Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A Day in the Death of Inmate No. 918

A long time ago, back in my newspaper reporting days, I covered politics and state government for the Austin American-Statesman. I wrote fairly often on the death penalty and once found myself assigned to cover an execution. This was back in 1993, when the State of Texas conducted executions just after midnight. Here's my account:

The phone rang. It was almost time. The witnesses were summoned to a visiting room less then a minute form the death chamber.
           
Guards pat-searched the witnesses for contraband – male guards for the male witnesses, female guards for the women. A beeper was confiscated from a reporter, to be returned after the execution.
           
Again, the phone. “That could be the call,” one reporter said.
           
“We’re ready,” a guard said. Another walk, this one down a white corridor, outside through two chain link fences into yet another building, past the holding cell that kept Cook for seven hours and a few precious minutes.
           
The witnesses were whisked into a room. The figure stepped out from the hidden room. Signaled. Stepped back in.
           
Warden Jones asked Inmate No. 918 if he had any final words.


To read the full account, go here.
 



1 comment:

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