Secondary trauma associated with state executions: testimony regarding execution procedures

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Secondary trauma associated with state executions refers to distress, harm, and injuries suffered by individuals other than the condemned prisoner. This article reviews the available research on this topic presenting findings, suggesting risks to correctional officers, judges and judicial staff, journalists, as well as the family members of the death row inmate, and the family members of the victim of the homicide. The literature review was prepared for testimony before a state department of corrections hearing regarding execution procedures. According to the authors, secondary trauma associated with state executions warrants further research and should be considered in the context of public policy regarding state executions.


Gil, Johnson, & Johnson
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