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Death at Midnight

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| Death at Midnight: Confessions of an Executioner | Book Project | | | |

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The book Death at Midnight the Confession of an Executioner is an autobiography by Donald A. Cabana. The story is about the life of a college graduate who rose to the position of warden at Parchman. At the beginning of his career in criminal justice, Cabana quickly learned the harsh reality of his occupation. Cabana experienced confrontations with both workers and convicts. Cabana's honest and forward-thinking approach to law enforcement caused him to be temporarily fired from his job at Parchman. Cabana returned years later as warden and was finally able to make the necessary adjustments. Unfortunately, the death penalty had once again gained legality a short time before Cabana's rise to power. As warden, Cabana was forced to execute two men. Cabana, uncomfortable with the idea of sentencing young men to death, began to question his beliefs on the criminal justice system. After the execution of Cabana's friend Connie Ray Evans, Donald Cabana retired from the position of warden. Donald Cabana now spends his time teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi.
In the book, Cabana mentions frequently the corruption of politics. A prime example of such corruption in the penal system is when Warden John Collier leaves Parchment. The next warden, a good one, had to quit because he refused to do what the politicians wanted him to do. Another example is when Cabana explains the history of Parchman's scandalous past when convict leasing was typical. A former warden of the penitentiary struggled to continue to not have a gas chamber in Parchman. The political pull was too strong and eventually one was installed. The most emotional example of corruption is when Cabana pleaded with the governor to spare Connie's life. Although the governor understood that Connie was one of…...

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