An Executioner’s Task
Michael Selsor will soon die by homicide. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the Oklahoma death row inmate’s case – a decision that removed the final legal hurdle still keeping him alive.
Michael Selsor will soon die by homicide.
The US Supreme Court this week declined to hear the Oklahoma death row inmate’s case. When I interviewed Selsor in 2010, he seemed resigned to his execution. This week’s decision removed its final legal hurdle.
If calling Selsor’s death by lethal injection homicide sounds loaded, then I suggest you complain to the State of Oklahoma.
Upon Selsor’s passing, the state will issue a death certificate as it does for every person who dies in Oklahoma. For Micheal Selsor the cause of death will be listed as homicide, a fact that the head of the Oklahoma prison system, Justin Jones, admitted was “ironic” when I interviewed him for this episode of Fault Lines.
I plan to attend Selsor’s execution if I’m in the country, a decision that has stirred quite a debate among my colleagues.
I believe one of the most important responsibilities of a journalist is to bear witness – especially to such grave events where so very few are allowed entry.
Yet I dread doing this.
Selsor, condemned for murdering a convenience store clerk, Clayton Chandler, during a robbery 37-years ago, told me he had not had a visitor in ten years. I doubt many, if any, family members or supporters will witness his killing.
I wonder if after all this time Chandler’s surviving family members will come to see the sentence carried out?
I imagine it will be a little-attended, quiet affair. An executioner’s task. A scheduled homicide in the name of justice for an electorate who demands, but will hardly even notice, it.