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Public hangings, the gas chamber, lethal injection�muzzles? Could the next trend in executions be for the government to silence condemned men even before they are silenced for good? An Ohio corrections department regulation, if implemented, will require prisoners to submit their last words in writing six hours before they are put to death, at which point the warden, at his sole discretion, will choose whether or not to release them. The ACLU of Ohio finds this to be a pretty scary idea, and has filed suit claiming the rule would violate the First Amendment and would end a 700 year old tradition of condemned men speaking their peace before execution.

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