They killed him just as he insisted they should. The way he wanted them to. This is the punishment I want you to give me, that I insist you give me. I'm a very bad man, so do what I want.
And since he's a very bad man, he got his way.
He smiled to the room full of witnesses as soon as he stepped into the execution chamber and winked at his spiritual advisor, who was sitting in the crowd. He gave a thumbs up as he sat in the chair.
Eight minutes later,
with fists partially clinched and smoke rising from his body,Robert Gleason was dead. His last words:
Well, I hope Percy ain’t going to wet the sponge. Put me on the highway to Jackson and call my Irish buddies. Pog mo thoin. God bless.
The Irishman from Lowell, Massachusetts, killed in the electric chair in Jarratt, Virginia.
As he insisted. As he wanted.
Thumbs up and fists clenched. Smoke rising.
Inset quotes are from coverage by Michael Owens at TriCities.com.