The Fallacy of Representative Kevin McDugle and The Moral Incompetence of Oklahoma Pastors

The Fallacy of Representative Kevin McDugle and The Moral Incompetence of Oklahoma Pastors February 25, 2023

screenshot / OK House of Representatives


*This letter was submitted and should appear in multiple Oklahoma newspapers in the coming days.


Dear Editor.


What a curious moment in political theatrics.  Representative Kevin McDugle’s press conference calling for a death penalty moratorium was filled with various assurances that he is still for the death penalty.  Repeatedly, McDugle said he just wants to get it right.  Does he not understand that there is nothing to get right?  Actually, I think he does.  Which is what makes his press conference so troubling.  Multiple times, Representative McDugle cited the case of Richard Glossip.  Let me be clear, I too deeply believe that Glossip is innocent and deserves to be released from prison immediately.  Yet even if he was guilty, I still wouldn’t want him executed.  That’s because I believe that the death penalty is wrong, not just something to be fixed.  So, was this press conference about killing more or less people?  It seems to me that McDugle’s language is simply about fixing things so that the State of Oklahoma can be more comfortable killing more people.  This is frightening and feels like a back door to an eventual increase in the use of the death penalty not a decrease.  Shouldn’t we all say what we mean and mean what we say?  I wish that McDugle would stick to talking about Glossip and not about fixing the morally unfixable.  Furthermore, I wish that the pastors he brought with him would have had enough moral sense not to stand there and provide implicit support for more executions.  How were their actions consequentially different from the political meanderings of pastors who support the death penalty?  Let me be clear, support (whether implicit or explicit) of anything short of abolition should be characterized for what it is…moral failure not progress.


The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood

Spiritual Advisor. Oklahoma Death Row

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