A new Ohio network called Ohio Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty today announced at a press conference that it will work to get the state to abolish the death penalty.
As far as politicians go, members of the group mostly include former lawmakers.
Ohio hasn't executed a death row inmate since July 2018, and Gov. Mike DeWine has postponed five executions since then as manufacturers have refused to sell the state drugs for its lethal injection cocktail.
Previous bills to end the death penalty have been introduced only by Democrats, and those bills have gained no traction.
The current, unofficial moratorium has seen Republicans at the statehouse voice tepid support toward putting Ohio's capital punishment to an end, though they've cautioned nothing is likely to be done this year.
“We don’t know that there is an option right now,” Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder told media outlets in December. “We may have a law in place that allows for a death penalty that we can’t carry out. And the question is: Are the costs that are associated with that and retrials and all these things, at the end of the day, is it worth that?"
DeWine himself remains noncommittal.
"The waste of taxpayer dollars is one reason why conservative Republican lawmakers in Ohio and across the country are reevaluating the death penalty," Hannah Cox, National Manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, said in a press release. “They not only believe in limited government, they also value life."
Limited government is but one of the reasons for their opposition. Executions are expensive and problematic - according to the Death Penalty Information Center, 166 Death Row inmates have been exonerated since 1973.
Twenty-one states have abolished the death penalty. The Ohio conservative group joins 13 others around the country working to overturn it in remaining states.