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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118832 Find in a Library
Title: Ministering to the Condemned: A Case Study (From Facing the Death Penalty, P 112-122, 1989, Michael L Radelet, ed. -- See NCJ-118827)
Author(s): J B Ingle
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Temple University Press
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
Sale Source: Temple University Press
1601 N. Broad Street
University Service Bldg., Room 305
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A minister describes the final days and hours of David Washington, who was executed in Florida in July 1984 and emphasizes that if the public fully understood the nature and effects of the death penalty, it would no longer allow this punishment to be imposed.
Abstract: Washington killed three people. He readily admitted his full responsibility to the police and to the courts and never used his ghetto background as an excuse for his crimes. Instead, he turned himself in to the police, fully cooperated with their investigations, pleaded guilty, waived his right to a jury trial, and threw himself on the mercy of the court. In 1976 he was sentenced to three consecutive death sentences. During his visits with Washington over the years, the minister found a deeply troubled soul, sometimes sitting in a nearly catatonic condition and refusing any outside contacts. Like most other death row prisoners the minister had known, Washington felt remorse and pain in living with the responsibility for his crime. His last days and hours were filled with uncertainties regarding potential stays of executions and emotionally distressing visits with his close relatives. His main concern was for his young daughter, and he agonized over her having to endure the horror of his execution. After saying the final good-byes, the family left, wailing, grief-stricken, and inconsolable. Society's retribution had produced a family that was bereaved, a wounded child, and another mourning mother. Case citation and 8 references.
Main Term(s): Death row inmates
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Families of inmates; Inmate attitudes
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