On Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, Ohio executed a person who raped and killed Joy Morningstar Stewart, a young pregnant girl from West Alexandria, Ohio.
First I must say my thoughts and prayers go out to the Morningstar and Stewart families for their loss. I also feel for them because they had to relive this tragedy every time the news came on or they picked up a paper the last few weeks.
I must commend the prosecutors, the other law enforcement officers who worked this case, judge and jury who heard this case and came to the verdict they did and the sentence that was given. I also commend all of the answers given by the clemency board, Governor of Ohio, the federal judge and Ohio Supreme Court.
This person had NO compassion or sympathy when he committed his senseless violent act. He lied, attempted to blame others, and had no remorse until the hearing at the clemency board where he thought admitting his senseless act would keep him from being executed.
I, like thousands of others, applaud the state of Ohio for executing this person. I only wish it did not take so long to carry out the sentence. It has needlessly cost the taxpayers of Ohio thousands of dollars to keep this person for years, many of which he never filed any motions to contest his guilt or sentence given.
To address the controversy brought on by the news media: I do not believe the laws pertaining to executions say it must be painless or comfortable. I believe it calls for the execution to be humane. His attorney said in an appeal the prisoner had sleep apnea. How does a person with sleep apnea react when they go to sleep without using a machine designed for this problem? They will gasp for air, they snore and snort which results in your body making movements.
I know this because I have this problem and I react the same way this executed person did during execution. This execution was by far more humane than the death of his victim.
For those of you who are against the death penalty, you need to live in the shoes of the victims and their families who have felt the pain they have. You also should feel the feelings of law enforcement and prosecutors who have to see and deal with what they do. I have not used the name of the executed person purposely because he does not deserve to be recognized, he got his judgment day, and I got my justice.
Larry A Swihart Sr.
Retired Preble County Deputy Sheriff