It was hot in that strange, horrible little room, which someone seemed to have deduced; a fan had been situated under the windows, where it oscillated with a dull hum, blowing hot air.

A hiss of static signaled that the microphone above Mr. Bourgeois was live, and then he began to speak. With his last words, he denied murdering JaKaren. “I did not commit this crime,” he said. “I ask God to forgive all those who plotted and schemed against me, and planted false evidence,” he said, adding that he had never raped or sexually molested anyone, ever, in his entire life.

He commended his soul into the hands of God and asked forgiveness for his sins and those of the people who had put him where he was just then, in a tile panopticon in Terre Haute, with a plastic tube snaking away from his vein into a hole in the wall obscured by a metal flap. One of the marshals read Mr. Bourgeois’s sentence aloud, and then the other picked up a black telephone mounted on the wall, requesting final clearance to kill the man. The Bureau of Prisons later confirmed to me that was the moment — 7:53 p.m. — that the federal government began piping pentobarbital into Mr. Bourgeois’s body.

And I am transfixed, I am breathing consciously, I still have yet to accept that this is really happening.