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The Hawk and the Dove – The collection, version of April 2017.

A collection of texts talking of our opinion about the death penalty, death row and death row prisoners. The collection can be completed by texts of people who want to share their opinion about the death penalty. You are invited to come up with a contribution as well.

“It’s good that we can listen to each other” were the words of Jeff in a long talk with Ines and this should be our slogan when reading this collection.

You will find guidelines how to write a text for the collection here.


  • Interview with Jeff, an advocate of the death penalty
    Jeff, as a complete stranger, wrote Ines a message. They are on different sides: Jeff is an American proponent of the death penalty, and Ines a European woman who is strongly against it. Still, they listened and learned about the other’s motives.
    The questions were asked by Ines Aubert, pen pal of death row prisoners, 55 years old, teacher for children with special needs, Switzerland, September 2016
  • Hawk and Dove – I guess that I have been both!
    I was a hawk until November 2, 1986 when I begged God to give me love and compassion and when He did I became a dove.
    By Bill Pelke, murder victim family member, Alaska, October 2016
  • I detest the deeds, but I do not detest my penfriend as a human being
    The penpalship definitely opened my eyes. I became aware that the state wants to kill a friend of mine. I am punished even though I am innocent.
    By Patrik, pen pal of a death row prisoner and opponent of the death penalty, Switzerland, October 2016
  • It’s a thin line between love and hate
    “I do feel and believe that the Death Penalty should exist. Yes, it’s true if feel there are certain crimes that are so heinous, so terrible that there is a lack of humanity in the person who commits them.”
    By Joseph Douglas Martinez, 18 years in Prison with a Capital Life Sentence,
    Texas, November 2016
  • What punishment, confinement or treatment is appropriate for one who has tried to escape?
    “I have reached a level of comfort, mentally, which allows me to view this environment more in a neutral light. It could be better. It could be worse. My focus is on what I can control: being the best I can. So I am at peace.”
    Interview with Daniel McDonald, 36 years old, 11 years a prisoner in Texas, serving a Life Sentence, December 2016
    The questions were asked by Ines Aubert
  • As a father, I really don´t know if I would have had thoughts like a Hawk or a Dove in some cases
    “Sometimes, in weak moments, I agree with the proponents of the death penalty in the support of the capital punishment. But these are short moments when I try to imagine those absolutely brutal crimes mentioned in the interview. But thinking of it in an overall and general way, I know that hate, anger and revenge can never solve anything or make anything even better.”
    By Alex Reinert, pen pal of a death row prisoner, 47, Air Traffic Controller, Frankfurt, Germany, March 2017
  • A dove’s-eye view
    “If all societies on the planet abolished execution and several generations could enjoy a time without capital punishment, then hardly no one would develop the belief or views that murder could be acceptable, even within the law.”
    By José Moreno, former death row prisoner for 22 years, Texas, March 2017 _______________________________________________