That’s the choice given to prisoners in Virginia. Guillaume Decamme reports for AFP:
JARRATT, Virginia — Behind a blue curtain, the electric chair patiently waits its turn to take a life, but on this night in a chamber of a Virginia prison, murder convict Jerry Jackson dies by the needle.
“Fifteen days prior to execution, the inmate is asked which execution method he chooses,” explains David Bass at the Greensville Correctional Center.
“He may choose between the electric chair and the lethal injection.” For the most part, Bass says, “they prefer the injection.”
The man in the dark suit, speaking in a soft southern twang, is all too aware that most of America’s death row inmates pick the poison over the pulse of electrocution.
Of the various execution methods currently in use in the United States — electricity, firing squad, hanging, lethal injection and lethal gas — injection has become the standard.
As an employee of the Virginia Department of Corrections, Bass is responsible for “guiding” about a dozen people attending Thursday night’s execution — volunteers and journalists, including an AFP correspondent — through the facility about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Washington.
They are here to witness the death of Jackson, a strapping, 31-year-old African-American man whose crimes a decade ago sent his life on course to the events of this final night…
[continues at AFP]