08-14-2012, 10:14 AM
The Killing Joke
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Burkina Faso, Disputed Zone
Death Row inmates final words
Caught this on the Star this morning. It's somewhat disturbing. The comments from readers are more depressing if not disturbing.
Death-row inmates? final words speak of love, God and anger - thestar.com
The statements are available on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, along with other information about prisoners executed in the past 30 years.
Prisoners utter their final statements right before intravenous drugs flood their bloodstream, knocking them out within seconds and stopping their heart within minutes. Reading through them can be chilling.
The latest entry in the database is Marvin Wilson, 54, whom Texas executed last week despite his attorneys’ arguments that his IQ was too low for him to be eligible for capital punishment.
Wilson, convicted of killing a police informant, told his watching three sisters and son several times that he loved them and asked that they give his mother a hug.
“Y’all do understand that I came here a sinner and leaving a saint,” he said. “Take me home Jesus, take me home Lord, take me home Lord.”
In their statements, most prisoners thank relatives and friends who are present, and urge them not to cry. Many also say prayers and proclaim their belief in God.
Some apologize for their heinous crimes to the victims’ families. Others profess their innocence and lash out at the justice system.
“From there you call me a cold-blooded murderer,” said Henry Porter before his execution in July 1985. “I didn’t tie anyone to a stretcher. I didn’t pump any poison into anybody’s veins from behind a locked door. You call this justice. I call this and your society a bunch of cold-blooded murderers.”
Cameron Todd Willingham, convicted in 1992 of killing his three daughters, maintained his innocence until his execution in 2004. His case has since received international attention because of claims that he was wrongfully convicted.
“The only statement I want to make is that I am an innocent man — convicted of a crime I did not commit. I have been persecuted for 12 years for something I did not do. From God’s dust I came and to dust I will return — so the earth shall become my throne.”
Texas has executed 484 people since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, more than four times as many as any other state. The online information dates back to 1982, when the state first executed a convict by lethal injection.
Some inmates are more philosophical, such as David Martinez, executed in July 2005: “Only the sky and the green grass goes on forever and today is a good day to die.”
About 20 per cent of inmates decline to say anything at all.
In some of the more chilling entries, prisoners comment on the sensation they feel as the intravenous drugs begin to flow.
“Are they already doing it? I’m gonna go to sleep. See you later. This stuff stings, man almighty,” said Rodrigo Hernandez, the first man executed in 2012 in Texas, at the end of his statement.
Mark Stroman, a white supremacist executed in 2011 for a 2001 convenience store shooting spree which he called a revenge act for 9/11, said he was at peace and that “hate causes a lifetime of pain.”
He added: “God bless America, God bless everyone. Let’s do this damn thing.” Later, when the injection began: “I feel it; I am going to sleep now. Goodnight, one, two, there it goes.”