Joe Ingle, a North Carolina native, left the South after college and moved to East Harlem to join the E. Harlem Urban Year program. He spent his senior year at Union Theological Seminary visiting prisoners at the Bronx House of Detention. Prior to that experience, his initial time with prisoners, he was a typical white guy from the South. When he returned to the South, he was a changed man. Living in Nashville, TN, he began working against mass incarceration and the death penalty with the Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons which he helped create. This led him to visit every Southern death row and create a web of relationships with the women and men imprisoned there. Working to save their lives led him to meetings in governor’s offices, legislatures, courtrooms, churches, synagogues, bishop and archbishop offices. And it led him into the homes of the families of the condemned and victims. Realizing many of the condemned had no lawyers, he along with three colleagues, created a law project—The Southern Center for Human Rights—to represent them.
Although the death penalty is an issue, for Ingle it is primarily about people caught in the killing machinery. It is where he has devoted his adult life.
He resides in rural Nashville, Scottsboro, where the residents are dedicated to farming organically and preserving the environment. He and his wife Becca raise blueberries with some 200 bushes in the field.
Too Close to the Flame
“I had been working with the condemned since 1975—but never before had an execution affected me with this much power and confusion.” Throughout his forty-five years visiting death rows across the American South, Joe Ingle has learned, loved, and suffered intensely. In Too Close to the Flame, Ingle describes how the events of 2018–2020 finally exposed […]