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Aisha's Law Falls Short Of Passing Ohio Legislature In 2020

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) introduces Aisha's Law in 2019.
Andy Chow
Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) introduces Aisha's Law in 2019.

A bill in the Ohio legislature that toughens penalties for domestic abuse and creates more protections for victims will not pass the General Assembly by the end of the year. The bill's sponsor says she plans to reintroduce what's known as Aisha's Law in the new year.

House Bill 3 is named after Aisha Fraser, a Cleveland-area schoolteacher, who was murdered in 2018 by her ex-husband former state legislator Lance Mason.

The bill requires police to conduct a lethality assessment of alleged victims of domestic violence. That screening would determine if the victim and offender need to be connected to programs that assist in high-risk situations.

It also expands the offense of "aggravated murder" to include purposely causing the death of another when the victim was a family or household member of the offender and the offender has previously been convicted of domestic violence or an offense of violence that resulted in serious physical harm against that family or household member.

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) said the bill addresses the escalation of harm that can occur in repeated cases of domestic violence. 

"Victims of abuse, domestic violence deserve to be heard, believed, and ultimately have the opportunity to pursue justice with the support they need to do just that," Boyd said when introducing the bill in 2019. 

Watch: Rep. Janine Boyd introduces Aisha's Law with co-sponsors in February 2019.

The bill passed the Ohio House and got a vote out of a Senate committee but did not get a vote  on the Senate floor. 

Boyd says she's committed to seeing the bill pass in the new session of the General Assembly. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.