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But some others who have died at the hands of the state have said "frivolous things" or refused to respond, he acknowledges. Since pre-colonial times, more than 16, people have been executed in the US. Most of their final thoughts are lost to history - as they were either denied a final statement or the records have been lost. We want them to reveal secrets, but they rarely do," he says. Teresa Lewis was the first woman to be executed in Virginia for nearly years.

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There were several reasons that made her case controversial , including her low IQ. As in the case of executed men, their last words may be apologetic, angry - and sometimes as strange. Take, for example, the final statement of Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer executed for murder in Florida in and subject of the film, Monster.

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  • I'll be back," she said. Before Louise Peete faced the gas chamber for murder in , she told reporters: "The governor is a gentleman - and no gentleman could send a lady to her death. Sarah Good, who went to the gallows on witchcraft charges in , protested her innocence to the last. The right to make a final statement serves a legal function.

    But within a Christian framework it is also a sign of spiritual mercy - a confession allows the stain to be wiped from the soul, says Mr Elder. I can't imagine losing two children.

    Executed Offenders

    If I was y'all, I would have killed me," said a Texan, who had murdered his son's former girlfriend and her sister, as he prepared for lethal injection. What emerges is a spectrum of human personalities. Some have employed humour in the face of death. Stephen King, better known as Joe Hill, made a rambling and awkward speech but his final word before the marksmen pulled their triggers was "fire!

    Death Row Information

    I want to get to hell in time for dinner," a 19th Century Wyoming murderer told his hangman. Patrick Bryan Knight, who was put to death for the abductions and fatal shootings of his neighbours, said he would tell a joke and asked the public to write to him with suggestions. In the end he attempted to have the last laugh saying: "I am not Patrick Bryan Knight and y'all can't stop this execution now.

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    • Go ahead, I'm finished. A prison spokeswoman disputed his claim of mistaken identity, saying that all prisoners were fingerprinted.

      Last words of America's condemned

      In the s during prohibition, several of those executed blamed the drink and warned against womanising. In recent years, some have been overtly political, railing against the death penalty itself, which remains a deeply divisive issue in the US. Please reconsider. If you change your mind please reach out to us. Kammer said lawyers would wait for his call, should he change his mind, at the truck stop across the road from the entrance to the Georgia Diagnostic Prison. They already had papers drawn up and ready to sign. Meanwhile, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles declined to step in. While Spears did not ask for clemency, his lawyer and others still met with the five-member board on Tuesday to ask for mercy or, at least, time to try to persuade Spears to change his mind. Spears confessed to killing Holland as soon as a Lumpkin County deputy picked him up as he walked toward town to surrender, having hid in the woods for 10 days.

      Spears told investigators he had warned Holland when they started dating in that he would kill her if she ever left him.

      Top 10 Dangerous Inmates On Death Row Right Now

      After the relationship ended three years later, Spears plotted how he would murder her, coming up with four plans — by electrocution, beating her to death, shooting her, or suffocating her. He put his supplies for each plan in place at her house before he crept in on Aug. Spears choked her unconscious and then wrapped her face with duct tape, put a plastic bag over her head and secured the end with more tape. He left her body in her bedroom and put a padlock on the door. Holland was found when her ex-husband brought their son home from a weekend visit.

      Holland was killed on the day she was to have gone on her first date since breaking up with Spears, her sister said. He does not want to hasten death but does not wish to delay it either. For that petition, Shaffer determined that Spears was not competent based on documents and interviews with others.

      Spears said Thompson was never his wife, though she was the mother of his fourth daughter.

      The Case Against the Death Penalty

      No contact. Spears told Norman he started spending more time watching television than reading in the past three weeks. Spears was aware of the forest fires in Georgia and that Ross Harris had been convicted of killing his son by leaving him in a hot car. It kind of balances out. Support real journalism.