Pub: Blink Publishing
First as a reporter and then as a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Michelle was a frequent visitor to Huntsville’s Walls Unit, where she recorded and relayed the final moments of death row inmates’ lives before they were put to death by the state.
Michelle was in the death chamber as some of the United States’ most notorious criminals, including serial killers and rapists, spoke their last words on earth, while a cocktail of lethal drugs surged through their veins.
Michelle supported the death penalty, before misgivings began to set in as the executions mounted. During her time in the prison system, and together with her dear friend and colleague, Larry Fitzgerald, she came to know and like some of the condemned men and women she saw die. She began to query the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and ask the question: do executions make victims of all of us?
This is a fabulous read and one that stirred emotions and thoughts that I never thought I had.
Michelle Lyons witnessed over 300 deaths. The men and women sentenced to death by the state of Texas were sometimes the worst that society had bred, some were just unfortunate to have been given a death sentence for a crime that in other places would have justified a life sentence and others… well.. the thing this book does best is that it gives the reader a chance to decide for themselves.
The process of a death sentence is sensitively told, but what’s more is that each of these people are given a respectful and quiet representation, and even though their crimes are the most heinous, they are all portrayed as people first, and their personalities and their characters are told with some affection.
That said, in no way does the author try to preach, her own views and reasons for them are strongly given. Her life among this people along with the friends..and enemies she has made throughout her career are interesting and fascinating.
Her job has forged a life for her that would have been a lot different if she had for instance been doctor or something else, and her story is well worth a read.
I was left with the notion that everyone she came into contact with was all the better for having known her and the compassion she had shown them, at least gave them a moment of joy.
About the Author
Michelle Lyons was a prison reporter before becoming a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In both roles, she witnessed the executions of some of the most infamous inmates of Texas death row. In 12 years, she saw nearly 300 inmates die by lethal injection, and this is the story of how those executions took their toll. The thoughts of Larry Fitzgerald, Michelle’s dear friend and former colleague, also form part of her compelling narrative.
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