Prosecutors Charging Fewer with Death Penalty in Ohio

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CLEVELAND (AP) – Fewer murder prosecutions are seeking the death penalty across Ohio, with prosecutors instead pushing for life sentences without parole.

The Plain Dealer reports that the number of capital murder indictments filed across the state since 2010 has dropped by 77 percent. Nineteen have been brought this year. The state currently has 141 inmates on death row.

The newspaper reported Sunday that examination of prison records and public documents found that the number of murder convicts sentenced to life without parole has increased by 92 percent since 2010.

The Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center says the national trend is also for fewer death penalty prosecutions.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty says the death penalty can be a strong deterrent to crime, but has been undermined by the lengthy appeals process.