Stop the Execution of John Hanson in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt & the Pardon and Parole Board

Stop the Execution of John Hanson in Oklahoma

John Hanson is on death row in Oklahoma for the 1999 murder of Mary Bowles and is scheduled for execution on December 15, 2022.

John Hanson suffers from major mental illnesses, brain damage, and autism, conditions that contributed to his participation in the crime that resulted in his death sentence. Mr. Hanson’s co-defendant, Victor Miller, was the ringleader of the crime and had a long history of manipulating Mr. Hanson, whose disorders cause him to have significant difficulties understanding social interactions and to make poor judgments. However, rather than acknowledging each defendant’s likely role in one coherent, consistent theory of the crime, the State argued at both Mr. Hanson’s and Mr. Miller’s trials that each man was the supposed ringleader of the crime.  

Although the United States Supreme Court has long emphasized the importance of presenting developmental disorders and other brain-based issues for the jury’s consideration, Mr. Hanson’s trial and appellate attorneys failed to investigate and present evidence of his disorders, which would have explained his susceptibility to manipulation and his resulting involvement in the crime. As a result, Mr. Hanson’s jury never learned of his underlying conditions.

Mr. Miller’s trial, like Mr. Hanson’s, resulted in a capital sentence, but, due to procedural errors at trial, Mr. Miller was later resentenced and is now serving life without parole. In contrast, Mr. Hanson remains under sentence of death, at risk for execution. While on death row, Mr. Hanson has become a model prisoner, being entrusted by staff with a job. We are confident that the Pardon and Parole Board will remedy this injustice by taking his disabilities into consideration and granting clemency for Mr. Hanson.

Mr. Hanson's execution is just one in a series of 25 executions scheduled by Oklahoma in the coming months, despite serious concerns around the state's lethal injection protocols and drugs.

Please sign the petition asking Governor Stitt and the Pardon and Parole Board to do everything within their power to ensure Mr. Hanson does not face execution and to seek a path to clemency in the case.

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To: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt & the Pardon and Parole Board
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to you regarding John Hanson, who is on death row in Oklahoma for the 1999 murder of Mary Bowles and is scheduled for execution on December 15, 2022.

John Hanson suffers from major mental illnesses, brain damage, and autism, conditions that contributed to his participation in the crime that resulted in his death sentence. His trial and appellate attorneys failed to investigate and present evidence of his disorders, so the jury never learned of his underlying conditions.

Additionally, Mr. Hanson’s co-defendant, Victor Miller, was the ringleader of the crime and had a long history of manipulating Mr. Hanson, whose disorders cause him to have significant difficulties understanding social interactions and to make poor judgments. However, rather than acknowledging each defendant’s likely role in one coherent, consistent theory of the crime, the State argued at both Mr. Hanson’s and Mr. Miller’s trials that each man was the supposed ringleader of the crime.

We, the undersigned, ask that you do everything within your power to ensure Mr. Hanson does not face execution and to seek a path to clemency in the case.

Thank you for time and attention to this urgent and serious matter.