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ACLU asks Ohio Gov. John Kasich to halt executions

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: January 19, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is asking Gov. John Kasich to halt executions.

The ACLU sent a letter to Kasich today asking him to use his executive authority in light of the questions raised after Thursday’s execution of Dennis McGuire. The state used a new drug cocktail in McGuire’s execution by lethal injection that witnesses say left him clenching his fists and gasping for air for more than 20 minutes before he died.

Ohio has five more executions scheduled for 2014, all that could involve the same drug combination.

"This is not about Dennis McGuire, his terrible crimes or the crimes of others who await execution on death row," Christine Link, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio said in the letter. "It is about our duty as a society that sits in judgment of those who are convicted of crimes to treat them humanely and ensure their punishment does not violate the Constitution."

Link noted the Ohio Supreme Court Taskforce on the Administration of the Death Penalty is expected to finish its recommendations within a few months and asked, "Is not now the time to step back and pause?"

 

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