Outside Looking In: Their Last Breath

7 05 2011

This article concerns the death penalty but not the arguments for and against. Instead, I found a page on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice site that provides details of every execution from 1982 to May 2011. I wasn’t expecting this to be part of the public record but the last words of the condemned are indeed available for review. These are a few selections.

Cary Kerr, executed May 3 2011 for murder:

Yes, Tell my sister Tracey, I love you. Nicole, thank you and I love you. Wanda and all of my friends, I love you and thank you for your support. To the State of Texas, I am an innocent man. Never trust a court-appointed attorney. I am ready Warden. Thank you, Brad, I’m sorry. Check that DNA, check Scott. Here we go. Lord Jesus, Jesus.

Charlie Brooks, Jr, executed on Pearl Harbor Day, 1982 for murder:

Statement to the Media:

I, at this very moment, have absolutely no fear of what may happen to this body. My fear is for Allah, God only, who has at this moment the only power to determine if I should live or die…As a devout Muslim, I am taught and believe that this material life is only for the express purpose of preparing oneself for the real life that is to come…Since becoming Muslim, I have tried to live as Allah wanted me to live.

Spoken:

Yes, I do.
I love you.
Asdadu an la ilah illa Allah,
Asdadu an la ilah illa Allah,
Asdadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah,
Asdadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah.
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Inna li-Allah wa-inna ilayhi rajiun.
Verily unto Allah do we belong, Verily unto him do we return.
Be strong.

Khristian Oliver, executed in 2009 for murder:

Collins family, I know your not going to get the closure you are looking for tonight. I wish you the best. I prayed for ya’ll every day and every night. I have only the warmest wishes. I am sorry for what you are having to go through. Mom, Pa, Kristy, Khristopher, Tony I love all ya’ll. Thank you Mr. Whiteside.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He guides me down the right paths. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup over runneth.

Shannon Charles Thomas, executed in 2005 for murder:

Yes. Man, I just want you to know how much I love them. I want you to be strong and get through this time. Do not fall back. Keep going forward. Don’t let this hinder you. Let everybody know I love them (several names listed), Kevin – as well as everyone else in the family. Tell them that I love them and stay strong. This is kind of hard to put words together; I am nervous and it is hard to put my thoughts together. Sometimes you don’t know what to say; I hope these words give you comfort. I don’t know what to say. I want you to know I love you; just stay strong and don’t give up. Let everybody know I love them…and love is unconditional, as Mama has always told us. I may be gone in the flesh, but I am always with you in spirit. I love you.

G W Green, executed 1991 for murder:

Let’s do it, man. Lock and load. Ain’t life a [expletive deleted]?

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