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, nine 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.
- The Anti-death Penalty Committee meets virtually from 6-7pm on the second Monday of each month to consider ways to support specific inmates or murder victims’ families, as well as to discuss current events and abolition strategies.
- IJPC offers educational presentations that explain how the death penalty works, its arbitrary application, moral concerns, and more.
- Since 1999, IJPC has held vigils and has been a presence at every execution in Ohio. Ohio’s death penalty is currently on hold, as Governor DeWine has delayed every execution since the beginning of 2019. 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:
- Plug in and show up:
- Take action:
- Voice support for Ohio House Bill 136, legislation that would prohibit a person who commits a capital crime while having a serious mental illness from being sentenced to death.
- 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.