BOOKS: Former Wall St. Lawyer Now Focuses on Death Row Inmates

Dale Recinella formerly worked as an attorney on large financial deals, including the building of a National Football League stadium. He also supported the death penalty. But he now focuses on the needs of death row inmates and other prisoners in Florida. His new book, entitled “Now I Walk on Death Row,” tells of his career transition and the reversal in his views on capital punishment. Although he attributes his changes to his Catholic religious faith, he also came to see the practical problems with the death penalty: “All the studies show that life in prison without the possibility of parole is much cheaper than getting to an execution. The difference is who the money goes to. With life in prison, the money goes to corrections officers. With the death penalty, the money goes to lawyers on both sides. Correction officers’ uniforms are much cheaper than Brooks Brother suits,” he said. As a volunteer chaplain, Recinella ministers on death row three days a week and gives religious education instruction at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida.

(M. Pattison, “From Wall Street financier to death-row chaplain,” Catholic News Service, May 17, 2011; Chosen Books 2011). See Books, New Voices and Religion.