Accused of a crime that carried a death sentence if convicted, I’d die before I’d say where I had been when it happened to prove it wasn’t me. Death before dishonor was tattooed on my arm and it was a constant reminder of what I was obliged to do. She was married to another man, and I made a vow I’d never tell she slept with me while he was away.
I spent twenty years in a four by eight space waiting to be killed for something I didn’t do. The one I protected never came to save me from the state paid assassin that wanted to do the job all doctors refuse to do.
My nights were filled with nightmares of being strapped to a table while eyes filled with hate watched as that state sponsored murderer stabbed my arm with needles full of Sodium Thiopental, Pancuronium, and Bromide Potassium Chloride.
If lucky I’d be unconscious and wouldn’t be aware of the poison traveling through my veins setting all my nerves on fire, burning me with industrial pain. If I stayed awake after I was injected, I’d be paralyzed and wouldn’t be able to move my mouth nor breathe, and only a tear would show how much I endured while waiting for my heart to stop its routine.
The chemicals were in such demand that states had to wait in line to get the drugs needed to kill. It’s hard for me to accept as true that people discounted this state-inflicted pain because a person, once convicted of a crime became something less than a man, not worthy of belonging to the human race, nor deserving to be treated better than a dog. Not worthy of being protected from pain that is against the law to inflict on any animal, but a criminal is deemed below that.
Even though I could save myself from such a horrible fate by telling the truth, I’d keep my vow to remain silent. Labeled by society as a murderer and a criminal deserving death, I knew I was better than those paid by the state to take my life.
As they strapped me onto the execution table, I held my arm high so all could read my tattoo, Death before dishonor. I didn’t tell the warden that the night the crime they convicted me of happened during the time I slept with his wife.