07/01/2013 04:31 pm ET

Texas Death Row Inmates' Last Words Catalogued By State


In addition to executing more people than any other state in the nation, Texas keeps eerily comprehensive records documenting the last words of the men and women who perish on its death row.

"Thank you for being here today to honor Felecia Prechtl, whom I didn’t even know,” Karl Eugene Chamberlain told his victim's family during a June 11, 2008 execution described in haunting detail by the New York Times. “I am so terribly sorry. I wish I could die more than once to tell you how sorry I am.”

Before she became the 500th person executed by the state of Texas, Kimberly McCarthy said her death "was a win."

"I just wanted to say thanks to all who have supported me over the years: Reverend Campbell, for my spiritual guidance; Aaron, the father of Darrian, my son; and Maurie, my attorney," McCarthy said on June 26. "Thank you everybody. This is not a loss, this is a win. You know where I am going. I am going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love ya'll. Thank you, Chaplain."

The day after McCarthy's death, longtime Associated Press reporter Michael Graczyk, who covers the death penalty, published what he called "Recollections from hundreds of executions in Texas."

Graczyk reported that "Jonathan Nobles, sang 'Silent Night' as his last words as he was receiving the lethal injection. He got to "Round yon virgin, mother and child" before gasping and losing consciousness."

Graczyk wrote that, after that execution, Christmas has "never has been the same."

To browse the last words, CLICK HERE.



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