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Death Row, Texas: Inside the Execution Chamber: Witnessing the Final Moments of the Condemned

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What really happens inside America's most active death row chamber? "I can’t remember his name or his crime. What I remember is the nothingness. No family members, no friends, no comfort. Maybe he didn’t want them to come, maybe they didn’t care, maybe he didn’t have any in the first place. It was just a prison official and two reporters, including me, looking through the g What really happens inside America's most active death row chamber? "I can’t remember his name or his crime. What I remember is the nothingness. No family members, no friends, no comfort. Maybe he didn’t want them to come, maybe they didn’t care, maybe he didn’t have any in the first place. It was just a prison official and two reporters, including me, looking through the glass at this man strapped fast to the gurney, needles in both arms, staring hard at the ceiling. When the warden stepped forward and asked if he wanted to make a last statement, the man barely shook his head, said nothing and started blinking. That’s when I saw it: a single tear at the corner of his right eye. A tear he desperately wanted to blink away, a tear he didn’t want us to see. It pooled there for a moment before running down his cheek. The warden gave his signal, the chemicals started flowing, the man coughed, sputtered and exhaled. A doctor entered the room, pronounced the man dead and pulled a sheet over his head." — Michelle Lyons, from the Prologue. Michelle Lyons witnessed nearly 300 executions at the Texas State penitentiary. This behind-the-scenes look at those haunting final moments of life relates shocking true stories of the inmate, his/her family members, prison officials, the death-row chaplain and the victim’s loved ones—all of whom come together in the death chamber.


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What really happens inside America's most active death row chamber? "I can’t remember his name or his crime. What I remember is the nothingness. No family members, no friends, no comfort. Maybe he didn’t want them to come, maybe they didn’t care, maybe he didn’t have any in the first place. It was just a prison official and two reporters, including me, looking through the g What really happens inside America's most active death row chamber? "I can’t remember his name or his crime. What I remember is the nothingness. No family members, no friends, no comfort. Maybe he didn’t want them to come, maybe they didn’t care, maybe he didn’t have any in the first place. It was just a prison official and two reporters, including me, looking through the glass at this man strapped fast to the gurney, needles in both arms, staring hard at the ceiling. When the warden stepped forward and asked if he wanted to make a last statement, the man barely shook his head, said nothing and started blinking. That’s when I saw it: a single tear at the corner of his right eye. A tear he desperately wanted to blink away, a tear he didn’t want us to see. It pooled there for a moment before running down his cheek. The warden gave his signal, the chemicals started flowing, the man coughed, sputtered and exhaled. A doctor entered the room, pronounced the man dead and pulled a sheet over his head." — Michelle Lyons, from the Prologue. Michelle Lyons witnessed nearly 300 executions at the Texas State penitentiary. This behind-the-scenes look at those haunting final moments of life relates shocking true stories of the inmate, his/her family members, prison officials, the death-row chaplain and the victim’s loved ones—all of whom come together in the death chamber.

41 review for Death Row, Texas: Inside the Execution Chamber: Witnessing the Final Moments of the Condemned

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Aylward

    Death Penalty A very personal witnessing of over 200 people executed by the State of Texas. A quick read that is worth the time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    A lot of good personal stories and I enjoyed the writing. It’s a little dark to be reading during this time in 2020 however it’s clearly portrayed how the Texas prison system works. I was surprised and more engaged toward the end when Michelle describes how screwed over she got by the prison system. After watching 13 on Netflix about the American prison system there are a lot of things that need to change in our society. Worth the read but take your time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    tina smith

    Very Interesting and Informative Very interesting and well written. I remember many of the cases, offenders, and victims mentioned. It was interesting to read about what was occurring behind the scenes in those cases.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Morton

    Thus book is actually a memoir. I want expecting that. I found it a fascinating read. My only complaint is that there were a few times when I want sure if it was Michelle's words or if it was one of her contributors. Sometimes it got confusing. Thus book is actually a memoir. I want expecting that. I found it a fascinating read. My only complaint is that there were a few times when I want sure if it was Michelle's words or if it was one of her contributors. Sometimes it got confusing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Micky Lee

    Not a great book some parts are interesting but mostly it's the author tell us all about her with snip bits of deathrow story's just a lot of different story's spliced together Not a great book some parts are interesting but mostly it's the author tell us all about her with snip bits of deathrow story's just a lot of different story's spliced together

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Weldon-Smith

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tara Scott

  8. 5 out of 5

    Leah Gray-Scaife

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lana

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alan Boylston Lott

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael_stones

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonina

  13. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Hoehn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Don macdonald

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jim Parcell

  17. 4 out of 5

    Howard

  18. 4 out of 5

    Larry

  19. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Vianello

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Sodeman

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  22. 4 out of 5

    jeanne larimer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frances Theelen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

  25. 4 out of 5

    M.J. Patterson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megh Marie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle See

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jason Davis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  31. 5 out of 5

    Paula Clements

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kimi Gerard

  33. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Harflett

  34. 5 out of 5

    Brad Tierney

  35. 5 out of 5

    ruby

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jo Vianello

  37. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Whitney

  38. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Wyllie

  39. 4 out of 5

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  40. 5 out of 5

    stephen moran

  41. 4 out of 5

    William Vann

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