Ohio Death Penalty Appeals Amendment, Issue 1 (1994)

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The Ohio Death Penalty Appeals Amendment, also known as Issue 1, was on the November 8, 1994 ballot in Ohio as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1] This amendment changes the procedure in Ohio for appeals of cases in which the death penalty is imposed. Prior to the approval of Issue 1, appeals of death penalty convictions were made to the intermediate appellate court in Ohio. Issue 1 changed that so that appeals of death penalty cases go directly to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Election results

Ohio Issue 1 (1994)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,199,791 70.14%
No936,32329.86%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

See also: Ohio Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2 and Section 3

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

Proposed Constitutional Amendment

To amend Sections 2 and 3 of Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio

To change the procedure for appeals of cases in which the death penalty is imposed, this amendment will:

  1. Remove jurisdiction from the courts of appeals to review death penalty cases on direct appeal.
  2. Provide for direct appeals of death penalty cases to the Ohio Supreme Court from the courts of common pleas or other courts of record inferior to the court of appeals.
  3. Apply to cases in which the death penalty is imposed for offenses committed on or after January 1, 1995.

If adopted, this amendment will be effective January 1, 1995.


Shall the proposed amendment be adopted? [4]

Support

The official voter guide arguments for Issue 1 were signed by:

The main argument they made in the voter guide was:

"Ohioans should vote in favor of Issue 1 because it is a reasonable step toward reforming our criminal justice system. Too often criminals are allowed to manipulate and exploit our judicial process through endless appeals that take years to review. Meanwhile, the families of victims wait for final justice to be administered. Unfortunately, many families are still waiting. Support for Issue 1 is support for these families."[3]

Opposition

The official voter guide arguments against Issue 1 were signed by:

  • Mary Abel
  • J. Donald Mottley
  • Vernon Sykes
  • Ben E. Espy
  • Mearle Kearns[3]

The main arguments they made in the voter guide were:

  • "It will not significantly shorten the time between a sentence of death and execution."
  • "It increases the risk that an innocent person will be executed."[3]

See also

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References