, we believe the system as it stands is so broken that it would be nearly impossible to fix. To date, eleven men in Ohio have been found innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, after spending decades on death row, and have been exonerated. Research shows that receiving the death penalty in the state of Ohio is highly dependent upon geographic region and more likely when the accused is a person of color and the victim is not. It also shows that it is not an effective deterrent to murder, that it is emotionally damaging to the prison staff who must carry out the law, and that it inflicts further trauma on the families of the murder victims. It is estimated that Ohio spends nearly 17 million dollars a year on capital cases at minimum, depleting needed revenue to address root causes of violence and victims’ needs.
- IJPC connects people in the community with folks who are currently on death row or have had their death sentences reduced. The pen pal program reminds inmates that they are not forgotten and that there are people who care about them.
- With executions on hold and the possibility of abolition in sight, IJPC joined the NoDeathPenaltyOH coalition to repeal Ohio’s death penalty. We are partnered with a diverse range of organizations and passionate Ohioans to abolish the death penalty through advocacy and grassroots organizing.
- As part of the NoDeathPenaltyOH coalition, IJPC organizes the Southern Ohio Grassroots Organizing team, comprised of residents actively working to garner more support for death penalty abolition. The team meets biweekly to receive updates, plan actions, and learn new skills.
- Since 1999, IJPC has held vigils and has been a presence at every execution in Ohio. The Anti-Death Penalty Committee meets monthly to continue to support specific inmates or murder victims’ families. If executions resume, please check the events page to join us for a prayer vigil in Cincinnati the night before a scheduled execution and in Lucasville the morning of an execution.
Keep learning and stay connected to ongoing efforts:
- Request a speaker from IJPC.
- Sign up for death penalty specific emails from IJPC.
- Check IJPC’s website and Facebook page for the latest meetings and events.
Plug in and show up:
- Attend our biweekly Southern Ohio Grassroots Organizing meeting to advocate for death penalty abolition.
- Attend our monthly anti-death penalty committee meetings to collaborate on inmate support and share pen pal updates.
- Request a pen pal.
- Voice support to abolish Ohio’s death penalty through Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 183.
- Voice opposition to federal executions, which began the summer of 2020 after an almost 20-year hiatus.
- Read the Death Penalty Information Center’s 2020 report, Enduring Injustice: the Persistence of Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Death Penalty, which provides an in-depth look at the historical role that race has played in the death penalty and details the pervasive role racial discrimination continues to play in the administration of capital punishment today.
- Read IJPC’s 2020 report, At All Costs: The High Cost of the Death Penalty in Hamilton County and the Extreme Disparities it Drives.
- Visit the NoDeathPenaltyOH coalition website for more resources and information.