The execution of Dennis McGuire on January 16, 2014 shed light on one of the most unfortunate side effects of the death penalty: the trauma we impose on our prison staff.
The public often does not consider the impact carrying out executions has on those involved. The Catholic chaplain on Ohio’s death row wrote about witnessing an execution, calling the experience “ghastly.” (Read the full article here).
The debate over whether or not the death penalty serves as a deterrent has been closed: it is not an effective deterrent. Law enforcement officials concur and frankly, feel that they would be able to do a better job without the dysfunction of the death penalty hanging over their heads. Insufficient use of the death penalty is literally ranked last when law enforcement officials are asked, “What interferes with effective law enforcement?”
Looking for more information on how law enforcement and prison officials are harmed by the death penalty? Find more at the Death Penalty Information Center, here.