Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Allen Ault, a former prison warden in Georgia who personally participated in executions, just spoke on MSNBC in the aftermath of Troy Davis' murder. The man sounded tired, somber, and sad. He spoke about the toll that participating in executions takes on the corrections staff. He spoke about how  he could see no justification for it. He talked about meeting with victims' families after the fact who did not feel any peace or sense of closure after an execution. He explained how he always had psychologists available to speak to his staff after an execution because they would need therapy for dealing with what they had just done.

So we engage in a punishment that is so morally questionable, the people who carry it out need therapy. And that's not even getting to the attorneys. Or the journalists who have to watch the executions.

There are so, so many reasons I am opposed to the death penalty, but this has always been one of them. Asking our fellow citizens to take part in an intentional, premeditated killing of a human being is far, far more than we have any business asking.

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