"The Enforcers of the Death Penalty: How does capital punishment affect the prison guards and wardens tasked with carrying it out?" is by Tolly Moseley at the Atlantic. It's a must-read:
Unlike other professions that involve death, such as the police force or the military, few corrections officers enter the field with the expectation that they'll eventually have to kill somebody. On the contrary, many view themselves as protectors.
"We are caretakers for a population of people who instantly go out of sight, out of mind for the general public," says Jennie Lancaster, a retired prison warden with the North Carolina Department of Corrections. In 1984, she oversaw the execution of Velma Barfield, the first woman in 35 years to be executed in the United States and the first to die of lethal injection.
"At job interviews we don't ask things like, 'So how do you feel about wheeling away a body?'" Lancaster says. "But maybe we should. It's not a role many of us picture ourselves playing."
I'm adding a new item to the category index, Silent Actor Trauma. In the coming days, I'll tag past articles dealing with the trauma of corrections employees who participate in executions.