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Capital punishment (also known as the death penalty or execution) has been practiced in some form or another in the US since 1608.
It’s common for those who face being put to death for their crimes to plead for forgiveness, or try to convince the high court to have their conviction overturned because they are innocent (regardless of whether or not they actually are).
Before being executed, prisoners are given the chance to say some final words. While many death row inmates take this opportunity to express regret for the things they’ve done, others take the moment to tell their family and friends how much they love them, or say something poetically profound.
Then again, you also have the criminals who prefer to go out saying something that leaves people completely speechless.
Check out the slideshow above to see the final words of 10 death row prisoners before their execution.
Death Row Prisoners
Known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” Dahmer raped and killed 17 boys and men during the 1980s.
- “I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.”
He is thought to have murdered nearly 60 people in Germany. “The Vampire of Dusseldorf” allegedly beat, raped, and drank the blood of at least one of his victims.
- “Tell me. After my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be a pleasure to end all pleasures.”
This American serial killer raped and killed an unknown number of women throughout the 1970s.
- “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.”
He was the only prisoner executed in the US in 1966. He was convicted of murdering a motorist, a crime he committed so that he could be put to death.
- “How’s this for a headline? ‘French Fries’.”
She killed seven men between 1989 and 1990, and attempted to convince the jury that it was in self defense.
- “I’d just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus, June 6th. Like the movie, big mother ship and all. I’ll be back.”
Gutierrez shot and killed an Air Force Captain during a carjacking.
- “Wheres my stunt double when you need one?”
Westley Allan Dodd
Sentenced to death after molesting and killing two children.
- “I was once asked by somebody, I don’t remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said no. I was wrong.”
Karla Faye Tucker
Tucker murdered Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton in 1983, and was the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.
- “I will wait for you.”
Charged with killing an elderly Houston couple during a robbery in 1992.
- “I am ready when you are.”
Confessed to preying on elderly homosexuals as a means to get money for his heroin habit.
- “Thank you for setting me free. God bless you all.”