Prosecutors oppose mental illness bill that could allow some inmates to get off death row

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Prosecutors from several counties are against pending state legislation that could possibly allow several convicted killers, including Anthony Sowell,to  get off death row.

In June, the Ohio House approved a bill that would prohibit the execution of defendants if they are found to have a serious mental illness at the time they committed the crime.

The bill is supported by several mental health advocacy groups. The serious mental illnesses include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder, officials said.

On Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley and several other prosecutors spoke to the media about the legislation and why they are against it.

The measure is expected to go to the state Senate soon.

If the bill becomes law, inmates who are on death row could petition the court for re-sentencing if they had a serious mental illness at the time of the crime.

The following is a list of 20 current inmates on death row from Cuyahoga County:

  1. David W. Allen
  2. Anthony Apanovitch
  3. Abdul Awkal
  4. Melvin Bonnell
  5. George Brinkman
  6. Romell Broom
  7. Quisi Bryan
  8. Delano Hale
  9. Percy Hutton
  10. Andre Jackson
  11. Jeremiah Jackson
  12. Thomas Knuff
  13. Gregory Lott
  14. Clarence Mack
  15. Michael Madison
  16. Charles Maxwell
  17. Joseph McAlpin
  18. Denny Obermiller
  19. Anthony Sowell
  20. Christopher Whitaker

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