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Study reveals the most common message in prisoners' last words before execution

Study reveals the most common message in prisoners' last words before execution

Death Row prisoners often direct the word at the victim's loved ones

It's almost unimaginable to put yourself in the shoes of someone moments away from being executed, who may or may not feel remorse for their actions.

What statement could you possibly give to make up for committing such horrific crimes?

Well, it turns out that there's one word, in particular, that prisoners use before they are executed.

Investigative journalist Will Young of analysed the last words of 140 Texas inmates.

He discovered that one word was often used to express remorse to family members and loved ones.

For those unaware, as well as eating their favourite meal for the last time, prisoners will have the opportunity to read out a statement before they are 'put to the sword'.

The 2018 study determined that the word 'love' was the most used word (a total of 323 times) throughout that 10 year period.

Chris Young of Bexar County (executed July 17, 2018), who shot and killed Hasmukh 'Hash' Patel in 2004, used the word 'love' towards the Patel family that eventually forgave Young for his crime.

Mitesh Patel, Hasmukh’s son, actively campaigned for clemency, but was not successful.


"I want to make sure the Patel family knows I love them like they love me," Young said.

"Make sure the kids in the world know I’m being executed and those kids I’ve been mentoring keep this fight going.

"I’m good, warden."

Words 'forgive' and 'peace' also came up 62 and 44 times respectively.

Ruiz Rolando of Bexar County (executed on March 7, 2017 for shooting and killing Theresa Rodriguez at the request of her husband and brother-in-law) said: “Yes sir, I would first like to say to the Sanchez family how sorry I am.

“Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am and the hurt that I have caused you and your family.

“May this bring you peace and forgiveness. I am sorry.”


Kevin Varga of Hunt County (executed on May 12, 2010 for killing a man during a robbery) also said: "I am going to start with the victim’s family. I know I took someone very precious to you. I love each and every one of you.

"You have to forgive me for you to gain the kingdom of heaven.

"I wish what was torn from you was not. I do know how it feels to have lost loved ones. This was the only way God could save me."

Mark Stroman of Dallas (executed on July 20, 2011 for killing two people in a racially motivated attack) said: “Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace.

“May the Lord Jesus Christ be with me. I am at peace. Hate is going on in this world, and it has to stop. Hate causes a lifetime of pain.

“Even though I lay here, I am still at peace. I am still a proud American.

“Texas loud, Texas proud. God bless America. God bless everyone.”

Featured Image Credit: Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Topics: Crime, US News, True crime