I do not know how I feel about capital punishment as it exists in the United States and I have only a slightly stronger sense of the wrongness of it when it is meted out by other countries. After having watched the episode of HardTalk on the BBC that showed Dr. Allen Ault, a former Georgia corrections director, discuss the personal side having to do with his involvement, I am sure my attitude is moving away from the death penalty to sentence or to deter.
It was painfully clear throughout this interview that the five executions (or pre-meditated murders as Dr. Ault calls them) he was involved with haunt him to the core of his soul, each and every second of every day. His guilt is thick in the air and I wonder now what I, as a citizen of a state that only recently put a moratorium on executions, should take away from my implied complicity with state-sponsored murder.
The quote that really does it for me, “no-one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a life-long sentence of nagging doubt, shame and guilt.” This could not be more true and we need to consider that side of the argument just as much as the other arguments for and against the greatest punishment.
For those interested in seeing this interview, I highly recommend viewing it below.