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Exonerated inmates ask lawmakers to change Ohio's death penalty
Former inmate says many innocent men have not been as lucky as he was
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Kwame Ajamu, Dale Johnston, Ricky Jackson, Kevin Werner of Ohioans to Stop Executions, Derrick Jamison, Rep. Nickie Antonio, Wiley Bridgeman and Joe D’Ambrosio asked lawmakers to reconsider death penalty policy.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
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Six of the nine Ohioans who were sentenced to death and then exonerated want state lawmakers to consider making changes to capital punishment in Ohio. 

Together, the men served more than 150 years before they were freed. And while several are still fighting for declarations of innocence and financial restitution, they say they feel the need to speak out.

Ricky Jackson of Cleveland served longer than any exonerated inmate in the U.S. -- 39 years in prison -- and says he is a survivor.

LISTEN: Jackson on escaping death

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“I know in my heart, there are a lot of people who don’t survive, who don’t get as fortunate," Jackson says. "And so I think that it’s tantamount that we take this step forward, not so much to change people’s views about the death penalty but to get a conversation and a dialogue started about the death penalty.”

The group delivered letters to state lawmakers asking them to re-examine the 57 recommendations made by an Ohio Supreme Court task force on capital punishment last year.

They say 13 of those would help prevent wrongful convictions and executions, including requiring DNA or a videotaped confession for a death sentence and a better-funded system for legal defense in capital cases.

 
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