NEW VOICES: Former Death Row Warden Discusses the Impact of Executions on Correctional Officers

Dr. Allen Ault was the warden at the maximum security prison in Georgia where executions were carried out. He also served as Commissioner of Corrections during a lifetime career in the field. He is currently the Dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University. In the video accompanying this note, Dean Ault discusses the tremendous drain that carrying out executions had, and continues to have, on his life. He added, “I know I’m not the only one who has administered executions that felt the way I do. They all have shed a lot of tears.” He questions the value of the death penalty, and recognizes the difficulty that many politicians have in challenging this punishment, despite its obvious flaws. With respect to deterrence, he said, “I have a hard time believing that using pre-meditated murder and violence (executions), is a way to model behavior that would deter somebody else from doing it.” The video was made at the end of a six-week course on the death penalty at EKU and contains answers to questions that the students raised. To view the video (21 minutes), click here.

(Posted Aug. 19, 2009; Eastern Kentucky University (2009)). See New Voices and Multi-media.