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Ariel Castro case reason for proposed Ohio law

3:20 PM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS -- State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township) announced Friday that he has introduced House Bill 244, legislation that provides prosecutors with the option of pursuing the death penalty for certain sex-related crimes.

"In light of the Ariel Castro kidnapping case of three young women in Cleveland, I wanted to give prosecutors the option to pursue the death penalty for repeat sexual offenders," Rep. Becker said.

"For various reasons, I anticipate that the death penalty would be pursued in only the most heinous crimes."

The crimes in the legislation include aggravated rape, aggravated rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery of a child, and aggravated unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

"If House Bill 244 becomes law, prosecutors would be able to use the death penalty threat as a tool for plea bargain negotiations," Rep. Becker said.

"Nobody in this country has ever been executed for a sex crime, but that could change."

The legislation will soon be referred to a House standing committee for further consideration.

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