COLUMBUS – State Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) has introduced House Bill 781 to establish a process for counties, the Attorney General, and the State Public Defender to request additional funding from the state when a multiple victim or multiple defendant capital case occurs in Ohio.
Wilkin’s bill, House Bill 781, would permit the Attorney General and State Public Defender to submit a joint request to the Controlling Board for additional funding for an eligible capital case, according to a Friday press release from Wilkin’s office.
The request must provide both an estimate of the prosecution and defense costs and explain the necessity for extraordinary funding in the capital case.
“Pike County was devastated by the coldblooded murders that happened in our community,” Wilkin said. “To ensure the pillars of our nation’s justice system are strong, a mechanism must be in place to supplement local governments and the state with all the resources needed for a fair trial.”
The procedure established in House Bill 781 would provide oversight of the funds at both the state and local level.
To be eligible for funds from the state, the Attorney General and the State Public Defender would submit a joint request to the Controlling Board.
Following Controlling Board approval, the County Commissioners would provide oversight over the expenditures of the prosecution.
“What happened in Pike County is horrific and tragic,” said Wilkin. “This rural county simply cannot afford the costs associated with a multiple victim and multiple defendant capital case. To ensure justice is found, and to prepare the state for any unfortunate circumstances that may occur in the future, House Bill 781 is essential to ensure the state has a procedure in place to afford the strongest prosecution and defense in these capital cases.”
For more information, please contact Wilkin at 614-466-3506 or at Rep91@ohiohouse.gov .