Despite numerous legal challenges and pleas from religious leaders and human rights activists, the State of Ohio held its first execution in almost 4 years on July 26th. Twenty-six more executions are currently scheduled, and Governor John Kasich has not shown any indication that he is willing to intervene to prevent these state-sanctioned killings. Two men are scheduled to die before the end of 2017 – one on October 18th and one on November 15th, both at 10:00 am, in the Death Chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
As Episcopalians and followers of Jesus, we are called to resist evil and respect the dignity of every human being (from the baptismal covenant, on pages 304-305 in the Book of Common Prayer). The General Convention of the Episcopal Church has repeatedly called for an end to capital punishment in the United States, most recently in 2015, when it declared the death penalty to be “in direct opposition to the witness of Jesus.”
Please consider calling and/or writing the Governor to declare your Christian opposition to this barbaric practice in our state. Gov. Kasich’s office phone number is 614-466-3555 <tel:(614)%20466-3555> and his mailing address is Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High St., Columbus, OH 43215-6117.
Watch your weekly announcements and the church’s Facebook page for details about prayerful demonstrations outside the Statehouse on October 18th and November 15th. Thank you for raising your voices for mercy and human dignity!