; Exemplary Assignment #5
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Exemplary Assignment #5


  • pg 1
									Scott Wisneski
Composition II
Professor Schweitzer
February 18, 2011

              The Jury is Out: Most Death Row Inmates Unrepentant

       On October 21, 2010, Larry Wooten, convicted in 1998 of robbing and brutally

murdering an elderly couple, issued this last statement before his execution by lethal injection:

“No sir. Warden, Since I don't have nothing to say, you can go ahead and send me to my

Heavenly Father.” [here is a big decision you’d have to make if you were really going to be

writing this essay: how are you going to cite these last statements; usually, when writers are

going to using the same source over and over again, they create a “shorthand” citation that

they explain in full in an endnote; think about how you might do that] Wooten is not alone

among the 464 death row inmates executed in Texas between 1982 and 2010 who have

expressed no remorse for their victims in their last words. In fact, the overwhelming majority of

executed offenders appear to remain unapologetic of their crimes to the very end. In the process

of researching this topic, a wide variety of criteria were used in an attempt to classify the last

words of death row inmates as remorseful or unremorseful. Statements expressing remorse were

divided between remorse for the victims or the victim’s family, and remorse of the convicts for

themselves. Religious statements were dissected to ascertain whether the convict was invoking a

deity to ask for forgiveness for one’s crimes or for self-serving reasons, such as admittance into

heaven. References to a faulty legal system were also inspected, as some convicts’ last words

were used to implicate themselves in other crimes, or to exonerate others. Final goodbyes were

scrutinized for remorse and well—wishing to the victims’ families who may have been present at
the execution. Finally, remorseless last statements expressing things [avoid: boring and vague

word] such as anger, defiance, apathy, and blaming others were tallied as well.

Comments: Excellent intro to a research essay, expressing clear both the thesis and the
methodology. I like beginning with a quote, but I think you could have found a more
interesting example of an unrepentant inmate.

Grade: 98.

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