*A short OpEd that ran in multiple Florida newspapers in recent days.
Chickenhawk is a political term used to describe someone who is for war buts lack the fortitude to participate in war, usually asking others to participate instead. While such language has most often been used to describe war, I think it’s also appropriate to describe Governor Ron Desantis’ position on executions. Think about it, Governor Desantis consistently calls for greater use of the death penalty with no real experiential understanding of what he is calling for. How many victims’ families has he had to accompany to the execution chamber? How many corrections officers has he had to help through the trauma they experience? How many people of faith has he had to counsel when their faith in humanity shakes? How many families of the executed has he had to console? How many times has he had to run an intravenous line? How many times has he had to transport the body? How many times has he had to file legal appeal after legal appeal one way or another? How many times has he actually had to bear the excruciating burden that is the death penalty? Like the chickenhawks of old, Governor Desantis is more than willing to let other people experience the trauma of carrying out a death sentence while he sits comfortably at home and calls for more executions. As a spiritual advisor, I witnessed the executions of Scott Eizember (Oklahoma) and Arthur Brown, Jr. (Texas) in recent months. Only a chickenhawk would call for more of what I saw.