A few years ago, I interviewed former Florida prison warden Ron Andrews about the death sentences he’d carried out. He spoke of the ghastly mechanics of putting a man to death, about how, after a lethal injection, he’d been required to pull the needles out of the prisoner (a man that he’d known intimately for years), how following an electrocution, the dead eyes of the inmate were left frozen open, staring at him as he stuffed the corpse into a body bag, put it into a hearse and brought it to the medical examiner’s office.

"When they say cause of death, do you know what the word is?" he continued. "It’s homicide. Homicide!"