In the latest episode of Discussions with DPIC, Anne Holsinger, Managing Director of DPIC, interviews Ron McAndrew (pictured), a former Florida Prison Warden who witnessed executions using electrocution and lethal injection in Florida and Texas. He offers reflections on the negative impact that executions have on the families of both the victim and the condemned, the correctional officers, and on himself.

Mr. McAndrew discusses his responsibilities as a warden and his involvement in carrying out executions. In particular, he shares the traumatic experience of overseeing two of Florida’s botched electrocutions. In the interview, McAndrew states, “On the second execution [of John L. Bush], the blood started running out of the mask and that was before we applied the electricity. That was very uncomfortable for everyone.” Regarding the draining effects on his colleagues who were carrying out the executions, he says, “I found out that they also suffered very much as I was suffering.”

After Florida transitioned to lethal injection, Mr. McAndrew traveled to Texas to observe the process of carrying out such executions. The change of methods did little to lessen the emotional toll he was experiencing with the death penalty. He requested to be transferred from the Florida State Prison. He states, “I was beginning to question why we were killing people that we already had in captivity. I was feeling uncomfortable about taking the lives of people that were captured and were no longer a threat to anyone. And it was beginning to bother me psychologically [and] morally.”

You can listen to the podcast here.


Ron McAndrew, Executions inflict dev­as­tat­ing trau­ma on Florida’s cor­rec­tion­al work­ers, Miami-Herald, February 222023.

The con­ver­sa­tion was edit­ed for this podcast.