Soon, the country’s employees South Carolina escorts perfectly healthy prisoners to the execution chamber, Tie him to an electric chair or another device to rest and electrocut or shoot him.
It is hard to imagine any more meaningless executions or unnecessarily cruel acts by public authority. 10 years since the last execution at SCAnd, frankly, it seems that there is really no difference in the reality of crime rates and punishments. What it does is to give serious trauma to many orthodontic staff who are responsible for doing it.
I will talk from experience. As a Florida State Prison jailer, I oversaw the last three electric chair executions, shadowing five lethal injections in Texas when Florida moved into that practice. I’m a man of law and order, a veteran of the Air Force, and a lifelong conservative who voted for President Trump. My opposition does not come from bloody concerns about those who have taken innocent lives. It comes from my direct knowledge that participating in executions is devastating to the government officials who do it.
Every time the run was scheduled, I worked with the staff to manage the process in detail on a minute-by-minute basis. Despite careful preparation, one execution failed badly, the prisoner’s head ignited, and the execution chamber was filled with smoke. Another prisoner had heavy bleeding from his nose during the procedure, which was the last electrocution in Florida. After that, I helped Florida move to lethal injection. Unfortunately, lethal injection may seem more peaceful to witnesses across the glass, but it is just as traumatic to us as our job was to end the lives of prisoners. I knew immediately that it would be.
Currently, the state has also introduced firing squadI know there are many men and women who are eligible to hit the target. it does not matter. That’s one case when armed soldiers and law enforcement agencies have to use deadly forces to crush the invaders. Killing someone who is no longer a threat to others is a whole different thing. The burden that national workers have to bear is significant and unnecessary.
In reality, the process of killing another person, even if things seem to go well, is traumatic for the people involved. If things go wrong, the harm is much greater. I still have nightmares and flashbacks from participating in the execution. I also saw the damage caused by executions to many other staff throughout the prison system, not just those who worked directly on the execution team. As a watchman, I’ve become more aware of the effects of substance abuse, domestic troubles, depression, and even suicide. Some people have completely stopped orthodontic treatment.
Over time, I have found that the death penalty is of no use in our judicial system, except as a tool for politicians to use. The prisoner I helped kill wasn’t dangerous to anyone in prison. Their execution was an excuse for the elected officials to strike their hearts. However, its political interests were demanded by national workers at a high price.
The meaninglessness and traumatic consequences of practice can provide a topic for governors and prosecutors to claim to be “crime-stricken.” However, in reality, there is no good reason for the SC to resume executions.
I know that brave men and women working in South Carolina prisons are professionals and do the required jobs. However, SC leaders should keep the safety and health of hard-working orthodontic staff. This means that they should not expose orthodontic personnel to the trauma of carrying out executions.
Ron McAndrew was Director of Florida State Prison from 1996 to 1998 and is a founding member of the Execution Advisory Board.