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OKLAHOMA CITY – On Thursday, July 20, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) asks the public to join them at the Jemaine Cannon “Don’t Kill for Me” protest of his scheduled execution that morning at 10 a.m. The demonstration will begin at 9 a.m. in front of the Governor’s Mansion, at 820 NE 23rd Street at Phillips Avenue.
Participants will begin a silent vigil at 10:00 a.m. until notice of a stay of execution is received or the execution is carried out. The vigil will conclude with a circle prayer. The vigil will be canceled if the execution is postponed or canceled.
Mr. Cannon, 51, is convicted of murdering Sharonda White Clark on February 3, 1995.
On June 7 the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 denying clemency to Cannon. Board members Richard Miller, Richard Smotherman and Cathy Stocker voted to deny clemency. Calvin Prince and Edward Konieczny voted yes.
Anti-death penalty group advocates for Jemaine Cannon
Supporters of mercy say that as a child, Jemaine Cannon was emotionally and physically abused by both his mother and father. He suffers from Sarcoidosis Stage III, which affects his eyes, lungs, liver, spleen bones and skin; asthma, severe keracatonus, uveitisand audio impairment. He was diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 1995.
On death row since 1996, Cannon has shown no suggestion of violence, substance abuse or any action putting others at risk, advocates say. He continues to have a meaningful relationship with his mother, grandmother, and other friends and relatives.
Rev. Don Heath, Ok-CADP chair stated, “Mr. Cannon should be allowed to live out his remaining days in peace. The State has neither given him any treatment for his PTSD nor offered him any assistance for being blind and nearly deaf. Instead, the State seeks to compound the tragedies of his life with another tragedy.”
Advocates seek life
Heath continued, “Jemaine Cannon was physically abused by his mother and stepfather over his entire childhood. He suffers from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Cannon told a police investigator that he just snapped.
“It is hard for anyone who grew up in middle-class homes with stable and loving parents to imagine the trauma Mr. Cannon suffered as a child and the role it played in his violent life,” Heath added. “We cannot imagine how a normal human being could act that way. For the State to kill him is not justice, it is cruelty.”
Mr. Cannon would be the second person to be put to death in Oklahoma in 2023 and the sixth to die of the 25 people that have been scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma between 2022 and 2024.
The clemency packet filed by Cannon’s attorneys is available here.