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Ohio finally recognizes strangulation as a felony; was the last state in the country to do so

Gov. DeWine signed crime bill Tuesday
Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 19:00:05-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Strangulation is now a felony offense in Ohio.

Ohio had been the only state that did not address the violent crime as a felony.

The strangulation legislation was part of a massive criminal justice bill signed by Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday morning.

RELATED: Sweeping criminal justice law changes OK’d by Ohio governor

The bill's language says strangulation can now be charged between a fifth-degree and a second-degree felony depending on the severity of the injuries to the victim.

The original bill, SB 90, which was added to SB 288, the criminal justice bill, was joint sponsored by Sen. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard).

Kunze said it was a long road to pass the legislation. She said she worked to pass the bill since 2015.

"We've heard from victims and survivors for years, in terms of this added piece to allow prosecutors not only to have another tool in the toolbox, but really the time that perpetrators will be in prison, in jail away from the victim," Kunze said after the signing.

Among the numerous other laws the governor signed Tuesday, he also approved establishing domestic violence fatality review boards, which would explore ways to reduce domestic violence deaths.

RELATED: How Ohio fails to protect the public from the most dangerous criminals

An exclusive 2021 News 5 report showed strangulation is extremely dangerous, common, and a significant risk factor for homicide. A groundbreaking 2008 study found domestic violence victims who are strangled are 750% more likely to be murdered. CLICK HERE to read the study.

Watch more in the player below:

Strangled: How Ohio fails to protect the public from the most dangerous criminals

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