Good Manners on Death Row: Why Condemned Southerners Are More Polite

“The study, conducted by Judy Eaton, a professor of criminology and law at Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario, surveyed the last words of 279 white males, looking for six qualities: an apology, an acceptance of responsibility, a request for forgiveness, an expression of regret, a sense of remorse and a general phrasing that suggested earnestness. Consistently, Eaton found, it was the Southerners who did better than the Northerners, and the reasoning has to do with what she called the “honor culture” of the Old South.”

TIME

Let’s say you’re about to be executed. Let’s say you’re given a chance to say some final words. What are the odds you would say, “Go Raiders,” or “I could sure go for some beef stew and a chicken bone,” or “For what? You motherf*****rs haven’t paid any attention to anything I’ve said for the last 22-1/2 years…”? In the alternative, what are the odds that you might say, “I wish to apologize to the people I’ve hurt and I ask their forgiveness, I don’t deserve it but I ask for it,” or “I know I took someone very precious to you…I would pay it back a thousand times to bring back your loved ones…”?

The answer may depend on where you grew up. If you’re from the North or West, you’re likelier to stay badass till the end; if you’re from the South, you’re likelier to show some remorse…

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