The guardian read through the statements of inmates about to be executed on Death Row. The article on it is here. (Found, like so many other things, via BoingBoing).
The distaste of a British newspaper at bloody American barbarians and their savage practices is palpable. Understandable, but a shame really, since for me this reduces the utility of an article like this as a teaching tool. My undergraduates would read the distate as anti-american bias and dismiss the content as coming from an unreliable source. They have been trained to do this very well, and it is a difficult habit to break them of (especially if one doesn't wish to simply reverse the polarity of their bias and turn them into slavish, name-droppy, latte-liberal trendheads)
The power of the excerpts really speaks for itself. The ultimate Other, the capital murderer, heard in his or her own voice. I would hope, at least, that some of them might find the humanity in these words obvious and compelling. That's probably naivete on my part.
How can I teach them, I wonder, that the monsters they have been taught to hate are all just people?