Stop tonight's mass executions in Arkansas
Democracy for America
Seven people in Arkansas will die by April 30.
At least, that's what Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson thinks. Hutchinson has chosen to interpret the expiration date of his state's supply of lethal injection drugs as a kill-by date and rescheduled several years worth of executions to be carried out by the end of the month.
Arkansas only has 33 inmates sitting on death row, meaning more than 20% of these men and women will be put to death in April. Four of them are Black, a stark reminder of the inherent racism in the death penalty. Black defendants are three to four times more likely to be given the death penalty than whites, even for the same crime.
For decades, state governments have been responsible for numerous horrific moments in the history of capital punishment -- but no state has had the gall to arbitrarily execute such a large number of prisoners in such a short period of time.
Asa Hutchinson's desire to murder seven people in less than a month is both unprecedented and unconstitutional. We must show him that the American people will not stay silent on this issue.
Bruce Ward is the first prisoner to be scheduled for execution. Over the last 26 years of Ward's imprisonment, he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, claimed that the "Illuminati" are conspiring to send him to his death, and at one point insisted that a dog inhabited his body.
This is not the behavior of someone who is mentally able to understand the punishment he is about to endure.
Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Board of Corrections knows that our constitution protects those with mental illness from receiving the death penalty. So they have chosen to ignore it. Instead, Hutchinson and his administration allowed Ward and three other inmates' mental illnesses to go untreated, giving the state the legal right to execute them.
Hutchinson thinks he can get away with this egregious and unconstitutional behavior because no one is paying attention.
Thank you for taking an urgent stand against these unnecessary executions right now.
Social Media Manager, Democracy For America