Last statements of death row inmates represent a genre of discourse characterized by an acute situation in which to express final reflections. This article describes how Texas death row inmates give meaning to their situation by examining their last statements. Between December 1982 and November 2006, 379 offenders were executed on the Texas death row. Through the inspection of 283 last statements made available on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, we identify strategies of self presentation.Harold Jaffe's statements of Texas death row inmates, "Death in Texas," examines the variety of such statements, suggesting the differences in facing one's death. Not many people have a chance to sum up their lives, and these men and women are given a rare, privileged gift.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Death in Texas
A pair of Amsterdam researchers, Andreas R.T. Schuck and Janelle Ward, published a study in Discourse and Society (Vol 19(1): 43–62) concerning the final statements of death row inmates in Texas.