COULD this be one of the most unusual submissions for our popular Mercury Round The World feature ever?
Reader Garry Walton, of Bridgwater, posed with his favourite paper in the execution chamber at the Jefferson
state penitentiary in Missouri, USA.
Garry, who describes himself as a semi-retired deputy Sheriff, told the Mercury: “I first deputised with the county sheriff’s office in Washington State in 1999.
“I go back to the States each year, and this year I paid a courtesy visit to the Missouri law enforcement and corrections departments.
“I managed to get special dispensation to access the gas chamber at the Jefferson City State Penitentiary with my copy of the Mercury.”
Sixty-eight people have been executed in Missouri since 1976 – and almost 50 more remain on ‘Death Row’ awaiting execution.
Execution by gas chamber has largely been outlawed in the USA, but Missouri is one of six states which still uses the chamber to carry out some executions.
The chamber is used if a lethal injection cannot be administered, the crime was committed before a certain date or the person to be executed opts for the chamber.