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Mr. Cabana was 67 when he died of an intestinal infection on Monday in Hattiesburg, Miss., his daughter Kristin Fitzgerald said. He had worked for more than 25 years in prisons in Massachusetts, Florida and Missouri as well as Mississippi. But he left corrections work for academic life in the early 1990s, largely because of his distaste for the death penalty.
Since then he had spent time in classrooms, at public forums and in a statehouse or two denouncing capital punishment as an ineffectual deterrent to crime, an expensive burden for taxpayers and an inhumane form of punishment, not only for the men and women who face execution but also for those who carry it out.
“There is a part of the warden that dies with his prisoner,” he often said.