Thursday, June 7, 2012

At The Death House Door


What Good Has Death Done?
A prison chaplain changes his mind about the Death Penalty
by Natalie Pompilio
Many of the convicts Rev. Carroll “Bud” Pickett escorted to Texas’ death chamber during his 15 years as the Huntsville’s penitentiary’s prison chaplain wanted him to hold their hands.
But he couldn’t, because their hands would be strapped to the lethal injection table. Instead, he usually stood by the man’s right knee, placing one warm hand on his right ankle. Pickett would watch the lethal combination of drugs drip down the tube into the man’s arm and feel the pulse under his fingers go from fast and frantic and fear-filled to a slow throb. Then there was nothing at all.
“It’s really traumatic to watch anybody die. I’ve been with my parents and grandparents, but this is different. This is healthy people,” Pickett said. “It’s legalized murder.”
Pickett watched almost 100 men die this way, deaths completed in a matter of minutes, but ones that have stayed with Pickett for years. His experiences changed his views on capital punishment, making him an outspoken critic of the practice he says can punish the innocent, the mentally handicapped and the reformed for no good reason.
“Practically every one of the men I saw die had been restored. They’d changed. I saw so many people who’d made mistakes, but they didn’t deserve to die,” Continue >

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