Friday, September 25, 2015

Death Row

A couple days ago, I watched a show detailing the last 24 hours of a death row inmate. (Not any specific one. Just in general.)  I found it fascinating.  Naturally.

Did you know that the viewing rooms aren't like on TV?  They're not a gallery with theater seating. There's no seating at all. Everyone stands.

There really are phones inside the execution chamber, though.  Two of them, in fact.  One is a line to the governor's office.  The other is a line to the attorney general.  Either one can halt the execution.  Sometimes, though, it might only be halted for an hour or a day.  To me, that would be kind of cruel.  Waiting is bad enough.  Waiting to find out when you'll die?

Last meals are an interesting thing.  Typically, the condemned is allowed to request one last meal of his or her choice.  They went through a short list of who ate what, but I don't remember it now.  One famous serial killer asked for and received two tubs of mint-chocolate chip ice cream.  One - Ted Bundy, I think - had eggs and hashbrowns and coffee.  One wanted cheeseburgers and fries.  Another one asked for 4 BLT sandwiches.  That last one tried to circumvent the process of execution by taking his own life the night before.  He took a bunch of tranquilizers he'd 'tongued' (hidden under his tongue and then spit out after the guards left and hoarded).  They pumped his stomach and his execution was rescheduled.  The chef ate his BLTs.

Texas has ceased to give their death row inmates a choice of what to eat as their final meal.  They get whatever the general populace is eating that day.  That makes sense.  The victims didn't get a fancy dinner and a whole lot of hoopla before they were executed.  :shrug:  

I think if it was me, and I had a choice of how I was executed - and I guess some of them do get to choose - I'd pick death by guillotine.  It's quick and it's certain.  One executioner they interviewed said he'd prefer the electric chair because it's quicker than lethal injection. 

If I had a choice of last meals, I don't know what I'd eat.  Scallops maybe.  In the end, it doesn't really matter, does it?

What would you chose as a last meal?  What about manner of execution?