Death + the Economy Death + the Law

Witness for the Execution

One Reporter’s Lonely Beat, Witnessing Executions
Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times (October 20, 2009)

The NY Times ran an interesting article yesterday about an AP reporter who has witnessed more executions than any other person in America. His name is Michael Graczyk and since the 1980’s, he has seen over 300 executions in Texas, although in actuality he has lost count. Due to the faltering economy, Mr. Graczyk is one of the few journalists left doing this type of reportage.

Although Mr. Graczyk takes a generally dispassionate approach to his work, he recalled one particularly chilling incident.

One inmate “sang ‘Silent Night,’ even though it wasn’t anywhere near Christmas,” Mr. Graczyk said. “I can’t hear that song without thinking about it. That one really stuck with me.”

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