With the recent spat of executions it becomes clear that the politicians responsible for these horrendous acts are desperate to fabricate myths, half truths and downright lies to support their poisonous position. Here are some current myths about the death penalty presently being foisted upon the citizenry by self-serving merchants of death.

  • Death creates closure. From Ashcroft to Montgomery, these cheerleaders for death justify their positions by insisting that taking the murderer’s life somehow miraculously provides closure for the surviving loved ones. No legitimate grief counselor or psychologist could ever endorse this leap of logic. After the execution your loved one is still dead and you still have to deal with that grief and anguish.

  • Defense lawyers pull last minutes stunts. Mark Weaver, a spokesperson for Betty Montgomery, insists that valiant, Herculean efforts by defense lawyers to stop or delay their clients executions are merely “stunts.” This is ironic considering that it is Montgomery who is the queen of stunts. Several years back, she hurried condemned man, Robert Buell to the death house knowing full well that Mr. Buell had several more appeals available to him. Yet, he was prepped for execution, even knowing that there were good odds that the courts would stay his hastily arranged execution. What are “stunts” to the Attorney General is good, wise, and competent lawyering done in the name of protecting constitutional rights of appeal and due process. Mr. Buell’s case is still in appeals while grandstanding Betty complains that good legal defense denies her a chance to pull the switch and put another notch in her toxic needle. Isn’t it horrible that the Constitution stands in the way of a good lynching?

  • Lethal injection is humane. Mr. Weaver insists that “cruel and unusual punishment” was a concern of our founding fathers because dismemberment and beheadings were common punishment back then. But now lethal injection is a walk in the park. Criminals, he claims, are cuddled with three square meals, cable TV and free health care. Only a devious, self-serving executioner would want us to believe that. Any reasonable person who has visited a prison knows that it is a terrible and terrifying place to be. And although it is relatively bloodless and heads do not catch fire from “Old Sparky,” pushing $86 of deadly drugs into the veins of an unwilling person is indeed cruel and should never be considered usual.

  • Its okay to kill the mentally ill because our tests prove they are competent and they deserve it. This seems to echo the Nazi mentality of taking out the mentally ill, the union organizers, the “fags” and other ”degenerates.” The State of Ohio’s mental competency testing is woefully archaic, inadequate and certainly out of step with society’s standards of decency. Perhaps we could also test the competency of politicians and if they pass then...

  • Killing them saves money. Wrong again, it cast an average of about $500,000 to keep a person in prison for life. It cost the State of Ohio about $1.7 million to execute Wilford Berry, who volunteered to die. Let’s see, $1.2 million times 200 men on death row . . . quick tell frugal Bob he can save this cash strapped state well over $200 million by junking the death penalty. Where are the fiscal conservatives on this??

  • “There are no innocent people on death row.” Tell that to Johnny Byrd, Tony Apanovich, Ken Ritchie and others who sit on death row because of fabricated testimony, withheld evidence, or tainted or disposed of crime scene materials. As in Illinois, where 13 men have been exonerated from death row because of ruthless and overzealous police practices, can we be so naive or delusional to say that that doesn’t happen in Ohio? Stay tuned, in September Bob and Betty will turn up this rhetorically to hide the fact that Ohio indeed intends to kill an innocent John Byrd.

  • Death Penalty deters murders. It is scientifically proven that in Michigan, as well as all the other 11 states which do not have the death penalty, the per capita murder rate is lower than Ohio’s murder rate. Are we Ohioans any safer today than we were when Jay D. Scott was alive? We are not. But the politicians want you to think you are.

  • Moratorium efforts are not necessary because Ohio’s system is foolproof, fair and just. If one honestly asserts this to be true then what is the problem of calling a halt to executions so that claim can be verified? Or is the politicians’ opposition based on the fear that the various fatal flaws will be revealed and rejected?

  • Gary Witte is a member of Amnesty International and has twice been arrested protesting the immorality of the death penalty.

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