Executioner Against Execution


Jerry Givens, who put 62 people to death as chief executioner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, is speaking out against the death penalty.  In a revealing interview with Justin Jouvenal of the Washington Post, Givens talks about his grisly work and change of heart.

Givens was proficient in two execution modes, electrocution and lethal injection.  He threw the switch on the state’s electric chair 37 times, and presided over 25 chemical executions. The close call of inmate Earl Washington, Jr., condemned for murder in 1984, was a wake-up call for Givens, who was slated to be Washington’s executioner.  DNA evidence cleared Washington while he waited for his date with Givens on death row.

“If I execute an innocent person, I’m no better than the people on death row,” Givens told the Post.  He has testified against the death penalty in legislative hearings.  “The people who pass these bills, they don’t have to do it,” Givens said. “The people who do the executions, they’re the ones who suffer through it.”

Jouvenal’s takeout is worth a read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ex-virginia-executioner-becomes-opponent-of-death-penalty/2013/02/10/9e741124-5e89-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story_2.html


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