Author, death penalty elimination advocate to receive
Laurinburg, N.C. - Rev. Joseph Ingle will receive the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Andrews University on April 19 during the Annual Alumni Awards Banquet.
"This is the highest award given by the Alumni Association," said President Paul Baldasare. "Nominees are judged on outstanding service to their community, the University and/or their church. In Joe, we are honoring his work and lifelong commitment to end the death penalty."
When informed about the award, Ingle said, “I am honored. What I learned at St. Andrews was the importance of critical thinking. I would never have had the opportunity to work with men and women on death row without the judgment and critical perspective I gained at St. Andrews.”
Ingle graduated from St. Andrews in 1968 with a degree in religious studies and politics. He went to Union Theological Seminary and worked as part of the East Harlem Urban Year Program where participants were required to spend 20 hours per week in the community working. After watching the revolt in Attica in 1971, Ingle decided to serve his 20 hours visiting the Bronx Alpha Detention Center.
"Meeting those men changed my life," Ingle said.
Instead of taking a United Church of Christ congregation after seminary, he became a self-supporting chaplain to prisoners.
"I am not a prison chaplain," Ingle said. "A chaplain is paid by the state to work for the state in the prisons and is limited in the offerings he and she can bring to the prisoners. I have the liberty to bring a message of forgiveness and reconciliation to prisoners on death row."
His specific work with those individuals on death row since 1974 inspired him to write Last Rights: Thirteen Fatal Encounters with the State's Justice.
"I’ve had these very intense relationships with people on death row," said Ingle. "I've gotten to know them in a way others didn't get to see them -- as people. I wanted others to see them the as I have. These stories get beyond the newspaper headlines. These stories get beyond the newspaper headlines. We are killing human beings. I don't think any of us want to be judged on the worst thing we've ever done."
His most recent work, The Inferno: A Southern Morality Tale, focuses on the case of Philip Workman that particularly highlights the flaws in the application of the death penalty. Workman brandished a gun to rob a Wendy's restaurant in Memphis in 1981. Cornered moments later by police officers in a parking lot, he fired the gun and a police officer fell. However, forensic evidence shows that the officer was killed by another officer's shot. Yet in 2007, Workman was executed for the homicide.Ingle's new book chronicles what happened between the robbery and Workman's execution by lethal injection.
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. St. Andrews has added a first graduate level program with a Masters in Business Administration. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.