Editor’s note: This letter was received in response to a column by C.W. Dawson published Oct. 5 about the execution of Ernest Lee Johnson.

Triple murderer Ernest Lee Johnson had more than enough mental capacity for the courts to approve of his execution. Obvious.

White murderers are twice as likely to be executed than Black murderers and are executed at a rate 41% higher than Black death row inmates. (Editor’s note: Information from the Death Penalty Information Center shows that Black people are overrepresented on death rows across the U.S.; 42% of death row inmates were Black in 2020, despite making up 12.4% of the U.S. population.)

Dawson hallucinates that, with the death penalty, we “seek blood at every opportunity.”

The U.S. executes 0.2% of our murderers, after 21 years of appeals, now.

Since 1973, there have been 1,540 executions and 900,000 murders, nationally. Who “seeks blood at every opportunity?”

The death penalty is given for the same reason as are all sanctions — justice — with greater due process protections, at every stage, than lesser sanctions.

Dawson saw fit to insult the jury, while Gov. Mike Parson respected their decision.

Dawson is utterly confused about lex talons. He recommends a sanction, life, which is far less rational than the death penalty, by lex talons.

Dawson: “Something is seriously wrong when capital punishment is a justified act.”

The Rev. Dawson “forgot” Genesis 9:5-6, wherein executions “shall” be the just sanction for murder, as per God’s command and as part of the Noahic Covenant, which is for all peoples and all times. Dawson finds God barbaric.

Remember the three innocent murder victims, left out by Dawson: Mary Bratcher, 46, Mable Scruggs, 57, and Fred Jones, 58. Dawson “forgot” their names?

Johnson used a hammer and screwdriver to slaughter them. They all had lives and loved ones to care for.

The shame and moral disgrace is all Dawson’s.

Dudley Sharp is an independent researcher and death penalty expert who lives in Houston.


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