The Ohio Alliance for the Mental Illness Exemption (OAMIE) was represented before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in testimony today by former Ohio Senator Bob Spada, who serves on the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio, a convener of the Alliance.
“We believe that those who commit violent crimes while in the grip of a psychotic delusion, hallucination or other disabling psychological condition lack judgment, understanding or self-control,” said Spada. “Until such time as the U.S. Supreme Court decides on this question, the responsibility for prohibiting the execution of such individuals in Ohio rests with the Ohio General Assembly.”
Spada attached to his written testimony a statement from OAMIE partners to the members of the Committee in support of S.B. 162, legislation which will prohibit the execution of defendants with specific mental illnesses at the time of the crime.
Also testifying today were Professor Daniel T. Kobil of Capital University Law School, on behalf of more than 50 Ohio law professors who have signed a letter to the legislature in support of S.B. 162, and Dr. Jeffrey L. Smalldon, a forensic psychologist who has provided expertise on mental health issues in numerous Ohio capital cases. Today’s testimony has been posted in addition to all past proponent and interested party testimony at http://oamie.org/s-b-162-testimony/.
The proposed legislation, which to-date has had only one opponent testify over the course of six hearings, is supported by leading organizations concerned with mental health issues in Ohio, including the following: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio, Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, Ohio Psychological Association, Ohio Council of Behavioral Health & Family Services Providers, Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, Mental Health and Addiction Advocacy Coalition, Buckeye Art Therapy Association, Ohio Empowerment Coalition, and the National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter.
The public is invited to learn more about the legislation on our web page,www.OAMIE.org