*The following was transcribed by Casey McWhorter’s spiritual advisor, The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood.
Just yesterday, I was informed that I am to be executed on November 16. There is no doubt that it’s a sobering thought. The culmination of a life. Before I go…literally…I want people to know who I am. I’m thankful that my spiritual advisor The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood has created this opportunity. For now, I just want to give an overview of who I am. Then, I’ll get into some details in subsequent iterations of this conversation.
I’m one of those “daddy didn’t love me” kind of kids. I spent all of my childhood trying to figure it out. Such thoughts took me deeper and deeper down the road of trying to fill that void. Those roads can take you to some dark places. There are some awful things that I thought I needed to validate myself. I ran around with some awful people with the idea that they might make me whole. I just kept going deeper and deeper into an evil hole. Until, three months after my 18th birthday, I was part of a robbery that killed a man. Obviously, I was willing to go far down an awful road to get people to like or notice me. Then, of course, everybody noticed me…as a murderer.
When I found out that the prosecution was going to seek the death penalty, it didn’t faze me too much…because I was already dead on the inside. Of course, for what I did…but also because of what I did to all the people that I love.
It’s been 30 years since those days. I never expected to live this long. I assumed that they would kill me quickly. Instead, I’ve had to sit here and think about things for a long time. As crazy as it might sound, prison has actually been really good for me. I’ve become a man. I no longer need the approval of everybody around me. I can stand alone. Prison has been a net gain for me.
One memory particularly stands out. That is of my friend Max Payne. We got to death row around the same time. Slowly, we became brothers. Really, we grew up together. Our families became closer and closer. Really, we became one big family. When they scheduled Max a date, it broke me. For the first time, I felt like I had a friend who let me just be me…and then he was gone.
I missed out on having a family of my own. I know I could have been a good husband…a good dad…but I never got the opportunity…rather, I gave up the opportunity. I never got the chance to use the talents that God gave me. Or at least, I had to learn to use them in a very different way. I’ve lost a lot.
I think about what I did all the time. I’m haunted by my own sins I guess you could say. I wish I could go back and change it all. Go back in time, stop all of it. I shouldn’t have been there…but I was. One of the most devastating parts of all of this is that the best I can do is, “I’m sorry.” I know that will never be enough.
In spite of all that has transpired, my dream is that through it all I have become someone that my mother and grandmother can be proud of. I’ve let them down so much. I know that I’ve learned how to love in ways that I was never loved by my father. I hope that they can be proud of that.