Typical Day
by Jonathan Walton 

:   : For eight long years I have sat upon death row and finally the day has come that my curtain is going to close. For 243 months,  I have been locked inside this cell and for 2920 days - my life has been nothing short of hell. The moment draws near where I will take my last walk (pause) and with the victim’s family I will have my very last talk. As I finish the last bite of this, my last meal, the concept of death I begin to grasp. To a wooden chair my body will be strapped, and a metal cap put upon my head - electricity will be run throughout my entire body until at last, I am dead. Ten pairs of eyes, will stare gape and gawk, quite possibly enjoying the site of my life being lost. I remember staring into the those same eyes, those same frowning faces. The prosecutor shouting insults, back and forth as he paces. I testified in my own defense, “I wasn’t there,” I cried. “I don’t even own a gun, so how in God’s name could I have shot someone?” Upon the truth I swore and all of the words I said were true but all at once the lawyer turned and said, “Why should they believe you?” The foreman began to rise and he handed down a verdict of guilty. All at once I rose to my feet and at the top of my lungs, I began to scream. “I don’t belong in prison - get your hands off of me!” I fought as they put cuffs on my hands, and chains on my feet; but it didn’t matter what I did- to prison they carried me. My lawyer filed appeal after appeal, but we could make no one believe. Awaiting my sentence, I sat within this cement block. I spent many nights crying out to God,  “Lord I have done nothing wrong, nothing!” “Please God, don’t leave me here to rot. I don’t think I co! uld take it Lord. No, I know that I could not.” Later that month I received my sentence, the words pierce my heart to this day. The foreman again stood to rise and before he sat, I was condemned to die. I haven’t seen the stars in eight years, if you could count the drops in the oceans - only then could you begin to count my tears. I am all but forgotten, my family no longer visits me. All I have left are thoughts and memories. 

My mother used to cook breakfast on Sunday morning as she sang Amazing Grace, the love of God, shown off her face. As she kneaded the biscuits it would go something like this,  (sings verse of Amazing Grace). My wife, she had the smile of an angel. I swear you could see wings, if you gazed from just the right angle. The birth of my daughter, so small within my arms. I remember the first time she called me Daddy, it filled a void with in my heart. But my third year here, my momma passed away. I missed her funeral, the month of January, that fourth Monday. My wife remarried and my daughter should be thirteen; I am all but forgotten, no more visits to Daddy. The last bite settles in my stomach and the warden instructs me to rise. I have resolved in my mind that I am going to die. I walk the last one hundred feet, one foot in front of the other - left then right, left then right. The chains clank across the floor, I squint my eyes in the light. I try to turn my wrists but I meet pain - the shackles so tight. I walk into the room, with my head held high. I enter into the witnesses’ midst  wearing not a frown nor a smile. The executioner asked for my last words and I look each victim in the eye. “The state killed me years ago, gave me a number - I no longer had a name. Inmate number 49536, I was not a person, I was a convict. I used to be a man until I came here,  now I’m part of an unwanted clan. A group of rejected individuals, clasped in chains and wearing orange suits. This was not the way it was supposed to be! Just as your loved one’s life was stolen, the state, the judge, the jury, - each and every one of you; stole my life from me. I have been raped and beaten, ridiculed and scorn. I looked up to God and cursed the day I was born. My spirit is broken and my heart forever dismayed. My body stands before you, but my mind has passed away.” The shackles were secure and the metal cap put into place, as the tears began to flow down my troubled face. “Please Lord, take me quick! I am not worthy of this punishment. You are the only one who can read my heart and you know that I am innocent.” I looked over to the wall and the executioner began to reach for the lever. So before the electricity flowed through my veins, I look up to heaven. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me on the path of righteousness for his namesake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death; I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. (stops abruptly, body convulses, and dies)

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