Tell Ohio lawmakers: Say NO to the gas chamber on death row!
Ohio lawmakers are planning to introduce a new method of executing people on death row using a poisonous gas called nitrogen hypoxia. This gas causes suffocation and is likened to torture by the United Nations. Sign our petition to oppose the use of nitrogen hypoxia in Ohio!
To the members of the 135th Ohio General Assembly,
We, the undersigned, oppose the use of nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution. Introducing a new method of execution as a way to “fix” the death penalty does nothing to address the systemic problems with Ohio’s death penalty. Not only does a new execution method ignore the arbitrary, racially biased, and dangerous nature of the death penalty, nitrogen hypoxia has been likened to torture by the United Nations.
We are also troubled by what impact a poisonous gas execution will have on our prison staff. Witnesses to the first nitrogen hypoxia execution reported thrashing, convulsing, and struggling against the restraints several minutes into the procedure. Watching someone suffocate to death is traumatic, and forcing them to participate in what amounts to death by medical experimentation would only add to the risks to their mental health and wellbeing.
Ohio has tried experimental methods before, and it has not gone well. Dennis McGuire was executed in 2014 using a new drug combination. Ohio has had five botched executions. Even when we have the best of intentions, humans can make mistakes, and executions in Ohio have gone wrong in the past. History tells us that an execution by nitrogen hypoxia will go wrong.
We, the undersigned, call on the 135th General Assembly to immediately discount this misguided attempt at fixing the unfixable. Say NO to the gas chamber in Ohio!
[Photo description: Melinda Dawson, who lost her mother to murder, holds a sign that reads, "Mercy is the grace of man." She is standing next to LaShawn Ajamu, who lost her brother to murder but opposes executions."]