Brandi Grissom conducts, "Rev. Carroll Pickett: The TT Interview." There is video at the link.
The Rev. Carroll Pickett holds the world record for witnessing the most state executions as a chaplain. He saw 95 men die by lethal injection during his career as the death house chaplain.
In the years since he left the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Pickett has written a book and starred in an award-winning documentary that chronicled his work at the Walls Unit in Huntsville. He sat down with The Texas Tribune recently to talk about how he "seduced the emotions" of the condemned, why his views about the death penalty changed and how he now copes with all the death he has witnessed.
TT: What changed your mind about the death penalty?
Pickett: The main reason I was in favor of the death penalty was because my grandfather was murdered. And my father never talked about it. I found out through one of his cousins. My father was very strongly in favor of punishment, punishment, punishment, hard punishment. So I live with that. Then I began to see that these fellows, first of all they were not the same people who committed the crime, if they committed the crime. You know, they change. We called it restorative justice. Everybody can change. And then I got to see how much it costs. You know, the third guy that was executed, it cost that county $6 million. And then there were many of them — way too many — who I knew were innocent, who did not commit the crime. It is cruel and unusual punishment. It is not always painless. We have botched executions.
Earlier coverage of Carroll Pickett begins at the link.