Politics and Current Events, Reviews

Last Words of the Executed on the NYR Blog

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The New York Review of BooksNYR Blog has a review of Robert K. Elder’s Last Words of the Executed, posted yesterday by NYRB contributor Charles Simic. In the review Simic reprints a few of the quotations from the soon to be executed prisoners featured in the book, but remarks:

Often more interesting than the final thoughts of some of these men and women are the short descriptions Elder provides of their backgrounds and the crimes they committed. Over the years, a few of them became the basis of novels and films, but there are plenty of others in the book that are just as tantalizing. Most likely, some of the executed were innocent, while others, who were guilty, had complicated and awful lives; one tends to feel sorry for them and wishes to know more about their stories. It’s when it comes to true monsters, and there are plenty of them here, that even someone like me, who opposes capital punishment, begins to wonder if there ought to be an exception now and then.…

Navigate to the NYR Blog to read the full review.
Also, read these excerpts from the book.