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Prosecutors Push Changes To Ohio Death Penalty Law

The committee reviewing Ohio's death penalty law is considering a proposal to require lawyers representing death penalty clients to extensively document the amount of time they spend on their cases. The proposal by prosecutors being debated Thursday also would require defense attorneys to include their reasons for calling or not calling particular witnesses, and would require any inmate claiming they had bad legal assistance to include such information in their appeals. Prosecutors are also pushing a proposal to allow currently prohibited testimony from surviving victims and family members about the impact of a killing. Defense lawyers oppose the proposed changes. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor has convened the task force while making clear it won't debate whether the state should have the death penalty.