Save The Date: October 9, 2024. Annual Gathering of Ignite Peace.

Tell Ohio Lawmakers No To Death by Poisonous Gas

Kenneth Smith was murdered by the state of Alabama on January 25th using a new execution method of nitrogen hypoxia which, in practice, is a gas chamber. Kenneth suffered minutes longer than expected at the hands of nitrogen hypoxia. Due to the lack of access to intravenous drugs, active execution states have been looking for new, or rather bringing back old, ways of execution. 

Kenneth was used as a test subject for the nitrogen hypoxia method despite a previous botched execution. Alabama executioners are touting the “success” of this execution opening the door for other states, like ours, to resume executions. Ohio legislators, Stewart and Plummer, and Attorney General Yost are supporting new legislation to make nitrogen hypoxia available in Ohio.

Yet, Ohioans have shown that they do not want the death penalty. The No Death Penalty Ohio coalition released our topline results from a statewide public opinion poll highlighting the growing sentiment towards abolition. Results include:

  • When asked if Ohio should do away with the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence for murder without the possibility of parole, 56% of respondents said yes. 
  • When asked which punishment is preferred for 1st degree murder, 57% of respondents chose life in prison as opposed to the death penalty. 
  • When asked if the Ohio Governor should sign a law replacing the death penalty with a life sentence without the possibility of parole, 58% of respondents said yes
  • When asked if the risk of executing innocent people is too great, 56% of respondents agreed.

As new ways to take a life are invented or repurposed by the state, we must remain steadfast in calling for an end to capital punishment. More and more countries, and more and more states are seeing the fallibility of this system and the violence it perpetuates. Kenneth’s story is one of poverty and deprivation which truly begs the question: is it the death penalty that is keeping us safe? We are all more than our worst decision and Kenneth did not deserve this cruel and tortuous punishment and neither does anyone else.
Sign this petition to let lawmakers know Ohioans will not accept this method of execution.