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Texas Has Executed So Many Inmates, There's Now Art Made Entirely Out Of Their Last Words

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The state of Texas has executed 515 inmates since 1982, when it reinstated the death penalty years after a landmark Supreme Court decision. That's more than any other state over this period, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has suggested in the past that this ever-growing figure doesn't concern him.

Each of these inmates was offered a chance to give last words before their execution. Their statements have been meticulously recorded by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and released to the public. Reddit user arthurloin recently posted a word cloud visualization he created, which shows the most commonly occurring words used in these statements.

Love

The prominence of certain words creates a haunting, yet strangely uplifting portrait of the men and women who would be executed a short time after their statements, many of them as punishment for heinous crimes. Love, forgiveness, faith and family are all prominent themes. The word "innocent" also appears in the right-center of the image.

With hundreds of inmates still on death row in Texas, this picture could change in the future.

It's not the first time art has been used to give life to death row inmates. In her series, "Parting Words," photographer Amy Elkins has compiled a visual archive of executed inmates in Texas, recreating their mugshots using excerpts from each prisoner's last words.

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