Famous Last Words
Aaron C. Mitchell
April 12, 1967
“I am Jesus Christ.”
Mitchell had attempted a robbery of a tavern and as he escaped he shot and killed a police officer outside of the building. In an interview with Ebony magazine he stated “Every Negro ever convicted of killing a police officer has died in that gas chamber; so what chance did I have?”
According to the LA Times, the day before his execution Mitchell used a piece of metal from a broken pair of earphones to slash his forearms. He then cried “I am the second coming of Jesus! I am the son of God!” Later, he picked at his wounds healing on his arms until they bled again, placed drops of blood on his palms, raised his arms in a crucifixion pose, and proclaimed “This is the blood of Jesus Christ … I am going to save the world.”
Mitchell was the last person executed in California before the Supreme Court of California and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled capital punishment as unconstitutional in 1972. After the death penalty was reinstated, the next person to be executed in California was Robert Alton Harris in 1992.