Society

Texas Death Row Inmates' Last Words Recorded and Posted Online

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A website is dedicated to posting the last words of death row convicts in the state of Texas.

The death penalty in the state was reinstated in December 1982. Since then, last words of inmates have been recorded and were recently posted on the penitentiary website.

With the state reaching their 500th execution on June 26, there are many last word recordings, ranging from regretful to nonchalant. 

One death row convict, David Spence, expressed his innocence one last time.

"I want you to understand I speak the truth when I say I didn't kill your kids," Spence said in April 1997. "Honestly I have not killed anyone."

Others used the time to apologize for their crimes.

"I'd like to apologize to the victims family," Cornelius Goss said. "I don't think I can say anything that will help, but I hope through your God, you can forgive me."

Charles Bass, who was convicted of shooting and killing a police officer, accepted his punishment.

"I deserve this. Tell everyone I said goodbye," he said.

James Colburn, who killed and raped a woman, expressed similar acceptance.

"None of this should have happened and now that I'm dying, there is nothing left to worry about. I know it was a mistake. I have no one to blame but myself."

Jermarr Arnold, who robbed a jewelry store in Corpus Christi and shot and killed a woman, tried to make amends.

"I'm deeply sorry for the loss of your loved one. I am a human being also. I know how it feels, I've been there. I cannot explain and can't give you answers. I can give you one thing, and I'm going to give that today," he said.

A rare few tried to be humorous before they left Earth.

Jesse Hernandez, who killed an 11-month old boy, gave a shout out to his favorite football team.

"Go Cowboys!" were his last words in March 2012.

David Ray Harris said, "Sir, in honor of a true American hero, 'Let's roll.'"

Robert Perkinson, a professor at the University of Hawaii, said, "It's kind of mesmerizing to read through these. Most people about to be executed haven't had a lot of success in school or life. They're not always so skilled at articulating themselves. There are plenty of cliches, sometimes peculiar ones, like the cowboys reference. But I think many of these individuals are also striving to say something poignant, worthy of the existential occasion."

Sources: NY Times, Daily Mail

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