: I’ve seen them fall into the floor, totally lose control. . : One thing I am glad of is that we’re not using electric chair. At that time when he gets in there, all of the straps are undone.
: I’m Captain Terry Green. The condemned man went courageously to his death, Twain wrote. And I’ve had ’em want to do exercises, do calisthenics sitting in there, you know, because it’s such a nervous time. : It’s basically a situation where we just make sure he is secure. Sometimes you find people holding hands, maybe a mother and father of a murder victim or friends of the condemned man. BRAZZIL: Had one man who wanted to sing ”Silent Night.” He made his final statement and then after the warden gave the signal he started singing ”Silent Night,” and he got to the point ’Round yon virgin mother and child’ and just as he got ’child’ out was the last word.
FRED ALLEN: I was just working in the shop and all of a sudden something just triggered in me and I started shaking. The first chemical that’s used is a drug called sodium pentathol, okay, and sodium pentathol is the same chemical that they use on you whenever you are going to have surgery, and it works very quick. Some get quiet and reflective after, others less so, but I have no doubt that it’s disturbing for all of us. I’ve often compared it to almost a crucifixion kind of activity. JOHN MORITZ: I’m John Moritz. (Music fades to sound of the Walls Unit.). She and her younger sister Agnes were being tried for murder, and Boswell convinced the court that the siblings should be tried separately.
I’ve seen them scream and wail. He’s witnessed about 120 executions. Copyright © 2003-2020 StoryCorps, Inc. All rights reserved. The condemned man had been found guilty of having cut Lord William Russell’s throat as Russell lay in bed. GIDEON: And then whenever that breath goes, it’s like a snore. : After all the straps are done they will look at you and they’ll say ’Thank you.’ And here you’ve just strapped them into the table. : Just like taking slides in a film projector and having a button and just pushing a button and just watching, over and over: him, him, him. : The people inside the room watching it are invariably silent. It always bothers you. For other inquiries, Contact Us. GIDEON: I was twenty-six years old when I witnessed my first execution. : My name is Kenneth Dean and I’ve participated in approximately over a hundred executions as a member of the tie down team. The gurney — I mean it takes up almost the entire room. The death house sits in a corner of the prison. I am a former reporter for the. And I have to recognize the fact that what I do for a living is hold up a mirror to people of what their world is. . But it’s like any other unpleasant situation a reporter is asked to cover. I . In his autobiography Danish fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) recounts having witnessed the public execution of a man in 1823, after which a father collected “a cup of the dead man’s blood” to give to his epileptic offspring to drink, hoping the vital fluid would cure the child. But it’s like any other unpleasant situation a reporter is asked to cover.
You can feel the trembling, the fear that’s there, the anxiety that’s there. Witness to an Execution tells the stories of the men and women involved with the execution of death row inmates at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Most of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees interviewed have witnessed over one hundred inmates be put to death.
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