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Ohio Senator Nickie Antonio opposes death penalty execution methods in Ohio as inhumane and not a deterrent to crime.... By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) (pictured), a Lakewood Democrat whose  23rd state legislative district includes 14 of Cleveland' 17 wards, responded to a Spectrum News report that Ohio prosecutors are seeking to resume executions using nitrogen hypoxia.

The state senator previously introduced  Senate Bill 101 ,which  would abolish the death penalty in Ohio and instead pursue life without parole for capital crimes. Her measure has   bipartisan support from joint sponsor  state Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) and  some one-third of the Ohio Senate coming on board as co-sponsors, including Senators Blessing (R-Cincinnati), Craig (D-Columbus), DeMora (D-Columbus), Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Ingram (D-Cincinnati), Lang (R-West Chester), Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester), Roegner (R-Hudson), Smith (D-Euclid), and Sykes (D-Akron).

"Nitrogen hypoxia is untested, unproven and inhumane," said Sen. Antonio. "Even the American Veterinary Association has long rejected the use of nitrogen gas as a method to euthanize animals. There is far too much uncertainty surrounding how a state would carry out an execution by this method and no scientific evidence to support its use."

A fighter down state and a seasoned state legislator, Antonio is a long term opponent of Ohio's death penalty, joining Civil Rights groups such as the NAACP in saying it is inhumane and racist, and that data show that  it does not deter heinous crimes like advocates say.

Nitrogen hypoxia is an untested execution method in which death would be caused by forcing the inmate to breathe in only nitrogen. In 2022, Airgas, an industrial gas distributor, announced its opposition to the use of nitrogen to end human life. No state has attempted to put an inmate to death by this experimental method.

"We won't go back to barbaric botched executions," said Antonio. "We must be better as a society than our most heinous criminals. This is yet another example of why it is necessary to abolish the death penalty. The legislature should focus on passing Senate Bill 101, instead of suggesting grotesque experimentation."

Senate Bill 101 now awaits further hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee.


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