It’s time to make our justice system more equitable. It’s time to make our justice system less barbaric. It’s time to end the death penalty, in Ohio and nationally.
This was brought home in Ohio on Jan. 16 with the suffocating execution of Dennis McGuire. It took 20 minutes for McGuire to die as he was gasping for breath.
The state used an experimental cocktail of drugs that had never before been used in a lethal injection. It resulted in the state’s fourth botched execution in a decade. And the state, in its wisdom, has five more executions scheduled this year using the same combination of drugs or, perhaps, experimenting with other combinations, essentially using humans as guinea pigs.
Two weeks after the torture of McGuire, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government would seek the execution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the accused bombers at last year’s Boston Marathon where three people were killed and 264 wounded.
I get the desire for retribution. McGuire was convicted of doing horrible things. Tsarnaev is accused of doing horrible things. Does that excuse the government doing a horrible thing?
Two wrongs, the ancient wisdom tells us, does not make a right.
Aside from the moral problem associated with state-sanctioned murder, there are very practical reasons to eliminate the death penalty.