“As you get closer to it, the reflection, the self-examination, the reality of the fact that you’re going to have a hand in killing another human being becomes much more real,” Morgan said. “That’s why it’s so difficult to explain to folks — that experience just can’t be conveyed in a debate. And when you start getting closer to it, you think, ‘Do I really want to have anything to do with this?’”
Morgan said none of the men whose deaths he oversaw were good people, yet he felt it was wrong to have to ask corrections officers to kill another human being — no matter how awful their crimes were.
“The three executions I was involved with … were extremely horrible murders,” he said. “When it came to empathizing with the condemned, I just couldn’t get there … The world was better off without them. I had no sympathy for the fact that they were about to die.”
“My struggle with it was part of the large picture of being part of a governmental action of taking a life of one of its citizens,” he said. “When I was young, I saw the movie about the trials at Nuremberg and the famous line ‘I was only following orders.’ Your government can take your life. To me, the world is upside down on the limitations the government should have. You would think … the one thing the government can’t take away is your life.”
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