The Courier-Journal published the work of four columnists and a timeline of recent Kentucky history and the death penalty on Sunday in its Forum section. The columnists comprised a group of “unusual” suspects, not the kind of folks associated with opposition to the death penalty: a former executioner and dean at a university, a victim family member whose brother was murdered, a Republican, Southern Baptist state representative and a former staff member of the National Rifle Association.
On the cover page, Allen Ault, a former executioner who speaks about executing five persons, has recently retired as Dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University. He begins is column with these words:
Unjust. Unfair. Costly. Dehumanizing.
These concerns reflect the reality of the administration of the death penalty. As such, they lead to the same inevitable conclusion: It is time to abolish capital punishment in Kentucky.
And in the end concludes:
I oppose the death penalty for the reasons articulated by my fellow writers and because I believe it is illogical for the state to teach citizens not to kill by killing. I also am acutely aware of the heavy toll capital punishment exacts from the individuals who have to carry out the sanction. As I have written before, corrections officials are expected to commit the most premeditated murder imaginable.
Unjust. Unfair. Costly. Dehumanizing. Kentucky must not wait any longer to join 19 other states and abolish the death penalty.
This is not the work of some academic in an ivory tower, but of a man who lived in the trenches and came away scarred. Citizens have no business asking others to kill for them. Dean Ault is correct. It is time to end the death penalty.
To read his entire column click here.