Death Penalty

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.

Our Position: 

Death PenaltyIJPC 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.

Our Work: 

  • 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.

Get Involved:

Keep learning and stay connected to ongoing efforts:

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.

Take action:

  • Voice support to abolish Ohio’s death penalty through Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 183.
    • Contact your state lawmaker and tell them you support abolition. 
    • Join the regional organizing team to mobilize grassroots support in Southern Ohio and across the state. Email Bekky for more information.
  • Voice opposition to federal executions, which began the summer of 2020 after an almost 20-year hiatus.
    • Click here to sign a petition to urge Congress to support Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s H.R. 4052, legislation to abolish the federal death penalty.

Resources:

About IJPC

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center educates and advocates for peace, challenges unjust local, national and global systems, and promotes the creation of a nonviolent society. IJPC is supported by faith-based organizations and individuals who work together to educate around justice issues, take collaborative action and do public witness. We address local, national and international concerns focusing on the death penalty, immigration, human trafficking and peace and nonviolence.

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