Claire Cameron writes in the Herald Tribune: ‘Last week, reports of executions — one postponed in Ohio, one carried out in Texas — punctuated the news more frequently than usual. These reports prompted me to reflect on an archive of executed prisoners’ last words I found on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Web site while researching parole terms. The archive’s earliest entry dates from Dec. 7, 1982; the most recent was added after Stephen Moody was executed on Wednesday by lethal injection for murder.
What follows are quotations taken from inmates’ last statements in Texas. The statements, delivered before family members, relatives of victims, friends and the press, are compiled out of chronological order.
I want to tell my mom that I love her.
I caused her so much pain and my family and stuff. I hurt for the fact that they are going to be hurting.
I am taking it like a man.
Kick the tires and light the fire. I am going home.
They may execute me but they can’t punish me because they can’t execute an innocent man.
I couldn’t do a life sentence.’
This is my favorite:
‘I have come here today to die, not make speeches.’