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What really happens in the last 24 hours on death row

What really happens in the last 24 hours on death row

Have you ever wondered what actually happens during a prisoner's final day on death row?

In the US, 27 states still use the death penalty as punishment for the most serious crimes.

Prisoners can reside on 'death row' for many years, and it is sometimes decades since the crime was committed before they receive their capital punishment.

But what actually happens during a prisoner's final 24 hours?

Many of us have heard of the 'death row meal' but there's plenty more that goes into an inmate's final hours than what they choose to eat.

In a video on social media, TikToker @davidjustinn explained that each prisoner is given a budget for their last meal, which is often eaten at around 4pm. However, David explains that in some states, prisoners don't get to choose their final meal at all and are actually just served regular prison food instead.

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy requested 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, French fries, and a pound of strawberries for his last meal.

Meanwhile, Ted Bundy - who declined a special meal - was given steak, eggs, hash browns, toast with butter and jelly, milk, and juice.

Aside from their final supper, during an inmate's last day, they are also allowed to have their final visits from friends and family members. Prisoners aren't required to have any visitors at all, however, and can spend the time alone if they wish.

During this time, the equipment used to carry out the executions is also tested.

At some point during the 24-hour period, the prisoner is also visited by a warden and a chaplain, who remain with the inmate until the execution is carried out.

The prisoner is dressed and prepped before heading over to the execution chamber, where they will remain with the chaplain, warden, and medical professionals.

The prisoner will also be visited by a warden and a chaplain.
Tetra Images/Alamy Stock Photo

"Both the victim and condemned's friends and family wait in the witness room for lethal injection. The prisoner is told to lay down on the gurney and is tied down by a team," David explains.

"Doctors don't perform executions because this goes against their code of ethics so a special team administers the drugs."

A heart monitor is also fitted to the inmate, so the execution can be confirmed once the injection is administered.

The prisoner then gets the option to make a final statement to the witness room before the execution proceeds. A button is then pushed and the lethal drugs are released.

Once the prisoner's heart has stopped, the execution is confirmed by the medical professionals.

David adds: "As the day ends, so does the prisoner's life."

Featured Image Credit: Dennis Brack/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Life, News