Last Words in the Texas Death Chamber: Implications for Theory, Practice & Research



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


A qualitative study was conducted to investigate thematic components of the last words given by death row inmates in Texas between 1982 and 2004 at the time of execution. Last words were available from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website and the book Texas Death Row: Executions in the Modern Era (Sunriver Cartel, 2000). Ninety-four inmates were excluded from the study, while 72% (n=242) of death row inmates’ last words met inclusion criteria. Transcripts of last words in the death chamber were recorded thematically with NVIVO software and then analyzed.



Perspectives on Social Work, Nicole Willis, Last Words, Death Row, Perspectives on Social Work, Social work, Last Words, Death Row