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Why A Bill Is Being Proposed To Help Pike County And Others Prosecute Some Death Penalty Cases

L-R Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, Representative Shane Wilkin, Representative Bob Peterson
L-R Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, Representative Shane Wilkin, Representative Bob Peterson

Many Pike County residents were relieved when authorities arrested six people in connection with the killing of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016. But the question now is how that local officials will be able to afford to prosecute those cases. A bill is being proposed to help in those cases.

Ohio House Republican Rep. Shane Wilkin says the prosecution will be tough on Pike County’s budget. 

“You have the cost of a trial, the cost of a jury and this could stretch on for some time and in a county the size of Pike, depending on that final cost, we could be looking at 10 to 20 percent of their overall budget," Wilkin says.

State Auditor Dave Yost estimates local costs could top a million dollars.

"Justice should not be a matter of affordability," Yost says.

State lawmakers are coming up with a bill to allow a state panel to help smaller counties pay for handling certain capital crimes. But the bill likely wont be proposed next year. 

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.