MYRTLE BEACH - Chadrick Fulks will one day be strapped to a gurney and given a lethal injection. The government will kill him because of his crimes.
That day moved closer to reality months ago.
"Am I scared to be executed?" Fulks wrote in a letter to The Sun News. "No, not at this point. I'm ready to get it over with. I'm not saying I won't be scared when the day comes, I won't know until it happens."
As the summer started, Fulks, like the other 60 men on federal death row, were in limbo as to when they would be killed. The federal government has not executed an inmate in 15 years.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced in August the federal government would resume executions. The Bureau of Prisons was ordered to schedule executions for five inmates who have exhausted their appeals.
Fulks was not one of those scheduled, but Barr's announcement notes additional executions will be set.
"Here on the row," Fulks wrote, "time just stands still, and it is the loneliest that I've ever been."
Fulks has spent 15 years on death row along with co-defendant Brandon Basham since their 2004 sentences. The duo escaped from a Kentucky jail in 2002 and embarked on a crime spree across the Bluegrass State, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Basham and Fulks kidnapped and killed Galivants Ferry resident Alice Donovan from a Conway Walmart parking lot. It wasn't until 2009 that Fulks helped police find her remains. The duo also killed a woman in West Virginia.
There are about 60 people on the federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana. Notable inmates "on the row" include Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death for killing nine people at a Charleston church.
Brandon Council will become the newest member of death row after he was sentenced to death in a South Carolina federal court last week. Council shot and killed two employees during a robbery of the Conway, South Carolina, CresCom bank in 2017.
Council's execution will take years, likely more than a decade, while he undergoes various appeals processes.
In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional. It wasn't until 1988 that the federal death penalty returned, and nobody was executed until 2001. There have been no federal executions since 2003.
After Barr's announcement, The Sun News reached out via letters to both Fulks and Basham about their reactions to the decision and life on death row. Fulks provided four pages of answers. Basham did not send a response.
"It's been very difficult and very long, and I'm ready to get it over with," Fulks wrote.
Fulks has stated that he no longer wishes to fight his execution and called the system broke. He said his attorneys were careless.
Fulks wrote about how he watched his relatives die, and it's a constant reminder of the pain he caused the families of his victims.
"Now, this last step should help them find a little more closure," he wrote.
Barr's announcement was both a shock and unsurprising at the same time, Fulks wrote. Inmates figured something was different when weeks leading up to the announcement prison staff increased the number of execution practices and stripped inmates of their belongings, Fulks wrote.
"This was a signal to a lot of us that something was about to change," Fulks wrote.
Conditions on death row have deteriorated with the number of meals cut to the bare minimum, Fulks wrote. It has been difficult to get medical care, medication and mail.
Fulks theorized he won't be the only person on the row to request an execution date and wrote, "This is hell on earth."
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