Ten years ago today, John Wayne Gacy, one of the most vile, wicked monsters ever born into our species, was executed by lethal injection at the Statesville Penitentiary. The previous evening, the pasty, bloated serial killer had feasted on a last supper of fried chicken, french fries, cola and strawberry shortcake. Then, before the injection, Gacy was allowed to make a final statement. He opted for "Kiss my ass."
Death row inmates deserve neither a last meal nor a forum for last words. Why did we feed Gacy a nice meal and provide him with an audience? Tradition? That's not a reason. I say, "Screw tradition." Serve leftovers from Fear Factor.
I have always believed that the final meals of executed prisoners should be unsatisfying. The more humane the method of killing, the less impetus there should be to comfort the condemned as that moment draws near. Now, if you are going to draw and quarter them, fine, let them eat cake. Otherwise, if they deserve to die, they don't deserve a feast. And if they don't deserve to die, that fantastic final meal is no consolation whatsoever.
I also dislike giving the prisoner any more free speech rights. Most of the time, the prisoner just uses the forum to deliver one last big "Fuck you." Why let them? Before his execution last September for the slaying of an abortion doctor, Paul Hill boasted in his final statement that he would "expect a great reward in heaven." His victim's family must have been livid. I'm no fan of abortion doctors, but murdering them is at least as wicked as killing a fetus, and abortionist slayers deserve no soapboxes on their deathbeds.
Neither Hill nor Gacy should have been given a forum to speak. If anything, the victim's family should get some last words. "Kiss my ass?" No, no, no. Kiss your own ass goodbye.