Larry Fitzgerald served as the official spokesman for Texas executions for eight years. He represented the state through 219 lethal injections. Retired in August 2003, Fitzgerald left with what he refers to as a, “PhD in prison life.” Due to his expertise with the Texas prison system, defense attorneys have been utilizing his testimony in death penalty cases to describe to the jury why the prison system offers a suitable alternative to a death sentence. He testifies about inmate life, educational opportunities in prison, and most of all, about how secure the prisons are. “People,” he said, “just don’t understand all of what goes on inside a prison.” “My testimony [is] to show the prison system works. No matter how bad this person is, the Texas prison system can handle him,” Fitzgerald explained. The former spokesman for Texas’ executions added that he has come to believe that Texas uses the death penalty “way too much.”
(S. Mills, “Voice of death testifies for life,” Chicago Tribune, June 12, 2008) (emphasis added). See New Voices. Other Texas execution officials who have expressed similar sentiments include the former warden of the prison where Texas executions take place, Jim Willet, and former death row chaplain Carroll Pickett.