Death Row Warden Back as Abolitionist Priest


For some people, there’s nothing like personal involvement in administering capital punishment to make them start opposing it. Dennis O’Neill was a warden at two Florida death row prisons for many years, during which time he helped carry out over a dozen executions. The experience so scarred him that he quit his correctional career, got ordained as an Episcopalian priest, and now preaches against the death penalty – from the pulpit of a church in one of the prison towns where he used to oversee death row. Maybe he’ll start a support group with Bill Wiseman, the man who invented lethal injection only to later also become an anti-death penalty priest.

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.