*Letter to Editor that appeared in various Alabama media outlets today.
Chickenhawk is a political term used to describe someone who is for war but lacks the fortitude to participate in it, usually asking others to participate instead. While such language has most often been used in war, I think it’s also appropriate to describe Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s position on executions. Think about it, Governor Ivey consistently calls for greater use of the death penalty with no real experiential understanding. How many victims’ families has she accompanied to the execution chamber? How many corrections officers has she helped deal with their experiences? How many families of the executed has she had to console? How many times has she had to run an intravenous line? How many times has she had to transport the body? How many times has she had to file a legal appeal? How many times…? Like the chickenhawks of old, Governor Ivey is more than willing to let other people experience the trauma of carrying out a death sentence while she comfortably calls for more executions. As a spiritual advisor, I directly 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.