Readers of this blog know of my opposition to the death penalty. I’ve stated many reasons and examples of why I believe this way over the years but here’s a story from a former Florida warden that should give anyone pause. Read it all. Here is what he says haunts him the most:
The flames that consumed Pedro Medina’s head when the execution went seriously awry, the smoke, the putrid odor, and his death by inferno is deeply embedded in my brain.The memory of telling the executioner to continue with the killing, despite the malfunctioning electric chair, and being at a point of no-return, plagues me still.
And his conclusion rings very true to my beliefs.
Here I want to say that one must be careful in searching his soul…one may just find that God is there and that He does not support the barbaric idea that man should execute man.
During the renewal of my faith and my conversion to the Catholic Church, I was asked to speak out about my feelings on the death penalty.
After twenty-three years in Corrections, I have come to the conclusion that killing people is wrong. We have no business doing it, except in self-defense, in defense of someone else or in defense of the nation. And it’s wrong for us to ask others do it for us. Looking back I wish I had never been involved in carrying out the death penalty. We have an alternative that doesn’t lower us to the level of the killer: permanent imprisonment. It is cheaper, keeps society safe and offers swift justice to the victims.