Infamous Last Words: Researchers Study the Last Comments of Prisoners Before Execution
Researchers have studied the final words of Texas inmates about to be executed and discovered most of their statements were positive.
Using a database containing the last remarks of more than 400 Texas convicts, doctors at a German institution found inmates used "Terror-Management Theory" to temper fear at being put to death.
The recently published study in Frontiers in Psychology provides psychologists with insight into the coping mechanisms of people facing immediate death, said authors Dr. Sarah Hirschmuller Dr. Boris Egloff of University Mainz.
The publication listed the last words of several inmates, identifiying them only by a number. The statements had been recorded by Texas correctional officials.
“I love my family. You all stay strong. Watch over each other. Stay strong. I love you. I love you. It’s my hour. It’s my hour. I love you. Stay strong.” Executed death row inmate 360.
Another prisoner praised God and Texas. "I am still a proud American, Texas loud, Texas proud ... Let's do this damn thing." Inmate 472.
Others thanked their parents and their families. "To my brothers and sisters and all my family members who have supported me and who have loved me despite my faults and imperfections," said inmate 459.
The prisoner looked over at the victim's family.
"I hope this brings you closure or some type of peace. I hope it helps his family, son, and loved ones. This has been a long journey, one of enlightenment. It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.”