The true story of a young black man who was executed for murder and an old gangster who wasn't. You decide who got the better of it.
by J.J. Maloney
When I got to work that evening, in 1967, the ward was empty except for old Tony, who hadn't spoken an intelligible word for 21 years.
Tony was lying in bed staring vacuously at the ceiling, the flesh of his face sagging in tired folds. I'd fallen into the habit of stopping to watch his chest, to see if he were still breathing. Tony was the type who might lay there dead for hours before anyone realized that he was dead.
I discretely checked Tony's bed to see if he had messed it. He had, so I helped him out of bed and helped him out of his obscenely-soiled gown. With my head spinning from the odor, I stripped the sheets and blanket, wiped the rubber-coated mattress and went off in search of clean linen.