I just don’t even know what to say about this piece. I read it shedding tears from beginning to end. It is SO wonderfully written and summarizes many of my feelings about the inhumanity of the death penalty and the inequality in the justice system.
It also conjured up some feelings I had forgotten about, which is also inhunane as I think about it.
My step father was a deputy warden in a prison when I was a little girl. He was also an executioner at our state prison in South Carolina. I think you’re spot on with the lack of empathy in us which allows us to treat people involved in the criminal justice system inhumanely. He drank a lot. After thinking about watching people die and overseeing death row inmates at the worst prison in the state, I’m sure he needed drinks.
I think the people who in those jobs are inhumane. If you don’t start off that way, the system makes workers devoid of any empathy.
My stepfather was mean and cruel. He sexual abuser and philanderer. He hypocrite and a liar. He aided my mother in abusing us and withheld affection. He was smart and handsome, and the more I think about him now, I suspect he was likely a cold, cruel sociopath.
You did a wonderful job highlighting the system. I think you all have skimmed the surface on the personalities and lack of racial empathy stewards of justice. Thank you for your work.