Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Leisure Reading: Last Rants, Pleas, and Apologies

Texas has the country's busiest death chamber, having put to death five hundred inmates since the Death Penalty was reinstated back in the 1980's.  In most cases, the appeals process takes decades, so the condemned have all had ample time to think about their crimes and their circumstances, and the state gives them a chance to speak before they die.  A court recorder takes down their words by hand, and then those words are published on the prison's official website.

That so-called Wall of Death has become a popular read.

I don't guess this story is anything more than a human interest piece, but it's easily the most fascinating thing I've read this week.  Most of the statements--at least the ones the Times focuses on--are simple apologies, as well they might be.  Any man with an ounce of humanity and ten years to think on what he's done seems likely to me to want to make some restitution in his last moments.  The rest are the ravings of madmen, the last drivel of the self-important, and probably at least a few last minutes pleas from the wrongly condemned.

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