Death penalty opponents make plea to Ohio lawmakers

Opponents are asking Ohio lawmakers to ban the death penalty, which is carried out in lethal injection chambers like the one seen here at San Quentin State Prison in Calif. / Source: California Corrections Department

Opponents of capital punishment in Ohio are ready to tell lawmakers why they should pass a bill that would scrap state's 30-year-old law.

Among those expected to testify Wednesday before the House Criminal Justice Committee is state Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer.

Pfeifer helped write the law enacted in 1981, but grew skeptical that prosecutors were using it fairly and this year called for its abolition.

Hearings on the bill come as a Supreme Court task force studies Ohio's death penalty law to make sure it works as it should.

But Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor has made it clear that the task force group is not to consider a ban.

The anti-death penalty bill is sponsored by Democratic state Reps. Ted Celeste of Columbus and Nickie Antonio of suburban Cleveland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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