Graczyk’s Lonely Job: Covering Texas Executions For AP


Michael Graczyk, an Associated Press reporter in Houston, has witnessed more than 300 executions. Because fewer news organizations cover them these days, Graczyk's account often is the only one to the world at large, says the New York Times. They take place in Huntsville, about an hour's drive north of Houston. “There are times when I'm the only person present who doesn't have a stake in the outcome,” he said.

No reporter, warden, chaplain, or guard has seen nearly as many executions as Graczyk, 59. He takes it with a low-key, matter-of-fact lack of sentiment, refusing to hint at his own view of capital punishment. “My job is to tell a story and tell what's going on, and if I tell you that I get emotional on one side or another, I open myself to criticism,” he said. Only one newspaper paper regularly covers executions no matter which part of the state the cases come from: The Huntsville Item.

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