The Reverend Carroll Pickett served as the death house chaplain for the State of Texas for many years, and he holds the international record for witnessing the most government executions (95).
Today, Reverend Pickett tours the country on a speaking circuit, voicing his oppostion to the death penalty. (For details, go to the Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty Speakers’ Bureau.) He has also written a book about his experiences and his opinion on capital punishment, available at Amazon, Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain. The book has received rave reviews from critics and readers alike.
This week, Reverend Pickett was interviewed by the Texas Tribune, and you can watch part of the interview as a video on their site. It’s an interesting read – not only because it comes from a man who switched his stance from pro-death penalty to being against it, but for the way he brings us all behind the scenes into the realities of Death Row and what occurs as humans work toward killing another human as part of their job description.
Of particular interest, his description of his role in "seducing" the inmate’s emotions; restorative justice; and what that last day is like for the man sentenced to die.