Central Florida News
Life on Death Row in Florida: A former prison warden speaks out
Ron McAndrew knows something about Florida's correctional system. He used to be a prison warden.
"I use to walk death row everyday," McAndrew said. "I looked every inmate on death row in the face every day that I worked and you never saw anyone smiling."
During his 23 years in Florida's correctional system, McAndrew oversaw thousands of inmates and 3 executions. Now he speaks out against the death penalty, calling it a flawed system in Florida.
It's that system that Casey Anthony may find herself in if convicted -- that, or life in prison without parole. McAndrew said it's a punishment that is especially difficult for female inmates.
"Mentally they require more understanding. They require a person who has a higher level of personal and professional maturity."
He cited Aileen Wuornos -- 1 of only 2 women ever executed in Florida -- as one of the most difficult inmates he's ever come across. Wuoros was convicted of killing 7 men between 1989 ad 1990, and was executed in 2002. "She was very afraid of everything around her, and the way she dealt with her fear was being profane," McAndrew said.
McAndrew's opinion is in the minority. The most recent Gallup Poll on the issue was in 2010. In that poll, 64 % of Americas surveyed believed that the death penalty should be used for convicted murders, and half of those surveyed believed the death penalty was not used often enough. Most people who believe in the death penalty see it as closure for the families, and a deterrent against violent crime.
When it comes to the Casey Anthony case, opinion tends to swing toward the ultimate punishment. Though not a scientific poll by any means, a recent News 13 Viewer Poll found 53 % believed Anthony should get the death penalty, while 47 % said no. Over 2,000 people took part in the poll.
McAndrew said it's the theatrics in the Casey Anthony case that concerns him. He said we may never really know if Anthony is guilty or innocent.
"Sentencing someone to life without the possibility of parole has to be the most horrible punishment on earth," McAndrew said. "Killing them is releasing them of being locked up in a little 6 foot by 9 foot concrete and steel cell."
Right now, there are 4 women on death row in Florida.
(source: Central Florida News)