“I executed 62 people. I’m sorry”: Virginia’s former executioner turned death-penalty opponent

By Selene Nelson

(Credit: AP/Pat Sullivan)

They say you can’t put a price on life, but what about death? Earlier this year I spoke to Jerry Givens, a former state executioner turned death penalty abolitionist. He told me that for people who carry out the death penalty, the real, enduring cost is emotional.

“If I had known what I’d have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn’t have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it. You can’t tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal.”


Grieving the ritual slaying of a killer by the state


Co –Chairs of the Death Penalty Committee of

Plowshare Peace Center


While Alfredo Rolando Prieto was being executed Thursday night, members of Plowshare Peace Center held our tragically traditional vigil in opposition to the death penalty.

We prayed for the families of the victims of Prieto’s crimes, and for Prieto’s family. We also prayed for the societies of states and nations where an “eye for an eye” and a “life for a life” is still the law: states like Iran, China and the United States.


Editorial: Timing of execution raises concern

The Daily Progress

Not even Gov. Terry McAuliffe objected to last week’s execution of Alfredo R. Prieto, having determined that carrying out the death penalty against the multiple murderer would create no miscarriage of justice.

And even death penalty critics acknowledge that no violation of law or policy occurred at execution.

But a question over timing deserves to be debated. State protocols may need to be tightened to prevent a future miscarriage of justice.