HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral)- Melissa Lucio’s execution taking place next week. A former employee for the Texas Attorney General’s office who witnessed a number of executions shares what it was like for her to be in the room as the executions were taking place and how she’s handled it after all these years.  

“It is a difficult thing I think to watch but it’s also a very difficult thing to know the details about what happened to the victims and how they suffered,” said Patricia Guillermo, Former Employee for the Texas Attorney General’s Office Deputy Press Secretary.

Guillermo has witnessed 7 executions during her time with the Texas Attorney General’s office in the 1990s.

“What you go in and see is immediately is a person who’s about to be executed is already laid on a gurney and has already the needles and the tubing inside the arm ready to be executed but during that time the corrections office the officials go in and ask the person who’s about to be executed if they have any last words, sometimes they do sometimes they don’t,” she said.

Guillermo added that the execution process is fairly quick. 

“Two people pressing buttons neither of them knows who actually pressed the button that will be the one that determines the fate of that prisoner but it happens very quickly and then once it’s over they close curtains and they escort all the witnesses out,” said Guillermo.

As a representative for the Attorney General’s Office, Guillermo said it was their job to witness the executions and then inform the public and answer questions from the media. Guillermo said there are also times a stay of execution is granted, especially when there are controversies like in the Melissa Lucio case.

“It’s not exactly common but especially in controversial cases where there is some kind of doubt or question or a lot of filing you know to ask for a stay things like this it is very likely because this particular case her case is very controversial and there are people who have doubts, that there will be some kind of delay,” said Guillermo. 

As far as the executions that are carried out without any delay, Guillermo shares the toll it takes on one’s emotional well-being. 

“It was affecting us emotionally so it’s not a difficult death to watch but it’s difficult when you look at it encompassing the entire story, not just the person who is being executed but especially the victims and what they went through,” she said.

Guillermo explains that the victims and the victims’ families witnessing the execution is what stays with her to this day.