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'Good day to die': how the death row in the USA say goodbye to the world

The state of Texas is the leader in the United States in the number of executions — for thirty-two years, 518 convicts were injected there. Esquire publishes their last words.

Photo: Shutterstock

Miguel Angel Paredes

  • Date of crime: September 17, 2000
  • Date of execution: October 28, 2014
  • Age: 32 years

Accusation: Together with two accomplices he shot dead three people and burned their corpses.

“I want to tell the family of the murdered man: know, I hope that you no longer feel hatred for what I have done. I came into the world as a lion, and I leave peacefully, like a lamb. There is peace in my soul. I hope our society understands who else it hurts. I want to say to those I love: I hope my victims were able to forgive me in their hearts. I myself have forgiven everyone and love everyone. Pray for my soul, I forgive myself. I love you and will wait for you there. Brother, take care of my family. Take care of my beloved girl, mom, little sons and everyone I love. Brother Wayne and Brother Joe, thank you! Jorge, don't think that Luis is completely lost, I'll be watching you. Thank you for everything! Lord, heavenly Father, I entrust my soul to you, do not leave those whom I leave with care and care. Overseer, I'm ready. Lord, take my soul. Forgive me, I love you all, I will always be with you. I love you, I love you! Lord, my savior, I love you, I love you, I love you! "

Jerry Lee Hog

  • Date of crime: January 12, 1979
  • Date of execution: March 11, 1998
  • Age: 47 years

Accusation: raped a 27-year-old woman, and then tied her eight-year-old son and neighbors and set fire to the house.

“Mindy, I'm with you, honey. Mindy, I don't know why you're doing this, but I forgive you anyway. You know he's a killer. Why aren't you on my side? He'll do it again, Mindy, you're lucky you're still alive. Say hello to my family. I love them. Mindy, you can stop this. Ok, I'm ready. "

Lee Andrew Taylor

  • Date of crime: April 1, 1999
  • Date of execution: June 16, 2011
  • Age: 32 years

Accusation: Taylor, a member of the Aryan brotherhood of Texas, killed a black man, inflicting many blows on him with a makeshift dagger.

"Yes, sir. Jennifer, I love you. Rick, take care of yourself. All of you, do you hear, when I killed your relative - it was self-defense. Prison is a filthy place. There were eight of them, I am one. I'm sorry that I killed him, but if he were a saint, he would not have gone to jail. I hope you understand. Baby, I love you. I hope people will understand how terribly unfair our justice is. There are 300 people on death row, but there are no monsters among them. Texas does injustice and cruelty. You cannot kill a person just because he himself killed someone. After all, everything in the world is changing, right? Life gives us experience and people change. Mom, I love you, and all my friends, we have known each other for a thousand years, and they have always stood up for me like a mountain. I'm ready to teleport. Hopefully, when you watch a person die, you will not enjoy it. ”

Jeffrey Demond Williams

  • Date of crime: May 19, 1999
  • Date of execution: May 15, 2013
  • Age: 37 years

Charge: after hijacking a car, he shot dead a police officer.

“Cops, you are clowns. Do you want innocent children not to be killed? So that no one will shoot your children? And if I kill someone, damn it, slap someone, you immediately want to kill me. But God knows who is entitled to what. Do you understand? I love everyone who loves me. And I don’t love everyone who doesn’t love me. ”

David Martinez

  • Date of crime: July 27, 1997
  • Date of execution: July 28, 2005
  • Age: 29 years

Accusation: raped a 24-year-old girl, then strangled her and cut her throat.

“Only heaven and green grass will last forever. Today is a good day to die. ”

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Benka Adams

  • Date of crime: September 2, 2002
  • Date of execution: April 26, 2012
  • Age: 29 years

Accusation: when robbing a store, he shot a man, tried to rape two women and fled the scene.

“First, Mom, don't cry. There is no need to cry, we will all die. Everyone has their own term, do not suffer for me. I am strong. I want to tell the family: old man, children, dad is very sorry. I love you all, I will miss you very much. I want to tell my wife that I love her. The last two years have been the best of my life. Children, mother, nephews - I am very proud of you. I love you all, all very much, really, very much. I also want to tell the victims. I am very sorry that everything turned out this way. I am not the villain you think I am. I was just an idiot. I've made a bunch of mistakes. Everything that happened was a mistake. I was a child in the adult world. I got it right and now I can't fix anything. I was too young to understand this. Please don't keep the pain in your soul. You must find a way to get rid of the hatred. Believe me, when they kill me, it will not bring you any relief. Hope you find healing. Don't let hatred eat you up, figure out how to get over it all. Linda, I'm grateful to you. I'm desperate that things turned out like this. Miss Sherry, thank you. And I also want to tell the victims. I am sorry for everything that happened to you. Nothing good about that. We will meet again. I love you all, keep your heads up! I came into the world strong and I leave it strong. Overseer, proceed. I am sorry for the family of the deceased. Any murder is bad, it is wrong to kill. It should have been different. ”

Jamie Bruce McCoskey

  • Date of crime: November 13, 1991
  • Date of execution: November 12, 2013
  • Age: 49 years

Accusation: kidnapped a 20-year-old young man and his 19-year-old bride and drove them to an abandoned house, where he stabbed a man with a knife and raped a woman.

“This time now is the best time in my life. If I had to do it again, I would do everything exactly the same. The angel touched me with his wing. If I had to do it again, I would make sure that Dwyer's parents do not suffer - because I know they do. I know this will not relieve the pain, because I myself have a child. Lord, I'm going to say terrible words now. I thank everyone who helped me to be saved. Thank you and remember that I love you. Angel, and your family, and everyone who helped me escape. If it kills your pain, so be it. I love you. I'm ready".

Jeffrey Carleton Doty

  • Date of crime: August 2, 1993
  • Date of execution: August 16, 2001
  • Age: 39 years

Charge: He beat an 80-year-old man and his wife, the owners of a jewelry store, to death with a metal bar after they refused to lend him $ 30 for drugs.

“For almost nine years I have been thinking about the death penalty, about whether it is right or not, and I cannot find an answer. But I don't think the world will be better or safer without me. If you wanted to punish me, it should have been done the day after that incident, not now. You won't hurt me now. I had time to prepare, say goodbye to my family, and end my life the way it should. It all started with a needle - and the needle ends. Karl, old man, you've been a great friend. I will look after you. When you get back, tell your daughter that I love her. Tell her I came here as a man and I leave as a man. Everything was cool, old man. Thank you Shoti. I'll be with you every time you shower. If you leave in tears, it won't be worthy of me. If you don't see the peace in my eyes, then you don't see me at all. I'll meet you first when you're on the other side. It's all. I'm ready, chief. "

James Lee Clark

  • Date of crime: June 7, 1993
  • Date of execution: April 11, 2007
  • Age: 38 years

Accusation: raped and killed a 17-year-old girl.

“Uh, I don’t know, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know ... I didn’t know that there was someone there. Hello".

Brian Robertson

  • Date of crime: August 30, 1986
  • Date of execution: August 9, 2000
  • Age: 36 years

Accusation: during a house robbery, he beat to death his owner, a 79-year-old man, who later confessed to another murder.

“I have already said everything I wanted to my loved ones. You know that I love you all, and you know where we are now. See you when you get there. And here's my last word to you. To all white racists in America who hate blacks, and all blacks in America who hate themselves, here are the words from my legendary brother Matt Turner: "Kiss my black ass." Go".

Charles Neely

  • Date of crime: August 20, 1997
  • Date of execution: March 20, 2007
  • Age: 42 years

Accusation: during a shop robbery he shot and killed a 25-year-old employee and fled the scene, taking 4 thousand dollars.

In general, I love you all. And you, the head of the prison. You are a good friend and a good detective. Doug, thanks for getting out of Michigan. Chris, David, I love you. Debra, James, I don’t cry, so you don’t roar. Do not worry about me. I will be with the Lord, Allah and mom. And I’ll ask the folder why he didn’t hand you over at the wedding. Randy Greer, bro, I'll be watching you, so don't get in trouble. Do you know why so long? They could not find a vein. You know, I always hated needles and always hung in the doctor’s office. Tell the guys on death row that I didn’t need a diaper. I can’t think of anything else. All be strong. Now you can finally forget about all this. Do not bury me in the prison cemetery. Bury next to mom. Not to the left of the father, but to the right of the mother. Kim Skifer, you are an angry woman! You broke the law. And the judges and the judges helped you. You had no facts. You know that you couldn’t see anyone at all on film! You jumped out of your pants to dig up something against me. And now the state will kill me to cover this business. But I'm not crazy, and I'm not suffering. I'm sorry that you are stuck here and must go through all this. And I go to where it is better. My time is up. Now let me get ready for the flight. Doug, don't forget Marcy.

Patrick Brian Knight

  • Date of crime: August 27, 1991
  • Date of execution: June 26, 2007
  • Age: 39 years

Charge: with an accomplice, he entered the house of his neighbors, held them hostage for several hours, and then drove them to a remote place and shot him.

“Yes, that's it. Thank you, Lord, for giving me friends and those I love. Lord, look down and help the innocent on death row. Help Lee Taylor, Bobby Hines, Steve Woods. We are not all innocent, but they are. And help Cleve Foster too. Melissa, my girl, I love you. Actually, I didn't want to say anything, but I have to. Jack, Irene, Danny, Doreen, I love you guys. I promised to tell everyone an anecdote. Death set me free - this is the funniest thing, and I deserve it. And here's another joke: I'm not Patrick Brian Knight, and you still can't stop the execution. Go ahead, I'm finished. Come on, Lord, tell me. Melissa, I love you, take care of this little monster for me. "

Carl Eugene Chamberlain

  • Date of crime: August 2, 1991
  • Date of execution: June 11, 2008
  • Age: 37 years

Accusation: raped and then shot dead a housemate.

“I want you to know all of you. I want with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank you for coming here to honor the memory of Faliss Prescle, which I didn't even know. To celebrate my death. My death began on August 2, 1991 and continued when I began to see the beautiful and innocent life that I had taken away. I'm really, really sorry. I would gladly die, not just one, but many times, so that you know how terribly sorry I am about it. I already said in the interview, hurt me, strangle me if you like, I felt just as terrible before this crime. Excuse me! I've always loved life. Thank you for being a part of it. I love you. May the Lord be with us all. May the Lord be merciful to us. I'm ready. Please don't hate anyone, because ... "

On the subject: In the US, looking for more humane ways of the death penalty: what options are possible

Freddy Lee Webb

  • Date of crime: December 8, 1985
  • Date of execution: March 31, 1994
  • Age: 33 years

Accusation: Together with an accomplice, he abducted a 26-year-old man and his wife, who worked in a restaurant, robbed the cash register and later killed the victim with five shots to the head.

"Peace to you".

Douglas Alan Roberts

  • Date of crime: May 18, 1996
  • Date of execution: April 20, 2005
  • Age: 42 years

Accusation: kidnapped and robbed a 40-year-old man, later stabbed him and moved his body in a car.

"Yes, sir. Yes, chief. Okay, I've been hanging around this candy store for too long. Before I'm gone, I want to tell you this. When I die, bury me deeper, put a couple of speakers at my feet, slide the headphones over my head, and rock and roll. See you in heaven someday. That's all, chief. "

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