Texas has recently made a few changes pertaining to inmates who are on death row. Officials have made the decision not to share the words that inmates express in their final moments. A lawmaker expressed his concern after a racist expressed his final thoughts about his actions when he killed a black man. Less than a month before this change took place, the state made the decision not to allow any clergy member in with death row inmates.
The only details that will be made public are those that are stated by inmates when they are in the execution chamber. Written statements that are made by the inmate won’t be shared, but they will be kept with the belongings of the inmate and given to the family or disposed of in the proper manner. Senator John Whitmire is one of the people behind this change. John William King made a final statement in writing before he was executed that was read after his death. The inmate was a white male. He was put to death for dragging an African-American male in 1998. The inmate was known as a white supremacist. Some of the statements that he made were considered racist, but they were revealed anyway after prison officials released his statements.
The details that were released in the statement that King made sparked outrage by Senator Whitmire, which then led to Texas making the decision to cease any communication from inmates before they are executed. The only way that an inmate can now reveal a statement publicly is when they are in the chamber right before they are executed. When King was in the chamber, he had no final words to express. There was no apology given to the family or any words of remorse. Another change that has come about is that inmates can no longer decide what they receive as their last meal.