People outside holding a long white banner with black letters saying We remember the victims...But not with more killing and and a phone number

November 15 ended up being the third time since 1946 that an execution in the US was left unfinished. A “failed” execution. Not “botched,” because while it was ugly, the prisoner left on his own power.

Alva Campbell was to be killed in revenge for murdering Charles Dials in 1997. Campbell is a very sick man. He could die on his own within months. It was well known before entering the death house that “no suitable veins” had been found in preparations for the execution.

Thousands of Ohioanshad urged Governor Kasich to avoid a spectacle by simply pushing Campbell’s date back enough that he would die in prison like most killers convicted of capital murder. “Life without parole” really means “death in prison.”

Kasich didn’t listen to reason. He probably didn’t even listen to his heart or his head. Maybe he listened to political advisors setting him up his next race? Or, perhaps was unwilling to grapple with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, one of the executioner’s best friends in Ohio and a leading voice in the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association. The OPAA holds sway over anything criminal justice related in the Statehouse.

What we know for sure is this. Everyone knew this execution might fail, and the risk of same was easily avoided. Under the false pretense of compassion for the victim’s family, Governor Kasich asked state workers to assume the lifelong burden of killing a feeble old man. Worse, he invited the victim’s family all the way into the witness room before handing them yet another disappointment.

Then, he punted. Kasich re-set Campbell’s execution date for June, 2019 – well into the term of the next Governor.

- Abe Bonowitz directs Check it out!

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