In 2010, Michael Selsor granted his only interview to Josh Rushing. Two years later, Rushing returned to watch him die.
I came to Oklahoma to witness a killing, a homicide in fact.
At a microphone Debbie Huggins fights tears and with a strong southern drawl says slowly, emphatically: "What we did to him today was much kinder than what he did to my dad."
"Him" refers to Michael Selsor and "what" to the murder of Clayton Chandler, a clerk shot six times during a gas station robbery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Selsor pulled the trigger even after Chandler had complied and volunteered the loot.
"In 1975 I never would have thought that it would take 37 years for justice," Huggins says.
Today's justice was delivered about half an hour before Huggins approached the microphone; it is why I am here.
There are few acts graver than when a government takes the life of one of its own citizens. Executions often get a lot of coverage in the US, when there is something controversial about the case or enough people believe the condemned might be innocent. These scenarios attract media attention and fuel vigils. This was not the case with Michael Selsor. Everyone agreed that he did it, including him. The reporters who cover Selsor's execution will focus on Huggins and her family. Perhaps you cannot blame them. The only interview Selsor ever granted was to me.
Even though executions are conducted on behalf of the citizens of the state, very few are allowed to witness it: families of the condemned and their victims, lawyers, law enforcement, and journalists. This is why I felt a responsibility to witness Selsor's end and then to report it as dispassionately and honestly as I could.
Source: Aljazeera, May 10, 2012