Associated Press reporter Mike Graczyk in Houston has spent the equivalent of 40 hours of his life watching men — and a few women — be executed, reports CNN. He has almost certainly watched more executions than anyone else in the United States. He’s on the witness list for 315 of 439 state executions — more than any other reporter, prison employee, or chaplain.
One inmate who was about to be executed phoned Graczyk to “make sure you were OK.” Graczyk said he doesn’t worry about the mental toll of watching so many deaths. “To see someone go to sleep — not to sound insensitive — but the carnage at the murder scene is harder than what you see in the death house in Huntsville,” he said. As a journalist, Graczyk never answers the question when friends ask his own views on the death penalty. “I’m not sure I really know,” he said.