Friday, January 27, 2012

Rodrigo Hernandez Says Death Stinks---or Stings

Rodrigo Hernandez, convicted of sexually assaulting and killing one woman but suspected in the death of another, was executed yesterday by the state of Texas. Since Texas abandoned their "special last meal" program last year, no criminal has chosen to eat the prison cafeteria's "meal of the day," which is now their only option.

As he was led into the execution chamber, Hernandez remarked "I'm ready. They better hurry up." (Other death row inmates should take note: saying "I'm NOT ready" has little chance of delaying or canceling your execution) After the lethal drugs were injected into his system, Hernandez said, "Are they already doing it? I'm gonna go to sleep. See you later." He then added either "This stuff stinks, man," or "This stuff stings, man," depending on which report you believe.

UPDATE 1/30/12: We've just learned that Rodrigo Hernandez did indeed eat the "meal of the day" when it was offered to him. And the daily special was--drum roll please--chicken-fried steak. A big thank you to the kind and helpful folks at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gary Welch: Something's Fishy in Oklahoma

It's been less than a week since the champagne corks popped, but death row has already hosted its own New Year's celebration. 

First in line for 2012 was Gary Welch, convicted of attacking another man inside that man's own house and then chasing the man down the street and stabbing him to death in a ditch, "in self-defense." Uh, right.

Welch was executed in Oklahoma, and as fans of our book already know, that state only allows take-out food priced under $15 when granting last meal requests. Welch asked for fried fish fillets with red cocktail sauce from Long John Silver's, but abstained from any side dishes.

After the lethal injection was given, Welch--who immersed himself in Norse mythology during his prison years--repeatedly chanted "Valhalla, Odin, slay the beast!" until he eventually lost consciousness.