Editor, The Messenger,
The federal government has carried out the first execution in 17 years. Daniel Lewis Lee has been put to death, hours after the Supreme Court allowed the execution. Wesley Ira Purkey and Dustin Lee Honken are scheduled for execution this week and Keith Dwayne Nelson is scheduled for execution in August.
Earlene Peterson, 81, whose daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law were killed by Lee, said she wanted the 47-year-old to be given life in jail, the same sentence as his accomplice.
According to data collected by the Death Penalty Information Center, 78 people were sentenced to death in federal cases between 1988 and 2018 but only three have since been executed, the last one in 2003. There are 62 inmates currently on federal death row
1. We know that the death penalty is a failed policy that does not keep communities safe or help victims’ families heal.
2. We know the death penalty costs taxpayers untold tens of millions of dollars more than alternatives.
3. We know that innocent people have been and will continue to be sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit.
4. We know that the death penalty targets minorities disproportionately.
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris described the death penalty as “immoral and deeply flawed”, while Bernie Sanders said he would abolish it if elected.
The United States is one of the few countries still carrying out the death penalty. It is time to put human rights and compassion in the forefront and to repeal capital punishment.
One small action you can take now in Ohio is to contact and urge your state legislators to pass Ohio Senate Bill 54 and HB 136, which would stop executions for those with serious mental illness.