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Chronology of execution. Howthe last 24 hours unfold in death chamber

Chronology of execution. Howthe last 24 hours unfold in death chamber The death penalty is still practiced in some countries (collage: RBC-Ukraine)

What really happens in the last 24 hours in the death row cell? Strangely enough, a lot of materials in the media, forums, and podcasts are devoted to covering this issue. Here are some information how the last 24 hours of criminals sentenced to death unfold, according to the Power Corrupts podcast.

Preparations for the death penalty

The host of the podcast, American political scientist, professor at University College London, and columnist Bryan Klaas, interviewed Michelle Lyons, who has witnessed more executions than anyone else in the United States - a total of 283, about how criminals behave before execution.

So, the chronology looks like this.

On the day of the execution, the prisoner is given four hours for a morning meeting with their family and friends. After these visits, the convict is loaded into a van and taken to the execution site, where the death row cell is located.

"When they arrive, they are taken out of the vehicle and searched. They are given new clothing. Guards review the prisoner's documents to check fingerprints and to ensure that the correct prisoner has been brought," Lyons says in the podcast.

Then the prisoner is given tea, coffee, and a large plate of cookies, and before the execution, they are also allowed to make a phone call to a relative or loved one.

Also, in the last hours, most death row inmates prefer to meet with a priest.

The last meal

In many states (but not all), inmates in the death row cell can choose whatever they want for their last meal (within reason, of course).

For example, Oklahoma terrorist Timothy McVeigh requested a liter of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy ordered 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of fried chicken, French fries, and half a kilogram of strawberries.

Ronnie Lee Gardner, sentenced to execution in 2010, requested a steak, lobster tail, apple pie, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Additionally, he wanted to eat this while watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

One prisoner, mentioned by Michelle, asked for a single olive with the pit. And that was the last thing he ate.

After the meal, the prisoner is strapped to a gurney and taken to the place of execution.

There, in the chamber, above the prisoner lying down, there is a small microphone - he can utter his last words to be heard by those outside the death chamber.

Interesting fact

In Texas, there is no last meal provided for death row inmates. This is because in 1998, a prisoner requested:

  • two fried chicken steaks with sauce and sliced onions
  • a triple cheeseburger with bacon
  • a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños
  • a bowl of fried okra with ketchup
  • half a kilogram of shish kebab with one and a half loaves of white bread
  • three fajitas
  • a meat pizza
  • half a liter of Blue Bell ice cream
  • a bar of peanut butter fudge with crushed nuts
  • three different types of beer

"However, he was too nervous to eat it. When this story hit the newspapers, a Texas politician stated that it was a waste of government funds, bending over backwards for the condemned. And after that, last meals were banned," the podcast states.