Excerpted Letter of Chaplain Dale S. Recinella to the CDCR dated June 27, 2009 -- PART I
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I Was In Prison
Online Prison Ministry Newsletter
July 9, 2009
Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is hoping to begin executions soon based upon a new Lethal Injection protocol which they have put out for public comment. The most obvious comment is that killing people has nothing to do with rehabilitation and, therefore, the department should be renamed as: California Department of Corrections and Legal Killing.

Moreover, in light of Chaplain Recinella’s experiences with actual executions, the procedures reveal that the folks who prepared the new California protocol have not been involved at the ground level in this barbaric practice. They do not comprehend the base and banal human emotions that surface when human beings are granted the license to legally kill each other. Although he is not an expert on chemicals, it is hoped that his input from ground-zero will wake the CDCR from their idealistic reverie.

Starting July 9, 2009 and for the ensuing seven issues, this Ezine will share with the readers Chaplain Recinella’s comments submitted to the CDCR on their new lethal injection protocol:

Excerpted Letter of Chaplain Dale S. Recinella to the CDCR dated June 27, 2009 -- PART I

CDCR Regulation and Policy Management Branch
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Ph: (916) 255-5500 (Mr. Timothy M. Lockwood, Chief, RPMB)
Fax: (916) 255-5601


Re: Written Public Comments regarding the Proposed Amendments to Title 15, Article 7.5, Section 3349 from a Concerned Citizen with Extensive Experience with Lethal Injection Executions in the U.S.

Ladies & Gentlemen:

For the last eleven years I have served as the representative of the Catholic Bishops of Florida in cell-to-cell ministry on Florida’s death row which is the second largest death row in the country (after California). In that capacity I have also provided one-on-one private pastoral counseling to over 40 death row inmates (approximately 10% of the men held on death row in Florida), and have provided spiritual advisor services on death watch 12 times. I have witnessed, on behalf of the man being executed, five executions, including Florida’s botched lethal injection in December of 2006. My wife and I also minister to the families of murder victims in non-capital cases. Moreover, I am a licensed lawyer in Florida, hold a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University, and in 2004, published a scholarly work on the U.S. death penalty and the Bible.

The purpose of this communication is to provide you with my written public comments regarding the Proposed Amendments to Title 15, Article 7.5, Section 3349 of the California Code of Regulations from the unique standpoint of a concerned citizen with extensive experience with lethal injection executions in the U.S. Because some of my comments are based upon realities that might not be obvious to those who have never been close to this process, certain comments are accompanied by a background paragraph that fills in the context of the official comment. This is especially the case with comments which request that unaddressed areas be addressed. I trust you will give my concerns serious consideration; I look forward to your response which should be sent to the letterhead address.

Dale S. Recinella Catholic Lay Chaplain Florida Death Row

Regarding Section 3349.1.2(a)(4)(B): This section provides that the Warden may contract with physicians to be members of the Lethal Injection Team or attend the execution.

This provision should be modified to provide that medical doctors are not to be part of the Lethal Injection Team and should not be brought into an execution at all.

Background: Without the requested change, the doctor is placed in the position of having to assist in the killing of a human being, especially if the execution has been botched by the rest of the Lethal Injection Team. Regarding the recent attempt in North Carolina to accomplish the same medical doctor participation envisioned by 3349.1.2(a)(4)(B), Dr. Charles van der Horst, professor of medicine at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, wrote in the News & Observer:

“When a physician attending an execution finds that the prisoner is not dead, what should the doctor do—resuscitate the prisoner or finish the job? When doctors start having to make choices about whom to resuscitate and whom to kill, their entire moral authority is thrown out.”

Furthermore, regarding Section 3349.1.2(a)(4)(B): In the event that this provision is not modified as requested immediately above, at a minimum it must be supplemented to prohibit participation on Lethal Injection Teams or in executions by any medical personnel or physicians who are involved in the wellness care of California’s death row inmates.

Background: Without the requested change, every doctor patient relationship and nurse patient relationship on death row becomes untenable and unethical because the possibility that the doctor or medical professional could be on the inmate’s Lethal Injection Team or participate in the inmate’s execution directly violates that relationship.




©2009 Dale S. Recinella Used with permission. All rights reserved. No further reproduction without permission.

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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.

Your name and information will never be used or shared with anyone. We promise!

Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

If you Like this Weekly Ezine - You will love Dale's Book!
Sr. Patricia Proctor
Paperback: 433 pages

Excellent book on the topic!,
June 13, 2005 Nathan Eanes
(Review from Amazon.com)

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.



This ezine edited by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC - Poor Clare Sister
to support the IWasInPrison Outreach