Target: Ohio Governor John Kasich
Goal: Stop executing prisoners in Ohio immediately
Is the death penalty moral or not? This has been the subject of general debate in the United States for a very long time. No definitive decision has been reached. As a nation, some of our states allow the death penalty and some do not. But there is one thing that we seem to have collectively agreed upon: the death penalty, if it is to be enforced, needs to be done as humanely as possible. That means no pain. No prolonged death. Unfortunately, a recent execution in Ohio ran into some problems and a quick and painless death was not accomplished.
Dennis McGuire, convicted of murder, was sentenced to death via lethal injection. The state of Ohio decided to try a new combination of drugs to execute Dennis McGuire. The result was a prolonged death of more than 20 minutes during which Dennis gasped for breath repeatedly.
Dennis McGuire’s lawyers even predicted problems arising from this untested lethal injection combination. In particular, they thought that he would have trouble breathing. They worried that he would experience terror and pain, both of which are supposed to be avoided during executions. The whole reason lethal injection is the method used to execute people is that it is supposed to be one of the most humane ways to legally end another person’s life.
It is absolutely unacceptable that Dennis McGuire’s death caused him so much agonizing terror. Accidents like these are the prime reason we need to abolish the death penalty. Demand that the state of Ohio stop executing people because they have shown, through Dennis McGuire’s botched execution, that they are not capable of doing so in a humane way.
Dear Governor John Kasich,
Imagine that you have been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. You are told that at least it will be painless and quick. When they inject you with the lethal combination of drugs, however, it is agonizing. For twenty minutes you gasp for breath, unable to satisfy your body’s craving for oxygen. As everyone watches, you slowly and painfully succumb. The only reason your death has been this brutal is because someone decided that it would be the appropriate time to change the combination of drugs used to lethally execute people in Ohio.
As you are well aware, this scenario actually happened, very recently, in fact, to a man in Ohio named Dennis McGuire. The botched execution that Dennis McGuire experienced is a prime example of a human rights violation. Dennis McGuire died painfully and slowly and the state of Ohio is accountable for the agony he experienced at the time of his execution.
For this reason, I demand that you stop executing people in Ohio immediately. While every state has the right to make up their own mind about whether or not they will allow the death penalty, Ohio has proven that it is incapable of being trusted with this form of punishment. For your barbaric and inhumane participation in this execution, you need to apologize to Dennis McGuire’s lawyers who expressed concerns for their clients’ safety. To let the citizens of Ohio and our nation at large know that you take this accident seriously, you can only do one thing to regain their trust. As Governor of Ohio, you need to stop any and all future executions immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ken Piorkowski via Wikimedia