An Ohio Supreme Court justice who helped write the state's death penalty in 1981 now is pleading with lawmakers to repeal the law. Justice Paul Pfeifer, a Republican, spoke out against capital punishment earlier this year, but December 14 marked the first time he testified before lawmakers.
"I have concluded that the death sentence makes no sense to me at this point when you can have life without possibility of parole," he said at an Ohio House of Representatives committee hearing. "I don't see what society gains from that."
In 2003, Pfeifer wondered aloud whether the death penalty has been given evenly based on race and geography. Since 1999, 46 inmates in Ohio have been executed, and 12 more are scheduled to die by September 2013, making it the state with third-highest execution rate.
Moves like the one in Ohio and another earlier this year in Oregon, when Governor John Kitzhaber overturned the state's death penalty, could change conditions for students who earn a criminal justice degree or online criminal justice degree. The move halted a scheduled December 6 execution, which he called "a perversion of justice."