Ohio Governor John Kasich has approved a stay of execution for a child killer. Ronald Phillips, age 40, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection on November 14. His last ditch effort to delay his final demise seems to have worked. Phillips has been granted more time on death row, as he awaits the new date scheduled for July 2 of 2014. After many pleas for mercy, his latest request has been honored and in turn will give him more taxpayer meals. The bizarre twist has given Phillips more time to exist, as he may have a good heart after all.
Ronald Phillips was 19 when he raped and killed little Sheila Marie Evans, the three year old daughter of his girlfriend, in Akron , Ohio. He claimed to have had a chaotic and abusive upbringing that led to his evil actions. The monster has been in jail since 1993.
Phillips wants to donate his kidney to his mother and his heart to his ailing sister, upon his death. This is a completely different turn of events for the execution board and one to ponder. It is a complex situation and one that will take time. Timing is everything. If Phillips is not put to death until July, can his family even wait that long for the donated organs? If his sister needs a new heart, will she live until July to receive it? What if she gets another heart from someone else in the meantime? His mother is already on dialysis and in need of a kidney. Will she still be alive when her son is finally executed, so she can have a new lease on life?
Ohio’s motto, The Heart of it All, is taking on quite a new meaning with this scenario. The state would be amongst the first to consider such a request and may well set a precedent in the realm of organ donations. There are over 120,000 people waiting for various types of organ donations. Maybe the jails and prisons should be gleaned for possible matches, so hearts, livers and kidneys can be harvested for donation and transplant. Through the miracle of modern medicine, other organs and tissue can also be donated and transplanted.
The organ is not only donated, it costs money. The team of doctors on both sides, proper preserving and transportation of the organ, hospital stays and ongoing recovery and rehabilitation programs can be expensive. Currently, most states have an organ donation system in place and is recorded through the BMV and indicated on driver’s licenses. Sadly, a person must die in order to give life in many cases. One kidney, however, can be donated without the death of the donor.
Ohio may be first to address a new ethical question with the current situation of Phillips. As most religions agree and accept organ donation, does the evilness of a person’s heart live on? How much of the human soul remains in the organs, or does it at all? Would you accept the heart of a killer in order to live? Will you have bad dreams or evil thoughts with the donated organ now living inside of your own body? Could the heart of Phillips be donated again from his sister? The heart could stay around for a while if it was healthy, as Phillips’ heart is only 40 years old at this time. Where are the science fiction writers?
The consensus in Ohio seems to be the question of saving a life or two. The two lives that would be saved in this case would be the mother and sister of a killer. Is it worth the time and money right now? The idea is unique and warrants further investigation, but the timing of it all seems to be a scam to delay Phillips’ execution. In the end, this case could just prove to be heartless waste of time.
Editorial by Roanne H. FitzGibbon