Support Moratorium on the Death Penalty


Target: Chief Justice John G. Roberts

Goal: Issue death penalty moratorium in the United States

A recently botched execution has human rights activists urging the United States Supreme Court to place a moratorium on the death penalty. The state of Oklahoma wished to kill two men on the same day, but something went wrong with the first execution. Clayton Lockett died from a “failed vein” and suffered a massive heart attack due to the lethal injections. Because of the situation surrounding this execution, many are deeming the execution as cruel and capricious.

Clayton Lockett, a convicted murderer and rapist, was sentenced to death for shooting a 19-year-old and having a friend bury her alive. On his execution day, authorities stated that a sedative would be injected into his body where he would fall unconscious. 45 minutes into the execution, it was apparent that something had gone wrong. Lockett suddenly lurched forward, struggling against his restraints before officials drew the curtains, preventing witnesses from seeing what was happening. The corrections department director Robert Patton, later told the group of witnesses, journalists, and lawyers that there was a “vein failure in which the chemicals did not make it to the offender.” Shortly after this announcement, the second execution of Charles Warner was halted and Lockett died of a massive heart attack.

Activists are crying for a moratorium of the death penalty because of the circumstances surrounding these two planned executions. Both of the inmates wanted to know what were the drug cocktails being used, but a panel of judges struck down the ruling after being pressed by the governor of Oklahoma. Then the state scheduled two executions on the same day, two hours apart. This hasn’t been done since 1937 and immediately attracted international attention. With execution drugs becoming rare, states are forced to experiment with various chemicals, and the information regarding these drugs are shielded from the public.

Many human rights activists are seeing the death penalty as capricious and cruel after witnessing Lockett’s death. If you believe the United States Supreme should place a moratorium on the death penalty, sign this petition.


Dear Chief Justice John G. Roberts,

I am writing to urge you and the other justices to place a moratorium on the death penalty. With the recently botched execution of Clayton Lockett, the world saw how capricious and painful the execution can be. And with the secrecy and scarcity of execution drugs, many believe that the execution wasn’t done humanely.

A majority of chief justices do not believe in the effectiveness of the death penalty and many human rights organization believe in this as well. I implore you to place a moratorium so the nation can examine the moral implications of the death penalty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Luis Miguel Munilla via flickr

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