Journalist reports on more than 300 executions

by K-Berens

Inmates on death row are given a lethal weap- wait, injection.

Witnessing the death of a person can affect one’s lifetime. It makes people question their own mortality – the idea of watching someone die is scary to some because they are afraid of death. How about watching over 300 people’s executions, and then writing about them?

Michael Graczyk is a reporter for Associated Press. In the 26 years he has been watching lethal executions of people on death row in Texas, he has claimed to have seen over 300 people die.

He often interviews the inmates on death row, and sometimes these interviews are etched in his memory forever. He remembers the controversial death of Gary Graham, a man convicted of murdering at the age of eighteen despite his lifelong claim of innocence. Another inmate chose to sing “Silent Night” for his last words, even though it wasn’t anywhere close to Christmas.

Despite significant encounters with inmates on death row, he remains detached from the situations and considers it critical to become emotionally invested in the situation.

Media companies are less insistent on having a journalist in the execution room, and the number has been steadily declining.

It takes roughly seven minutes to execute a person on death row through a lethal injection. This means that Graczyk has spent around 40 hours straight witnessing these executions.

Read more:

http://standdown.typepad.com/weblog/2009/01/michael-graczyk.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/business/media/21execute.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/802489.stm

http://standdown.typepad.com/weblog/2009/07/a-profile-of-aps-michael-graczyk.html

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