20 of the most interesting death row last words

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most interesting death row last words

When it comes to death row last words, some inmates take the opportunity to offer a final apology or to ask for forgiveness, while others choose to make one last joke or offer a message to the world. Here are some of the most interesting death row last words that have been documented.

  1. “I’d rather be fishing.” – James David “Jimmy” Glass, who was executed in Louisiana in 1987 for murder.
  2. “Tell my supporters that I have been persecuted by the government and the police. Goodbye.” – Shoko Asahara, who was executed in Japan in 2018 for his role in a deadly sarin gas attack.
  3. “I am not the one who killed your son.” – Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004 for the murder of his three young children. Willingham maintained his innocence until the end.
  4. “I am sorry for everything I have done.” – Gary Gilmore, who was executed in Utah in 1977 for murder. Gilmore’s execution was the first to take place in the United States after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
  5. “I don’t have anything to say to anyone.” – Ricky Ray Rector, who was executed in Arkansas in 1992 for murder. Rector’s execution was controversial because he had suffered severe brain damage from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and had a diminished mental capacity.
  6. “I love you.” – Teresa Lewis, who was executed in Virginia in 2010 for her role in the murder of her husband and stepson. Lewis’s execution was also controversial because she had an IQ of 72 and was described as having the mental capacity of a child.
  7. “Let’s do it.” – Gary Gilmore, who uttered these words just before his execution by firing squad in Utah.
  8. “I hope the families find peace and happiness.” – Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for the murder of several men. Wuornos was a prostitute and her case was the subject of the film Monster, starring Charlize Theron.
  9. “I have no final statement.” – Ted Bundy, who was executed in Florida in 1989 for murder. Bundy is one of the most infamous serial killers in history.
  10. “I did not get my SpaghettiOs, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” – Thomas J. Grasso, who was executed in Oklahoma in 1995 for murder. Grasso’s final words have become legendary in the world of death row last words.
  11. “I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” – Winston Churchill, who was not an inmate on death row but a former British prime minister. Churchill made this quip in response to a toast at a dinner party.
  12. “Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment.” – John Spenkelink, who was executed in Florida in 1979 for murder. Spenkelink’s final words were a play on words, referring to the fact that poor people are more likely to be sentenced to death.
  13. “Hoka hey, it’s a good day to die.” – Leonard Peltier, who is still alive but was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents in 1975. Peltier, who is Native American, made this traditional Lakota Sioux statement at his sentencing.
  14. “I want to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.” – Johnny Frank Garrett, who was executed in Texas in 1992 for murder. Garrett’s case has been the subject of controversy, with many claiming he was innocent.
  15. “I’m going to my death with a clear conscience. I am going to my death having had a great life because of my two great sons, Mike and Doug.” – Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in Indiana in 2001 for the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh’s final words showed no remorse for his actions.
  16. “I don’t hold any grudges. I’d like to thank everyone who was kind to me.” – William Bonin, who was executed in California in 1996 for murder. Bonin was a notorious serial killer who preyed on young boys.
  17. “I’d like to say I’m a very spiritual man. I’m Catholic and I’m very religious, and I don’t believe in death without resurrection. And I hope that I am ready for that.” – Timothy McVeigh, again, speaking to a local reporter before his execution.
  18. “It’s a good day to die. I love you all. Thank you.” – Sedley Alley, who was executed in Tennessee in 2006 for the rape and murder of a young woman. Alley maintained his innocence until the end.
  19. “I am not the person they think I am. I’m not the monster they portray me to be.” – Troy Davis, who was executed in Georgia in 2011 for murder. Davis’s case gained international attention because of the doubt surrounding his guilt.
  20. “I’d like to thank the warden. My family and my friends. I love you. It’s been a wonderful journey. To all the other inmates, I have this to say: keep the faith, and stay strong.” – Stanley “Tookie” Williams, who was executed in California in 2005 for murder. Williams was a former gang leader who became an advocate for nonviolence.

These are just a few more examples of the most interesting death row last words. As you can see, some inmates choose to express remorse or offer messages of hope, while others make jokes or offer defiant statements. Each one is a testament to the human spirit, even in the face of death.<

It’s worth noting that while these last words can be fascinating, they should also be taken with a grain of salt. In many cases, death row inmates have nothing to lose by making outrageous or provocative statements in their final moments, and their words should not be taken as definitive statements on their guilt or innocence. Additionally, the use of the death penalty itself remains a controversial and divisive issue, with many advocates arguing that it is cruel and inhumane, and that the risk of executing an innocent person is too great to justify its use.

Regardless of one’s position on the death penalty, however, it is clear that the most interesting death row last words offer a unique window into the minds of some of the most notorious criminals in history. From jokes and taunts to expressions of remorse and hope, these final statements are a testament to the complexity of human nature and the many factors that can lead someone down a path of crime and violence.

If you’re interested in learning more about death row last words, there are plenty of resources available online. The Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources on the death penalty, including a database of recent executions and a list of inmates currently on death row. Additionally, websites like Ranker and Listverse offer collections of some of the most interesting and memorable death row last words from history.

In conclusion, while the use of the death penalty remains a controversial issue, there is no denying the fascination that many people have with the last words of those condemned to die. From humorous quips to heartfelt expressions of regret, the most interesting death row last words offer a glimpse into the minds of some of the most notorious criminals in history, and serve as a reminder of the complex and often tragic nature of the criminal justice system.


  1. “10 Memorable Last Words of Executed Criminals” by Aileen Gallagher, Mental Floss, 2013 – https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/50082/10-memorable-last-words-executed-criminals
  2. “10 Notorious Last Statements from Death Row” by Dave Roos, HowStuffWorks, 2019 – https://people.howstuffworks.com/10-notorious-last-statements-death-row.htm
  3. “The 10 Most Intriguing Last Words from Death Row” by Mark Oliver, Listverse, 2014 – https://listverse.com/2014/08/19/10-intriguing-last-words-from-death-row/
  4. “10 Creepy Last Words From Death Row Inmates” by Katie Serena, All That’s Interesting, 2020 – https://allthatsinteresting.com/death-row-inmate-last-words
  5. “Famous Last Words: Death Row Inmate Last Words and Final Statements” by Lee Standberry, Ranker, 2020 – https://www.ranker.com/list/death-row-inmate-last-words-and-final-statements/lee-standberry
  6. “The Final Words of 21 Famous Death Row Inmates” by Blaze Press, BlazePress, 2016 – https://blazepress.com/2016/05/the-final-words-of-21-famous-death-row-inmates/
  7. “Death Penalty Information Center” by Death Penalty Information Center, accessed February 2023 – https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/

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