Texas Death Row

The Chilling Last Words Of Offenders Executed In Texas

Capital punishment is always a contentious political issue, but for offenders on death row, facing their impending demise at the hands of the state, their final minutes are about as far from politics as you can get.

In this chilling series - Lasting Statement - Andy Smith, with design help from Timoni West, show case a collection of last words from death row inmates in Texas.

In these moments, with the spectre of death facing them, their last echoes reveal a deep range of emotions – sorrow, remorse, ambiguity, apathy and religious surrender. It also shows that while the criminal courts and society at large may condemn these individuals for their crimes, at their core beats a human heart – filled with fears, sorrows, indignity, hatred and in some cases, a twisted sense of peace.

 

Harold Barnard, 51. Galveston county

God, please forgive me of my sins. Look after my people. Bless and protect all people. I am sorry for my sins. Lord, take me home with you. Amen.
(A couple of sentences garbled.)

 

Charlie Livingston, 35 Harris county

You all brought me here to be executed, not to make a speech. That’s it.

 

James Moreland, 39 Henderson county

Dad, I love you both. You’ve been the best. All of you, all of you have truly been the best. And ah, I believe I’m going home. I’m sorry, and I really mean that, it’s not just words. My life is all I can give. I stole 2 lives and I know it was precious to ya’ll. That’s the story of my whole life, that’s what alcohol will do for you. Oh Jesus, Lord God, take me home. Precious Lord. Take me home Lord. Take me home. Yes, sir. Take me home oh Lord.

 

James Collier, 55
Wichita county

The only thing I want to say is that I appreciate the hospitality that you guys have shown me and the respect; and the last meal was really good. That is about it. Thank you guys for being there and giving me a little bit of spiritual guidance and support.

 

Jeffery Dillingham, 27
Wichita county

I would just like to apologize to the victim’s family for what I did. I take full responsibility for that poor woman’s death, for the pain and suffering inflicted on Mr. Koslow. Father, I want to thank you for all of the beautiful people you put in my life. I could not have asked for two greater parents than you gave me. I could just ask for two greater people in their life now. It is a blessing that there are people that they love so much but even more so, people that I love so much. I thank you for all the things you have done in my life, for the ways that you have opened my eyes, softened my heart. The ways that you have taught me. For teaching me how to love, for all of the bad things you have taken out of my life. For all the good things you have added to it. I thank you for all of the beautiful promises that you make us in your word, and I graciously received every one of them. Thank you Heavenly Father for getting me off of death row and for bringing me home out of prison. I love you Heavenly Father, I love you Jesus. Thank you both for loving me. Amen.

 

Gerald Mitchell, 33
Harris county

Yes, sir. Where’s Mr. Marino’s mother? Did you get my letter? Just wanted to let you know, I sincerely meant everything I wrote. I am sorry for the pain. I am sorry for the life I took from you. I ask God for forgiveness and I ask you for the same. I know it maybe hard, but I’m sorry for what I did. To my family I love each and every one of you. Be strong. Know my love is always with you…always. I know I am going home to be with the Lord. Shed tears of happiness for me. I love each and everyone of you. Keep on living. Betty, you have been wonderful. You guided me to the Lord. You have been like a mother to me. Sean, Rusty, Jenny, Marsha, God Bless each and every one of y’all. Jesus, I confess you as my Lord and Savior. I know when I die, I’ll have life in heaven and life eternal everlasting. I am ready for that mansion that you promised me. Take care. It’s alright Sean, it’s alright. I’m going to a better place.

 

John Fearance, 41
Dallas county

I would like to say that I have no animosity toward anyone. I made a mistake 18 years ago – I lost control of my mind but I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I have no hate toward humanity. I hope He will forgive me for what I done. I didn’t mean to.

“These people were human beings much like you or I, some quite young, and they experienced love and fear in their lives.

Some were repentant, some were acceptant, some may have been innocent.

All of them looked their own death straight in the eye.”

 

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