Eternelle (eternele) wrote,
Eternelle
eternele

Dead Man Walking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

" Prior to the 1960s, when guards would lead a condemned man down the prison hallway, they would call out, "Dead man walking! Dead man walking here!" There are various opinions as to why this was said. It may have been to warn other staff or prisoners, to let them know they should be on their guard since a death row prisoner has nothing to lose and could be violent. It may also have been a kind of honorific declamation, to let other prisoners know that they should move out of the way - death row prisoners being seen as an elite within the prison system. Alternatively, the call may have been a stigma attached to the condemned man, to remind others within earshot not to touch him in order not to catch his bad luck. In any case, its logic is clear: the condemned prisoner, in the eyes of the law, was dead already. The phrase was regarded as cruel and unusual by civil rights activists, and was subsequently outlawed."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Man_Walking
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