Saturday, March 05, 2011

Ohio Death Penalty Watch—March 2011

I'm going to Disney World, as I've mentioned, where the sky is blue, and the birds are singing and all the "cast members" say "have a magical day" instead of "Thank you. Come again."

While I'm immersed in this sugar-coated world—and loving every minute of it, so shut up all you sour-souled cynics—the state of Ohio will be executing the criminal of the month. The state will be executing one death-row inmate every month between now and November, with two more scheduled to die early in 2012, and this month's winner is Johnnie Baston who will die Thursday, March 10.

In 1994 when Baston was 21, he shot and killed a store owner in his home town of Toledo. He was arrested a few days later and confessed and was sentenced to death. Baston did a despicable thing, but in sentencing hearings, judges will often consider other circumstances. Baston had no criminal history and was supported by his youth group leaders. Also, the victim's family is opposed to the execution and will not find justice in it, but the young man was sentenced to death anyway. Now, his appeals have been exhausted.

If you are opposed to the death penalty and would like to speak out against this particular execution, you can sign a petition here. The site also links to an Amnesty International option for sending a letter to Gov. Kasich. Do me a favor—if you sign the petition or write to the governor, leave a note in my comments box so I know if this is at all effective. I intend to have a similar post each month as long as Ohio practices capital punishment.

I'm going to be self-indulgent next week and will actually be at the Magic Kingdom on March 10. I'll probably be humming It's A Small World and riding the Carousel of Progress with my daughter, Eustacia. We'll be watching fireworks later that night and having dinner at the Plaza Restaurant on Main Street. Asking my few blog visitors to help make a difference in what I believe to be an unethical state practice is the very least I can do, and I intend to call attention to every execution from here on out.

1 comment:

dive said...

Have a great time in Florida, Robyn.

Not being a Colonial I couldn't sign the petition but I sent a protest letter via Amnesty International.