"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty

The following text is excerpted from  Death Row Diary , by William Van Poyck. William Van Poyck -- who maintained his innocence -- was executed by the state of Florida on June 12, 2013.  The 58-year-old, convicted of the 1987 murder of Glades Correctional Institution guard Fred Griffis outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office, offered his views on everything from prison food to movies to the blood lust of politicians who support the death penalty via letters he posted online with the help of his sister.  After his conviction, Van Poyck, with a reform school education, authored three books, one of which won first-place honors in the memoir category in Writer’s Digest 2004 Self-Published Book Awards.  Locked up with what the courts have deemed the worst of the worst, Van Poyck opened the doors to a secret world few can imagine... The following piece is excerpted from William Van Poyck’s dispatches written during the last two years prior to his own execution. "Robert Waterhouse was

Ohio House lawmakers hear arguments for banning death penalty

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio’s governor continues to issue reprieves of execution for inmates on death row in the state as lawmakers reconvene in Columbus to consider banning the punishment in the future.

Earlier this month, Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back the dates of four executions scheduled to take place in the first half of 2022. He previously issued reprieves for all executions scheduled in 2021.

No inmates have been put to death during his tenure as governor. DeWine halted the use of lethal injection, the only legal execution method in the state, due to concerns that the drugs used in the process could cause “severe pain and needless suffering.”

Lawmakers in the Senate introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this year to outlaw the practice, led by Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood). A nearly identical bill was also introduced in the House.

State senators heard testimony in favor of banning the death penalty earlier this year. Now, back from their summer break, lawmakers in the House heard similar testimony Thursday on the bill moving through their chamber.

An aide to Sen. Antonio told 13abc that the senator believes the legislation will pass out of the Senate and move to the House, instead of the other way around, “but frankly movement in either chamber to advance the bill would be progress,” she said.

Marg Godsey, with the Ohio Innocence Project, was among those who testified Thursday in the House. He shared the story of one of his clients, Ricky Jackson.

Jackson spent nearly four decades in prison after he was sentenced to death for the 1975 murder of a businessman in Cleveland. He was 19 when he was sentenced, without physical evidence, and only the eyewitness account of a 12-year-old boy. That witness recanted his testimony in 2014, leading to the dismissal of Jackson’s case.

“The risk of convicting an innocent person is real,” Godsey said.

Ohio currently has 133 inmates on death row. Many have been there for decades.

In a report this year on capital crimes, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called the state’s system time-consuming, costly and lethargic.

Members of Ohio’s faith community agree and testified Thursday that capital punishment is inhumane.

“Executions only exacerbate the cycle of death, while they erode the state’s moral credibility,” said Jack Sullivan Jr., the Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Churches.

Source: 13abc.com, Josh Croup, September 23, 2021

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty