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Aisha’s Law needs to be heard

In light of the investigation into the death of Gabby Petito, who died from strangulation, there has been a push once more in Ohio for Aisha’s Law. Named after Aisha Mason, an Ohio teacher who was murdered by her ex-husband, the House Bill would make strangulation a felony in the Buckeye State.

The biggest question might be why it is not already a felony? Strangulation, whether or not it ends in murder, IS a felony in 49 states. Why is Ohio the holdout?

According to a report by a Cleveland news station (Mason was from the Cleveland area), the law would also expand the definition of aggravated murder to include previous domestic violence convictions.

The law didn’t make it through the Ohio General Assembly in 2020, in part because of the pandemic. State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) has been working with the Office of the Ohio Public Defender — who had some issues with a bit of the wording of the bill — to develop a compromise both sides will support. Boyd is hopeful it could go to a hearing next week and then on to a vote on the Ohio House floor.

Lawmakers should all be on board to get this done. Ohio has been a holdout for far too long for something the rest of the country already understands is a felony.

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