(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy, almanac-style collection of last words on the scaffold. -ed.)
“I have nothing to say except that I am innocent. It’s easier to convict a Negro than a white person. So long everybody.”
—Robert E. Folkes, convicted of murder, gas chamber, Oregon.
Executed January 5, 1945
Folkes, age twenty-three, was convicted of slashing a woman’s throat on a Southern Pacific train while working as a cook. The Associated Press described him as “the first condemned man to see the chamber,” as Folkes was the first prisoner to ever walk into the Oregon gas chamber without a blindfold on.