Click to Return to Main Page ★ Texas, which has carried out 405 of Americaís 1096 state executions, has executed more than 20 severally mentally ill persons.

★ Approximately 15 to 20% of the people on Texas death row are being treated with ongoing mental health services.

★ Texas ranks 47th nationally in per capita mental healthcare and 1st in executions.

★ Approximately 30% of those in Texas prisons and jails have been clients of the Texas mental health system.
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Dale S. Recinella
Catholic Lay Chaplain
Florida's Death Row & Solitary Confinement

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Susan Recinella
Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

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Innocence Project

Death Penalty Information Center

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Catholics Against Capital Punishment

Sr. Helen Prejean

Paperback: 433 pages

Excellent book on the topic!,
June 13, 2005 Nathan Eanes
(Review from

The Biblical Truth about America's Death Penalty is a must-read. It deals with Biblical standards of Capital Punishment and then compares them to the system used in America today. It is the best-researched, most faithful to scripture, and most evenhanded analysis I have ever read concerning the Death Penalty. Whatever your persuasion on the issue, this book will teach you a great deal. Recinella is a trained lawyer and committed Christian who now volunteers part-time on Florida's death row. He thus understands law, the Bible, and the system of execution in America. I challenge anyone who supports the Death Penalty to read this book.

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This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.

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Rules of Engagement
By: Dale Recinella

It is not unusual for me to cover four hundred or more solitary cells

in a seven-hour shift. Ten to twelve percent of the men in those cells will be Catholic. One-half to three-fourths of those Catholics will desire Communion.

Kneeling on the concrete floor and administering the Eucharist at cell front, one-at-a-time through a hole in the door, to two or three-dozen men in a day, is not overwhelming. Actually, the most daunting task, with over 1200 solitary cells and a constantly changing population, is ferreting out who is really Catholic.

For some denominations, anyone who has been baptized or says he accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is an eligible recipient. With Catholic Communion, however, it is at least necessary that the intended recipient has been initiated into the Church through Baptism and has made his First Confession and First Communion. Once that threshold is established, the additional issues of state of grace and appropriate disposition are to be addressed.

October 17th - Newsletter


With Jesus In My Pocket. . .
By: Dale S. Recinella

Grinding. Reverberating. Numbing. Metal against metal punctuates my twenty-minute sojourn into the bowels of the prison. Ten massive steel-barred doors now separate me from the prison entrance. One more security door stands between me and death row. The officer with the key swings it open. He nods. I step through.

The heavy steel bolts clang shut, locking me in on the beige corridor of death row cells. Like a stray cosmic noise from another world, the spongy soles of my Rockports announce my arrival with muffled squeaks against the hot, damp concrete. more
An Instrument of His Peace
By: Dale S. Recinella

7:20 pm. Weíve been sitting in the witness room seats for one and a half hours Ė the longest wait in the history of Florida executions. In absolute silence, without motion or distraction. Staring at our own reflections in the window. Reflecting on the man who will be lying behind the closed curtain, stretched out on a gurney on the other side of the glass window. more

A Glimpse of Harvest
By: Dale S. Recinella

Some of my initial encounters on death row were difficult. But few were as dramatic as the first time I met one man in particular. more

Interview on Vatican Radio
Vatican Radio Midday Show (worldwide English)
Friday 8 October 2004

Dead Men Talking

Vatican Radio: Hello and welcome to todayís program. The city of Montreal in Canada is currently hosting the 2nd World Congress Against the Death Penalty, to try and push for an abolition of state executions worldwide. more

A Space-time Continuum
By: Dale S. Recinella

Itís 8:15 am on a Monday morning. Today my first stop is a special one-on-one appointment at the Crisis Stabilization Unit, psychiatric solitary. The appointment had to be set up with the sergeant and the medical staff a week in advance. more

Into the Eye of the Needle
By: Dale S. Recinella

Itís my first visit to Florida State Prison, home to Floridaís infamous electric chair. They claim security here is stricter than at any other prison in the state. It seems true.

After leaving our car, we enter the compound through double outside gates. The two barriers cannot be opened simultaneously. The first grinds open. We step in between thousands of pounds of screeching, moving metal. It shuts behind us. We are surrounded by heaps of razor sharp saw teeth, coiled mounds of glistening concertina wire. The second gate grates open. There are some noises Iíve never heard anywhere except in prison. more

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