To: Governor Mike DeWine

Gov. Kasich: Please don't resume executions in Ohio.

There is too much risk associated with Ohio's death penalty. We are some of the nine men exonerated from Ohio's death row, proving that innocent people have been sentenced to death in our state. We cannot restart executions until there are better safeguards in place to ensure that Ohio never executes an innocent person, which would be unthinkable.

The state does not need to go from no executions in three years to 27 back-to-back executions, especially given its track record with wrongful convictions and botched executions. Another botched execution, like the one that occurred three years ago, would be bad enough, but a wrongful execution would be a terrible, irreversible injustice. This rush to executions simply isn't worth the risk. Please use your authority to prevent executions from resuming.

Sincerely,
Joe D'Ambrosio (Ohio exoneree, 22 years on death row)
Dale Johnston (Ohio exoneree, 7 years)
Derrick Jamison (Ohio exoneree, 20 years)
Wiley Bridgeman (Ohio exoneree, 38 years)
Kwame Ajamu (Ohio exoneree, 28 years)

And the undersigned,

Why is this important?

It has been three and a half years since the botched execution of Dennis McGuire took place in Ohio on January 16, 2014. Since that time, three innocent men have been released from death row in Ohio after their wrongful convictions were finally exposed. Ohio has freed a total of nine innocent men from death row, but we have no idea how many more still sit on death row. One estimate by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that as many as 4% of death row prisoners could be innocent.

Despite these unsettling developments, Ohio has announced 27 new execution dates through 2021, beginning with Ronald Phillips on July 26, 2017. With the state’s history of wrongful convictions and botched executions, this rush to resume executions is risky, unnecessary, and it is bad for business. Please tell Gov. Kasich to stop these executions.


Reasons for signing

  • I don’t support or believe in executing Anyone. Too many times the government executed an innocent person. Instead give a lengthy sentence to murderers and rapists.
  • I am originally from Ohio. Please don't make me embarrassed to admit it.
  • The argument for capital punishment has always been that it serves as the ultimate deterrent to heinous crimes, but this is a false claim. No one commits a crime thinking they will be caught, so no punishment serves as a deterrent. But the most compelling reason for ending capital punishment is that our justice system is not perfect. We can release a wrongly convicted person from prison after decades. There's no way to bring an innocent person back to life.