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The Forgotten Executioner

When Kentucky’s General Assembly takes up Senate Bill 77 or House Bill 330 for discussion and debate, there will be a lot of talk about killers, victims, family members, trial mistakes, executing the innocent and a host of other issues that show us how broken this system is.

Dr. Ault

But we probably won’t hear much about what happens to those who kill in our names: the wardens and execution team members who have executed fellow human beings.

And that is tragic.

Fortunately Kentucky has one man who has bravely discussed what he experienced and still experiences as a result of carrying out orders to kill. Eastern Kentucky University College of Justice and Safety Dean Allen Ault recently appeared on the BBC’s program, HARDtalk, and “bared his soul” with interviewer Stephen Sackur:

It’s the most premeditated form of murder you can possibly imagine and it stays in your psyche for ever.

After describing some of the executions he oversaw, Dr. Ault concludes:

No-one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a life-long sentence of nagging doubt, shame and guilt.

Read the whole article and view a short video of the interview here.

In addition to all the other questions needing to be asked about the use of the death penalty, it is essential that Kentuckians also ask themselves this one:

Are we justified in asking our employees to kill others?

Photo: Eastern Kentucky University website

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