The Honorable John R. Kasich
Governor of Ohio
77 S. High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Governor Kasich,
Reflecting the rich diversity of faith traditions and spiritual practices observed in Ohio and across the United States, we are more than [X number] faith leaders who stand together in expressing our deep concern about the possible resumption of executions in our state. To be clear, some of us have different views on capital punishment. However, the sanctity of life is one of our shared sacred beliefs and traditions that we have stood by for millennia and we are all deeply concerned that Ohio has not remedied the numerous deficiencies in our death penalty system since the January 2014 problematic execution of Dennis McGuire. As you know, the Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty made scores of recommendations that have not yet been implemented. We cannot accept the possibility of executions resuming while the most important safeguards have not yet been enacted. We cannot accept the possibility of executing an innocent person. We urge you to continue to show leadership on this important issue, and postpone executions until the safeguards and recommendations of the task force have been addressed and implemented.
All of us want our society protected and criminals held accountable, and we appreciate all that you and the professional corrections workers do to ensure our safety. We believe public safety can be protected without risking another execution going awry, as Mr. McGuire’s did.
The scriptures and sacred texts of all our faiths demand fairness, accuracy, and mercy at a threshold far higher than the law currently prescribes. There is no question in any of our minds that if Ohio is to resume the death penalty, it must be done fairly. Therefore, as people of faith, we affirm our support for implementation of reforms recommended by the Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty before any execution takes place.