May 30, 2014

Statement of James R. Silkenat, president, American Bar Association Re: Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio's Death Penalty report

WASHINGTON, DC, May 30, 2014 -- The American Bar Association recognizes the report issued recently by the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio's Death Penalty and appreciates the consideration it gives to the ABA’s 2007 Ohio Death Penalty Assessment Report.

The concern shown by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and former Ohio State Bar Association President Carol Seubert Marx in forming the task force exhibits the type of robust debate and caution needed before the implementation of the death penalty. I hope Ohio's task force recommendations are given due consideration in the legislature.

The ABA has done assessments of death penalty implementation in 12 states and found serious questions in each. These reports are living, breathing documents and should represent the beginning, not the end, of how the United States handles capital offenses. The ABA takes no stance on the death penalty outright. However, the ABA has strong policy advocating that jurisdictions using the death penalty implement it fairly, accurately and with due process. 

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Please click here for a biography and photo of James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association.


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