Remembering Walter "Arkie" Barton, #ClemencyforQuin
One year ago, on May 19th, 2020, Missouri became the first state in the country to execute someone during the COVID-19 pandemic with the execution of Walter “Arkie” Barton in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Walter was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Gladys Kehuler, despite strong claims of innocence. On the day of Walter’s execution, MADP hosted a worldwide virtual execution vigil with abolitionists and participants who provided comforting words, prayers, and guidance to us all as we shed light on the violence committed by the state of Missouri.
Walter’s last words were, “I, Walter “Arkie” Barton, am innocent, and the State of Missouri is executing an innocent man.” We have not forgotten him.
Over the last year, state-sanctioned murder has continued in the United States. From countless extrajudicial executions of Black and Brown citizens across the country to the premeditated executions of those on federal death row, these killings are a direct result of US institutions designed to oppress, exploit, and kill the most marginalized among us. Today, May 19th, 2021, Quintin P Jones is scheduled to be executed in Texas.
In 2001, Quintin P Jones was sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of his great-aunt. The victim's family has long forgiven Quintin and has asked the Governor Abbott of Texas to grant Quintin clemency. If the state of Texas proceeds, Texas will be the first state to carry out an execution in 2021. View Quintin’s request for clemency from Governor Abbott, learn more about his case and take action in calls for clemency at www.clemencyforquin.com.
Even on the most difficult days, we must continue the call for abolition and the end to state-sanctioned murder. On the anniversary of the execution of Walter “Arkie” Barton, we seek mercy for Quintin Jones and say,
Not in our name. Death is not justice.