Uncensored, June 10 to June 12, 2005
Greetings to all! It is the 10th day of June, 2005.
I must say that it is getting pretty hot down here in South East Texas. Starting to actually FEEL like hell in these cages we call home. The sun beats down on the back wall to my cell. So as I type I can feel the heat radiating off the wall.
I am glad that I at least have a fan. I have been on level one for a week now. A couple of convicts that I associate with said I have broken a record for the time spent on level one, for me 🙂 Ha! I normally do not stay long on level one.
I got a visit with my wife on Monday, 06/06/2005. I was happy to see her. I went 13 days without getting a letter from her. Talk about being stressed out!!!! I could cope with her leaving me for someone else, as long as she is happy. Though I couldn’t cope if she got hurt. That is one of my biggest fears. More so since I have grown close to her daughter. It actually makes life on the row a lot harder, as it adds a lot of emotional weight, though I wouldn’t trade her for the world.
I also got to see one of my closest associates, who is on the row with me. One of the very few people who I would actually call a friend. Well, he is more like a brother. He is housed on a different pod then myself. So I was glad to get to see him as well.
To show how small this world is, the person who comes to see him was married to my wife’s cousin! This world is way too small.
Anyway, enough about that.
I let a few people who I associate with, as some who I don’t really know, read the articles that Richard wrote, as well as the ones that I wrote. I was quite surprised by the emotional effect it had on them. One of the guys didn’t even know Richard. I hope that no one tries to hold me to Richards level of writing. As he had the ability to be humble and was going through a process in the last few months that he was here that no one can comprehend unless they experience it themselves. It isn’t something that I look forward to going through.
In other news, Alexander Martinez was executed. He canceled his appeal. So basically he committed suicide. Once again, I knew him. Not too well, though we had talked a few times.
For those who haven’t read my past article when Richard was writing these articles, I wrote about the suicides here and how I actually knew every person who has killed themselves by hanging or canceling their appeals.
I could never go that route. I have too much fight in me.
At first it kind of blew my mind that people would give up like that. But after being here for 2 years, I fully understand and am actually surprised that more haven’t done it.
The topic of suicides brings another event to mind. The powers that be here at the Polunsky Death Camp removed the weight bar that was on the outside rec. yard. It was a bar with a weight welded on each end that was between two rails so that it couldn’t be take out. Not many used it because it was hard to use due to it sitting on the ground and being stationed so close to the wall that it was made difficult to use. Well, none-the-less, it was removed from each rec. yard. The reason that I heard was for suicide prevention. I heard that from a good source and it actually sounds like some stupid excuse this place would give to take something away. I don’t think anyone here would kill themselves by dropping a weight on their head! The fact of the matter is that they just wanted to take something else from us. That is all they keep doing is taking more and more stuff away.
I guess they figured since they fixed the coax cables for the radio, they have to take something away from us.
They have officially outlawed pornographic material, which is really going to end up being a very bad thing. Prison rape is already high in Texas. It is only going to get worse, as it appears there are a lot of people without any self control. There is a large number of guys with life sentences in Texas. So really they have nothing to loose. TDCJ always does stuff the hardest and most stupid way that it can be done. I guess they will just use their solutions to everything and just lock everyone up an administrative segregation.
Speaking of ad-seg, there was a very good and long article about ad-seg in Texas in the USA Today It is in the Thursday, June 9, 2005 paper. It can be read online.
Texas basically admits that they know that the cells drive people crazy and makes it harder on people to cope when they are released. But they say that it is the easiest solution to gang violence.
Now let’s think about this. You take an aggravated gang member who already has hate in his heart and you lock him in a small cell for several years. That way he becomes a crazy aggravated gang member and then you kick him out of prison for the free world to deal with. And as I wrote in one of my past articles, the mental health programs in Texas are not worth shit! So now this crazy aggravated gang member is free to run around the streets and get his hands on guns and kill other crazy aggravated gang members and whomever might be in the way.
I was in a highly violent juvenile prison for 2 1/2 years. Then they just let me go. I still had a 25 high security risk, which was the highest there was. I was on medication while I was there, plus I never got any drug treatment, so when I got out I thought I could handle it. But as time passed by, the stress began to overwhelm me. Little stuff would get me so angry that I would cry! I stopped taking my medication, so I ended up self medicating myself with that good ole monster itself, Methamphetamine. I morphed into my own worst enemy. When the case happened that got me on death row, I was actually planning on getting my life back on track. I was scheduled to meet with an ARMY recruiter 2 days after I got arrested. I just happened to go for a ride that I shouldn’t have went on. The crazy thing about my case is that two of the people who are defendants in the case that got me here, the actual shooters, I didn’t even like them and actually had a conflict with one of them.
The first thing that everyone who knew all of us asked me was “what the hell were you doing with them?” I could only reply, “hell if I know”.
A lot of people most likely have realized that meth abuse has increased in the U.S. There is also an article in the June 9th 2005 USA Today about meth and how President George W. Bush is actually cutting funding for the narcotics team who’s main focus is meth and large drug dealers. Doesn’t make much sense huh? Meth is highly addictive and is spreading like wild fire across the U.S. which results in more crime and violence. Yet, President Bush wants to cut the funding from the people who are fighting it. He wants to tell people that are sick that they can’t smoke weed to ease pain and lashes out at pot smokers, but he cuts funding to fighting a drug that makes people highly violent and paranoid.
And guess who is controlling most of the meth trade here in Texas? Those good ole crazy aggravated gang members who are getting sent home from their cages. So now we have a lot of paranoid, aggravated gang members whacked out on meth running around. But to hell with them, we got to lock up all those evil pot smokers out there. Maybe put them in cages so that they can become aggravated crazy gang members as well.
God Bless America!
Well, enough of that topic. I had written in one of my past articles that the food had gotten a whole lot better. Well, I guess I spoke too soon. Lately we have been getting some B.S.! I am going to start writing down everything we get, so that the readers will know what we are given.
There was a case that has been in the news lately. A guy here in Texas was convicted of two counts of Capital Murder and given two life sentences for aborting his girlfriend’s pregnancy, which she assisted and FULLY encouraged him to do. And guess what? She didn’t and couldn’t be charged with any crime, as it is her right to have an abortion. Yet her boyfriend has to spend the rest of his life in prison. Good ole Texas Justice! True enough he did it in a very bad way. He jumped on her stomach. It just doesn’t make any sense that he gets charged and she gets nothing. THEY ALWAYS GOT TO GET SOMEONE!!!!!! That is all that matters.
Now everyone has their own personal beliefs when it comes to pro-life or pro-choice arguments. I personally do not agree with abortion and never encourage anyone to do it. Though who am I to tell a woman what to do with her body? I think that is was kind of sick the way they carried out the abortion. All they had to do was go to a doctor or have the kid and give him up for adoption.
It is a real sensitive subject that I am going to get off of!!
Well, I’m going to bring this to an end for today.
It is June 12, 2005. I was going through all of my paperwork and I came across an old article that I cut out of the newspaper. It was in the Saturday, May 21, 2005 paper. The article is out of Indiana. I am sure that it can be read online at the San Antonio Express-News website under the Nation section.
Anyway, this article was about a little girl who was killed up in Indiana. The headline is “New Suspect Charged in Indiana Girl’s Death”. Now the interesting thing about this article is that it is about the fact that a guy confessed to the crime and the police found out that he had 100% nothing to do with the crime at all! They did D.N.A. testing and found out that another man was responsible for the crime. The police say that they couldn’t understand why that other guy confessed.
This is actually a common thing. There have been over 170 people found to be absolutely innocent of a crime that they had confessed to! Some of those people were on death row. It’s real common among suspect who are mentally retarded. Most people who are retarded feel eager to please others, so they will confess to the police as they think that they are doing the right thing. Plus, the police trick them by telling the suspect the biggest ever bullshit lie, “If you just confess and sigh this here paper, we will help you”. Yeah, help fry your ass!!!!
There is a guy here that has a real bad case. He confessed to the crime that got him here. The only problem, the person who actually did the crime also confessed and is serving time in prison for the offense as well. There is no evidence to link him to the crime but his confession, which would be good enough under normal circumstances, but this guy is actually retarded! He said the cops kicked his ass and told him if he helped them, that they would let him go home. He has people trying to help him now, so hopefully, Texas won’t get to slaughter him.
On to other news. We had pancakes 5 times this week! It has gotten to the point that when I see a pancake my stomach starts to hurt.
I went to recreation on the outside rec yard last Thursday. There are a lot of birds nests at the top of the bars that act as the roof to the yard. So needless to say, birdshit gets all over the rec yard and lands conveniently on the water fountain that is out there!
Now they are supposed to clean the yard with a high power water hose that is under the control picket every week. They are supposed to clean the water fountain and toilet every day.
I was talking to one of my neighbors about how dirty the rec yard is. He said that they haven’t cleaned it since he moved to his pod. Now with bird crap all over the yard, this is a health risk as birds do carry a lot of diseases and lice. I am going to put in an I-60 to request that the rec yard gets cleaned up like it is supposed to be. I will turn it in on the 13th. We will have to see how long it takes to get cleaned. I mean it only took them a day to remove all the weight bars so that we couldn’t use them. So it should only take a day to clean up the damn rec yard.
I also talked to someone who was on the pod when I last got pepper sprayed. He told me that they never even cleaned it up!
Another thing to show how backwards these people are. Awhile back the medical staff passed out papers that were about Athletes Foot and it being a major problem on the Polunsky Unit. So they know that there is a problem! The only problem with the picture is they know of the problem, yet they do nothing to fix it but pass out a piece of paper that acknowledged what everyone already knew. Now the crazy part about it all is the fact that the prison does not supply shower shoes. So if a person does not have the money to by shower shoes, then he will have to shower barefoot! Which will cause him to get Athletes Foot!
The prison system doesn’t pass out deodarant. It has to be bought. Nor do they pass out shampoo. They only give out 5 – 1” X 2” long by an 8th” thinck bars of lye soap, and 1 powder a week. They also give out a pouch of bippy which is like powdered ajax. They give one of those a week. That is the only hygiene material that the prison gives out.
If a convict gets caught with more then 5 bars of state soap, he can get a disciplinary case! And people wonder why STAPH infections are so out of control in prison as well as Hepatitis C. A lot of money goes into TDCJ. I don’t know where it all goes, but it damn sure doesn’t go to us!
The prison has a house on the property. It is for the Warden of the Unit. It is built with texas payers money. It is a nice house! Since I have been here, not one person has lived in it!! So all that tax payers money wasted.
We can’t even get mail on Saturday, not even our legal mail, yet TDCJ has $80,000 homes just sitting there empty. They stopped letting us get mail on Saturday because of budget cuts! The director of TDCJ makes well over a hundred thousand dollars a year. I think it is in the $140’s. The guards that actually work the runs only get like $1,500 a month, yet we can’t even get mail on a Saturday! They laid off a bunch of mail room staff. It isn’t going to get any better.
Karen, I got your e mail. Thanks I am going to try to do the best that I can, though I will never be able to match Richard’s level of writing. Hopefully, with some of the ideas I have, we can make this even larger. If Suzanne can manage to cope with and tolerate my spastic writing style and militia based mind. : )
We all just got to keep recruiting more people to fight this war against the murder machine.
Well, it is 5:50 a.m., so I am going to go ahead and bring this to an end.
Use the pain to fuel the fire.
Stand Tall, Fade All, Never Fall
Polunsky Unit Death Camp
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
By Robert Shields #999166
“June 7th, the 9th Murder Day of 2005
Alexander Martinez leaves to go get that last 4 hours worth of visitation with his loved ones.
The Death Chariot arrives.
Here comes Alexander making that walk from visitation with only a 3 man escort. Not even a Warden in sight. He cruises on into 12 Bldg.
First Warden shows up to start the hand shaking.
Another Warden pops up with some more silver cars.
Sgt. Thompson brings out his property and stuffs it unceremoniously into the van.
Warden Jones who doesn’t even work on this unit anymore shows up. The Gray suited grim reapers have multiplied so fast it’s amazing. Now it’s starting to look like the show it is. Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains and Wardens, oh my!
Alexander comes out of 12 Building all shacked up and climbs up into the van. Peeping his head over the top, he give all of us in the window and enormous smile then looks back over his shoulder to smile at all the rank!
The Death Wagon leaves and the hand shakers immediately disperse.
Before getting over here and meeting Alexander I never could fathom why someone would volunteer to die. It really pissed me off because here I am scratching and clawing to stay alive and these guys are just giving up on life.
I was like hey, give me those years that you are just throwing away. It does not work that way though.
After meeting and talking to Alexander, I walked away with a different perspective on it. I still didn’t agree with assisting the state to kill you, but I could at least understand why he choose to do such a thing.
Something which I never thought I’d be able to wrap my head around. His why’s and what’s of reasoning are his own, but it basically boiled down to him having spent more than half of his life in these Five Star Concrete Accommodations that TDCJ supplies us with and he was just tried of it.
For a 30 year old man, that’s a lot of state meals. It’s a lot like someone who has a fatal medical condition. They know they will die and just do not want to suffer anymore. Whereas hospitals use medicine and technology to string your life along, Texas uses the charade of a Judicial System. It is not so different though. It takes the will to survive to go on fighting a losing battle, but it takes a lot of courage to go out on your own terms.
I did not know him very long, but he was a man who stood by his beliefs and was very real about who he was with a great big heart.
I know he will be dearly missed by many and hope they can keep their heads up and not give up the fight. Rest in Peace Alexander Martinez.”
Last Statement to the People
By: Alexander Rey Martinez
Texas Death Row
“I wanted to speak on a few things as there have been a lot of things on my mind and as everyone knows, I allowed this execution to take place. I have allowed the State to take my life. I don’t ask anyone to mourn me, to feel that they needed to save me because I noticed that a lot of you all tend to feel it’s your duty to step in and try to change a man’s mind in his decision……….his decision to die.
First, I would like to thank you, those who offered your friendship to me and not just trying to change my mind for your own purpose. I know that some couldn’t accept who I was and the way I handled things, the way I was so straight forward. I couldn’t be no other way and I don’t want you to think that it was your failt for a failed friendship because it’s not. I only like to surround myself with those like minded and not everyone is like minded. We are all unique in our own way.
Most of all, I would like to thank all who were true to your words, your thoughts and deeds. I don’t have to point you out here, because you know who you are and what you meant to me. I feel very blessed to have met you and I feel as though I would have never met anyone like you ever in my life if I wasn’t in here. I love you very much and hope that by my decision, you continue to offer your friendship to others who are in the same circumstances as me. As I have said one before, I will never die as long as you have me in your heart, there is where I will always live, and when you share with others what you have in your hears, a part of me lives through that and what I have of you in my heart live on throughout my journey in this univers as I travel back home….this never ends.
I never hid the fact I was married and she is a wonderful woman who has helped me spiritually with my understanding and seeing different perspectives. If it wasn’t for her, I would be worse off spiritually. I must say that I am very blessed to have her in my life!!! She knew everything I did and had and who was in my life. She is the most woman that I have ever known to have unconditional love for me and stuck there right be my side. I must acknowledge her: Ailsa Freeman Martinez.
I would like to also thing my girlfriend who has been a part of my life for years and I would like to acknowledge her, but due to some circumstances, it would be best that I didn’t. But even though there was a gap in our communication for some years, she has never left my heart and has taught me a lot about love as well, that you can love more than one person in your life intimately. Each one of us fulfill different needs and bring different feelings and warmth. PLGC
I would like to thank my sister-n-law who has through thick and thin remained by my side no matter what, in her own problems and trials, she has remained there offering any and all support to me. Can not imagine myself in her shoes and handling everything as she has handled everything in her life!!! That is an awesome woman who has really touched my heart in ways that no other has for her braveness, her maturity, her dedication and perseverance to overcome and achieve what she has to achieve…Laura Martinez.
I would like to now speak on some issues that I wouldn’t at the time I was alive, because I knew that it would effect my case and other lives that really need not too. I want to talk about my case so others can know what happened and understand my situation.
First, as everyone knows, I was in prison for a case that happened when I was 17 years old on June 3rd, 1994. I was convicted of Attempted Murder and I feel because I didn’t know about the law (who would at age 17) and wanted to get out, I signed my life to 7 years. In all I did 6 ½ years and when I got out, I wasn’t out but a few weeks and I caught this case.
What happened was that I was supposed to meet a friend whom I met and she was going to spend the Friday with me. Her brother got sick and was hospitalizes and she stayed with him. I canceled everything else, because I was going to spend time with her. But being that this was not the case anymore, I was tuck at the house and everyone I called was busy or had other plans and so I was bored and called this escort service place. I made a deal with them and this woman came over. I agreed to $300 dollars on the phone and when she showed up, I didn’t think she was worth the $300 dollars. She was doing drugs and was wired. I still had sex with her and after the sex was when things got out of hand. She wanted her money and I said that she wasn’t getting any $300. I was going to try to work a deal with her, but she wasn’t trying to hear this and asked for her money and I wasn’t giving her the money and she began to get loud and started cussing me out and calling me all these names. I haven’t allowed anyone to do that in years without doing something and in prison, it’s all about respect and if the next man doesn’t respect you, then you are nothing to them. I don’t know what I was thinking or what was going through my mind as this moment, but everything happened so fast that the next thing I know was that I was getting very mad and then I was over her with the knife. I couldn’t believe what I had done and in my home. I was tripping out about everything. I got everything she owned and threw everything away except the money she had which was like $150 and some chain and which I threw that away as well later. But everything was thrown away. Who would throw away $150? That was the only thing that I kept. I disposed of the victim in a little field and I went on with my business. I couldn’t sleep for a few days and I felt very ashamed for what I had done. I know that some people have done some very shameful things in their life and maybe no one knows about what they did, but have it brought to everyone and in trial everything showed to the public and not only that family and friends. It’s the worst feeling anyone can have. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and die there. There was no justification for what I did.
The only thing I was thinking about was that it would soon enough catch up to me and I didn’t want to hold this in my heart about what happened. I didn’t want to be a murderer of a woman who never did anything to me. It was a spur of the moment on what happened. I have had a lot of women hurt me and I didn’t seek no revenge from them. My mother (adopted mother) was a woman who hurt me all my life and physically and mentally. I have to say that I was happy when my parents divorced, because I wouldn’t have to be around her, but then everything changed when my dad re-married, the only reason I’m bringing this up, because my step mother started to do the same thing my adopted mother did and she tried and at this time had accomplished in breaking the family up of me and my sisters and brother from my dad in some way. We are not all that close. The family that means something to my dad is theone that he has now with my step-mother. I tried to forgive her and tried to forget but I couldn’t and when this happened with this woman, I must say that revenge was boiling within me and I devised a plan to get her too. I admit that everything that happened with her was planned and though of may years before and when everything was going down and thinking about everything, I lost the feeling of compassion and forgiveness. Anger overcame me and there was no turning back. Everything that she had done to me and made my dad do against me, I got even more madder and this is something that the people have to understand. That, yes, I’m a human being that loved and cared for people and still do, but when I get angry, everything doesn’t matter anymore and I don’t think very straight. I ended up stabbing my stepmother and she survived because my little step-sister walked in on this and she told me to stop!!! I know that my step-mother would be dead today if my little sister didn’t walk in on this and I was not going to kill my step mother in front of my sister. I left the house but I knew that they knew me and I would sure enough get caught soon. I went to my cousin’s house and just wanted to think and see what I was going to do and my Aunt and Uncle were there and they asked me to call the police and turn myself in. I didn’t want to at the time and they begged me to, because they didn’t want to get in trouble because they didn’t want to call it on me. I agreed to allow them to call and they called. That is how I was arrested. At the police station in La Port, I even confessed to the murder that I did a few weeks before. I wanted everything cleared.
Now in this article that was written by Time magazine reporter by the name of Nathan Thornburgh dated April 18, 200t titled ‘When a Killer Wants to Die: Death Row ‘Volunteers’ Press for their own speedy executions, should states oblige them?’ I encourage you all to read and see what was said about my case, here, which is not true at all about impressing MexiKan Mafia members, nor did I brag about it to cops. Everything else that was said on the article about me was fairly correct. I see that they didn’t do their homework on investigating who they write about. Evidence shows what happened at the time of my arrest and why I was arrested and it was 3 weeks before I was in custody of the murder. I didn’t do it for attention and I do agree that I want to be in control as much as I can in my journey to my fate and destiny. A lot of guys waive their appeals because they want that attention and hope to find some pen-friends who will feel sorry for them and promise them that they will do everything for them. That was not the case at all! I didn’t even tell anyone in here about my intention except a few guys who I became friends with. I didn’t broadcast everything over the websites or anything like that…everyone found out, because the Anti-Death Penalty Groups put that on sites and shared that with everyone. Further, MexiKan Mafia Org. doesn’t like people who have hurt women, especially, their own people. It would give them a bad name among the prison environment.
Now, on this case, as I have said to you here what happened, I told my fellow member at the time about my situation concerning my case. They were not happy about what was done, but none the less, understood that shit happens. This certain individual who was supposed to be my friend was looking at 25 to life in prison, because he was a habitual felon and there was no way that he would get a lesser sentence. He couldn’t see himself with a 25 year sentence, so he worked a deal with the DA to testify against me and say what they wanted him to say on the stand and in return, he would get 2 years ONLY!!! Also, they would drop on charge and the enhancement. The DA would go in front of his Judge and speak on his behalf that he testified against another member and helped convince me and sentence me to death. I at first thought, I guess this is what they do to members that they want to get rid of. I had no choice to speak anything on my behalf. I never heard this before happening, but there is always a first time for everything. I knew that I didn’t want any part of it anymore and now in one of my writs is an Affidavit where this individual the same one who said I confessed to him of sexual assault and robbery now says that I didn’t do no such thing, but says that I killed this woman out of anger which I have claimed all along. You can see this in court filings that my appeal attorneys have filed. Not only that, there were witnesses or testimony from people that said things on the stand because they wanted to protect what they have worked to keep in their life. I understood why they testified the way they did and I have talked to several witnesses who testified for the State and I don’t hold anything against them. They have asked me to forgive them for what they did and I understand that they have something more valuable to lose then what I have, even being that it is my life. The reason I feel this way is because I have been given many chances to do right and make something out of my life and I didn’t. I cant say that I wasn’t given chances in my life. I even talked to someone within the Courts and I understood their view on how they saw this case and I had said I hold no hard feelings for what was done. They are someone who I didn’t think would respond and you know who you are.
I know what happened with this case and I know what went on to get this conviction. Do I feel that I deserved what has been done? Ye, I do! All my life I have hurt those who loved me, who were there for me trying to help me have a life out there and all I did was bite their hand. I turned on them and used them. My adopted family gave up on me long ago and my friends have long been gone. The few people I have now is something I can’t understand why? I know at times I can be hard to deal with, yet they have stuck there and even though they do not understand my decision fully, they respect what I have done. Those who know me know that I either have it all or nothing at all!! If you are my friend, then you can’t push me to the side for a few months and then come around when you want or put me last. You have to keep in mind that all my life I have been handled like this and I said to myself that I’m the creator of my world and reality. I will not allow that anymore and so those who made me feel this way, I pushed you away and that is why I did that. You know who you are.
I most want people to know and understand here about me and what I most wanted was to find my mother. My birth mothers. I don’t know where she is or if she is really dead like my adopted mother said she was. All these years they would (parents) not tell me anything about my real parents except that my mother was addicted to drugs and they couldn’t take care of me. When I was about 19 my father said to me that I had a brother and a sister. I asked him where is my mother? He didn’t give me an answer. As I was trying to make mends with my adopted mother before I was to be executed, she said to me at one visit that my real mother died of an overdose and that she has been dead since I was young. Why couldn’t they tell me this all this time as I asked them where is my real mother? I looked for her and wrote agencies and no one knew anything. I will die without finding out and that’s all I ever wanted was to find my mother. If she is dead which I’m starting to believe, then I don’t have any more mission to accomplish. I wonder why she hasn’t tried to find me if she was still alive? I wonder if she ever thinks about me? I wondered all my life where she was and at the end of my life I find out that she is dead? Everything has come to this. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison. I don’t want to simply exist in a world that no one cares what happens to you and after all. I don’t believe that death is the end of your existence. I believe that we live on and I hope the God that will be waiting for me will have mercy on my soul if there is this judgment day. I can only ask that I be forgiven for everything I have done and face what is coming.
I do hope that if my real mother is still alive and my adopted parents lied to me like they have all these years, that maybe you will find this last statement and that I did look for you and I couldn’t find you. I was Born on June 16, 1976 at about 1:00 a.m. in Houston, Texas at St. Joseph Hospital. I want you to know that I have no hard feeling for what you did in giving me up. I truly believe that everything happened for a reason and I forgive you. There is no need to feeling sorry for anything. I know that what matters now is that I understand why things happen in life and that I can only strive to be a better person and as I take my last breath, doesn’t mean that I will not find you, because even in death I will seek for you!!!
Once again, I want to thank all for those that truly stayed by my side and became true friend. My loved ones and closest to me, may we all be together again someday in a much better place and time where there is no sorrow, no pain, no lost family.
Sincerely a Condemn Man,
Executed on June 7th, 2005”
As you already know I am Anti-Death Penalty. I have been “anti” for about 20 years now. I was once pro before I was educated to how the justice system really was. Knowing what I know now, if the justice system was to perfect itself to where no innocent people were sent to prison, I’d still be “anti”.
I post in various anti-death penalty support forums. I go there for support from others who are going through the same things, for suggestions, or to offer my support as I’m able. Being anti-death penalty is not very popular, especially, here in Texas, and it’s nice to have a place online to meet people who believe the same thing I do.
One in particular anti-death penalty forum that I post in has been having frequent pro-death penalty advocates posting and some of those posts are disturbing. These posts would make all “pros” look bad if I didn’t know any better.
My mother is pro, however, she does not criticize me for being anti. She understands completely. We don’t get into any debates. She asks me questions and she supports what I do. Prison issues aren’t her concern, therefore, we don’t talk a lot about them.
There are facts/statistics available to help you understand why I am anti. One site you can go to is <a href=”http://web.archive.org/web/20051222105250/http:/www.tcadp.org/”>TCADP</a>. There is a lot of information about statistics regarding the death penalty. Please don’t take my word for it. Do searches. Look for the information. Educate yourself.
Remember, when I talk about pros, please don’t think I’m talking about all of you. Those pros who are guilty know what all of this is about.
And please be advise, by posting this, I am NOT inviting any hate e mails, debating e mails and so forth……
One thing I get asked is “what about the victims”. Well, I’m sorry about the victims. I don’t believe in murder. However, I still don’t believe in executions.
I’ll hear “the murders need to be punished!” Well, one thing I do believe in is “prison”. Thank God for prison! Just because I don’t believe in the death penalty doesn’t mean I want “murderers” to be let out of prison.
Another thing said to me is that us “antis” believe that 99% of inmates on Death Row are innocent. BULLSHIT! I don’t know where that got that percent….I take that back, someone said that almost all the Death Row inmates say that they are innocent.
Well, I got a few things to say about that one. First of all, most death row inmates don’t have web pages up. Another thing is, not all the websites that are up talk about “innocent”. Some post to receive legal help for “injustice” (doesn’t mean the same thing as innocent….look it up). Some inmates are merely posting to get pen pals and that’s it.
Fact remains however there are innocent people in prison. Risking an innocent person being executed to keep the death penalty? I don’t get it. That’s a lot of hate in a person.
Grant it, there are many scams out there. Scamming isn‘t limited to inmates. There are many people in the free world that scam. I’ve got a couple of examples of inmates scamming posted on my site.
I do want to make one thing clear, I do know what it is like to loose a loved one to murder. My dear friend was murdered back in May of 1991 by his neighbor because my friend objected to him having Nazi flags hanging all on the outside of their duplex. This man is serving a Life sentence here in Texas. I have much closure with that.
Sorry y’all, I started doing something else, but I’ll get back to this. I’m far from through. One thing I will explain later is the hatred of the pros I’m talking about.
I do want to point something out though. These pros have so much hate in them, they have talked about sending letters out to various death row inmates about dropping their appeals. They were defending themselves that the letters weren’t going to be “hateful” and have no profanity, therefore these letters wouldn’t be harassing said inmates. Well I found a bit of information that I posted, however, they keep arguing that it’s not harassment.
These are some of the Texas Penal Codes of interest.
- 22.08. AIDING SUICIDE. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to promote or assist the commission of suicide by another, he aids or attempts to aid the other to commit or attempt to commit suicide.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless the actor’s conduct causes suicide or attempted suicide that results in serious bodily injury, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.
- 42.07. HARASSMENT. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, he:
(2) threatens, by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of his family or household, or his property;
Also, here is the Federal Civil Rights Statutes
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
Conspiracy Against Rights
This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).
It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.
Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.
Well, some of my feelings have changed toward the pro’s that are posting in the forum than when I started writing this peace. I am keeping what I have said previously, except for the statements I did not finish, e.g. notes to myself.
I do need to add that has an Anti-Death Penalty Forum geared toward support of families and friends of Death Row Inmates. There is a special debate area for Pros to be able to come in and debate issues with Antis willing to debate, however, the forum is not for hateful remarks either way. All other areas discussing Death Penalty issues are for support. If you’re looking for such support, please click here.
Please be advised there is a <a Survey Questionon the forum. You have to register here the go to “For Anti’s Who Were Once Pro Death Penalty”. These posts will go on a future Uncensored Article within the next couple of months.
This is Irene Rekitzke’s account of her son Richard Cartwright’s last days:
My son, Richard Cartwright, was a very special person. He was beautiful in both mind and soul. He loved his family, especially his 8 year old daughter, Ricki, and very much wanted to be here for her as much as he possibly could. Richard was not guilty of the crime he died for. I believe this with my whole heart, not because he is my son, but because of the evidence, or lack there of. But nonetheless, Richard was executed by the State of Texas on May 19, 2005.
The lack of evidence was astounding, and Rich was convicted on the testimony of his co-defendants, both of which received a “deal” for testifying against Richard at his trial. Yet when one of the co-defendants, Kelly Overstreet, changed his testimony and admitted he lied right before Rich was executed, the prosecutor stated that Kelly Overstreet’s testimony was “inherently unreliable.” Yet it was this same man’s testimony that sent Richard to his death.
Further, there was no physical evidence to link Richard to the crime scene. Footprints of both co-defendants and the victim were found, but none of Rich’s was found. The gun was never recovered and there was no blood or other evidence found to link Richard to the actual murder. He admitted being there, driving the truck, but always maintained that he was away from the victim and the two co-defendants when the murder occurred. He took off in the truck when he heard gun shots, and both co-defendants told him they would get even with him for leaving them behind. I guess that part of their plan really worked.
But that is not what this is about. This is about the execution of my son. At 6:16 p.m., on May 19th, he was pronounced dead. The world lost a courageous fighter, the men on Death Row lost a true and loyal friend, his daughter lost her wonderful Daddy, I lost the best son a mother could ever want, his sister lost her only brother, his Dad lost his only son, and his special friends lost his love and friendship. He was always there for us, guiding, chiding, and loving us through every step of our lives. Until the end, he was strong in his faith and in his love for God, his friends and family, and of life. He never quit.
Rich did not take the easy path, and certainly not the path of least resistance. On death row, he learned that the rules are subject to interpretation, and that some guards that work there twist and bend them in a way that is very cruel. He was not willing to be silent and endure, or to watch his friends and fellow inmates be tortured and abused without speaking out. He, along with his spiritual brother Paul Colella, wrote many articles about the cruel and inhumane treatment of the men on death row. These can be found at the following link:
I firmly believe that the final petition filed on his behalf by the Innocence Project out of the University of Houston was denied partially because the people in charge like Governor Rick Perry wanted to silence him because they considered him a troublemaker. They wanted to continue to impose the death penalty and use it as a political campaign position to be re-elected. This is because statistics show that approximately 80% of Texans support the death penalty. In writing this account of the last week in the life of my son, Richard Cartwright, I want all Texans, an indeed all Americans, to know what they are supporting when they support the death penalty. If anyone still supports the death penalty after reading this, at least you will support it from a position of full understanding. It is my personal belief that when you do understand how it works, you will be appalled and horrified.
I want to add something else here. I am not a legal person. When my son came into this judicial nightmare, I somewhat supported the death penalty myself. I also strongly believed that the justice system in our country was above reproach, that if a man or woman was convicted, there had to be a good reason because that wouldn’t happen to an innocent person, and that everyone involved in the process always had the truth as their ultimate goal and guiding principle. I am not ignorant anymore, I understand most of what happened to my son, and I will always be sorry that I didn’t know how the legal system worked at the beginning of our walk through it. Everything I write here is from my heart, and if anything I say is inaccurate, it is not on purpose. I am going to give you the truth as I know it, with no holds barred. Fasten your seat belts, sit up, and listen. Otherwise, my story could some day be your story. Your son or daughter could one day lie on a gurney with needles in both arms, and gasp their last breath right before your eyes.
My last truly private visit with my son takes place on Saturday, May 14th. I am allowed to visit with him from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. I fly down from Chicago in the morning, then drive from the airport to Livingston, Texas, where death row inmates are housed on Polunsky Unit.
I go into the main building at Polunsky Unit and provide my photo ID to the guard on duty. The guard checks to ensure I am on my son’s approved visitation list. Once that is done, the guard retains my ID and gives me a bright yellow badge with DR and a number on it to pin on my shirt. “DR” stands for death row. I feel a little like the Jews must have felt when they were “branded” by the Nazis. With my badge in place, I walk through a metal detector, and pass through two controlled doors, and a controlled gate. In doing so, I move through two sets of high chain link fencing, topped with coiled razor barbed wire. I am once again outside. It is a long walk from the guard building to the main building, the evening is warm and sultry, and the walkway is lined with beautiful, very old, rose bushes and moss roses. Tonight I think once again how strange to have such beauty in the midst of a death camp. Finally I am inside the main building. Next, I am buzzed through two more controlled doors, and finally I am in the visitation room. I hand the blue slip of paper to the guard at the table, and I am assigned a window where I can visit with my son.
Each window has a metal shelf in front of the glass, and is about 3 feet wide. There are two phone receivers, on hanging on each side of the window. They are used to speak with the inmate. A plastic stackable chair is where the visitor sits. The inmate on the other side of the glass has a similar shelf, but sits on a metal stool. The inmate is enclosed in a metal cage with solid sides, and a door in the back. The top of the door has a metal grate, and the bottom is solid.
Arriving at the assigned cubicle, my son is already waiting for me. This only happens on Saturday visitation. Other times, a visitor often waits 1 to 2 hours before the inmate is brought to the visitation room. Rich is behind the glass, smiling, and immediately reaches for the phone. You see, on death row, an inmate can never touch their visitor. There is thick glass between us, and we each press one hand to the glass, as though we are holding hands, but in reality our connection is through our hearts, not our touch on the cold glass. We first talk about who will be coming to visit next week, his final week of life. We discuss his appeal, and how much he appreciates the work of Morris Moon in the Texas Defender’s Office and Jared Tyler with the Innocence Project at the University of Houston. Rich tells me that Jared Tyler came to visit him in person on Thursday of the preceding week. Jared let Richard know that it was likely that their petition on his behalf would be denied. There is this thing called “procedural barring” that stands in the way in the State of Texas. Translated (at least this is my interpretation of procedural barring), it means eliminate all possible grounds for appeals to the State of Texas so they can dispose of the men and women on death row in an expedited manner. It prevents evidence from being introduced, no matter how relevant it is.
Rich is simply grateful and amazed that Jared took the time to visit him in person. This is not a common occurrence for him. His attorneys haven’t visited him death row. Instead, more often than not, they send a short letter. There are exceptions to this, and there are some wonderful attorneys that give their heart and soul to these cases and these inmates, but to this point, Richard has not been blessed with that kind of caring legal assistance. Rich tells me he really likes Jared Tyler and his honest, straight forward approach. I tell Rich that Tina Church, the private investigator working on his case that brought both Morris Moon and Jared Tyler into it, is continuing to work hard as well, desperately looking for something that can get his case back into court, or at least postpone his execution. He tells me, “Mom, I am at peace with whatever happens. I don’t want to die, but I hate living like this. And I don’t want a 30 day stay. I would never, never want to put you through this again. I know how hard it is on you, on all of you. If they are going to kill me, it is better done now.” I have trouble not crying. Rich continues to be more concerned with those around him then himself, right to the end of his life.
One more word about Rich’s attorneys. When Richard was given an execution date, his attorney, Michael Gross, did not call or visit him. He did not call me, either. Instead, he sent me a copy of the “Death Warrant” with a one sentence cover letter. Rich received the same letter with a copy of the death warrant in the same manner. I cannot think of a more devastating way to learn your son or daughter has had an execution date set, can you? Tonight we talk about Jack Wilcox, Rich’s spiritual advisor. Jack is 80 years old, but comes to the prison each day, along with his wife Irene, and they minister to death row prisoners. In reality, it is who they are. Jack and Irene are committed to the spiritual growth of these men, and are so very faithful in their work. They call out between 2 and 4 inmates each day, giving them a brief respite from their cage and loneliness, buy them some food, and simply talk with them, not just about God, but about their wants, needs and hopes. When the time is done, the inmate knows that someone cares about them very much.
Jack just had hip replacement surgery and Rich tells me that Jack came to visit him earlier in the week. Rich was Jack’s first visit to anyone back on the row since his surgery. Jack wanted Rich to know that no matter what, he will be there for him on the 19th, if it comes to pass. Jack wasn’t up to other visits that day, so he left after that. With that visit, a weight was lifted from Rich’s shoulders, he tells me. Jack will be there to see him through. Jack will comfort and guide him, then be there for Rich’s family on execution day. Rich is happy about this, but I am sad, thinking more why Jack will be there, than about the comfort he will surely bring to us all.
Rich also proudly tells me that he was baptized this past week. He says that he knows he was baptized as a baby, but that was my choice. This time, doing it as an adult, it is his choice. He has me laughing as he tells me how he almost drowned and got killed during the process. He says that they took one of the carts that they push around to collect laundry that has canvas bags in it, and they put in a plastic liner and filled it up with water. Then they had him climb in, but he was handcuffed. Somehow they were then pushing him down the run, things were hitting him in the head, he couldn’t stand up, fell under the water, came up sputtering, and was not quite sure he would live through it as it was happening. But in the end, he was baptized and he feels terrific about that. I smile, thinking of him sputtering and surfacing, not quite sure what is going on, but determined to finish what he started, just like everything else he does.
Rich is also concerned tonight about his property. You see, if an inmate has something for someone that is visiting with them, the inmate can send this property out to the visitor ahead of time. He has two pictures for me in his property, actually one for me and one for Ricki, his beautiful 8 year old daughter. The guard keeps saying later. But finally it comes. He is so happy that I have them. Rich tells me to be careful because they are chalk, and could smear so easily. The envelope is taped, so I have to wait until later to look at them. He is peaceful, knowing that I have received his final gift to me and to his daughter.
During the visit, I buy food for my son from the vending machines in the visitation room. I wait my turn, since only one person at a time can buy food. The way it works, the guard has to accompany you to the machines, you put the coins in and make the selection, but you are not allowed to touch any of the food, or the inmate can’t have it. He requests two sandwiches, since meat is very rare in their meals. He also requests 7 packages of teriyaki sticks, which are little sausages. To go along with that, he wants a vanilla Coke, a Dr. Pepper, a honey bun, a bag of barbecue potato chips, a piece of cheesecake, and a cup of peaches. Real fruit is also rare in a prisoner’s diet.
Buying food is a special treat for me, because I am not allowed to buy many things for him. I can send him books through a third party like Amazon (I cannot send him books I have at home, though.), and I can send him paper and envelopes through a third party like Office Depot. Nothing can be sent directly to him. Twice I was able to buy him eye glasses, and you have absolutely no idea how difficult that was. My best estimate is that it took more than 40 phone calls and a great deal of pleading. One would think the State of Texas would be happy to have someone pick up the tab, but that is not the case.
Anyway, once I purchase the food, I go back and talk once more with my son. Soon someone is behind his visitation cage with his bags of food. They drop down the bean slot, a little drop down door, somewhat like a mail shoot, and pass the lunch sized food bags to him. When he has a visit, normally he will skip his meal tray all day, starting with the breakfast tray that is served every day at 3 a.m. Today is no exception. He wants to savor this good vending machine food. He pulls out each piece, then slowly eats it all. I smile, watching him eat, and the he licks his plastic fork after the cheesecake slice is gone.
Next, we talk about God. Richard’s walk with God is very strong, and he tells me that he cannot believe how calm he is as he approaches his death. He says that Jack told him he has “the peace that passes all understanding.” I see it, but don’t quite know if it is real or not. I think to myself, the next few days will tell us for sure. But he is calm, cheerful, his usual zany, lovable self. I enjoy the visit, in spite of my feelings of sadness.
Rich tells me that he has put the Purpose Drive Life book aside, preferring to stay directly in his Bible now. It is his third time through the Purpose Drive Life, and we were actually reading it together. We had set up a calendar with the dates we would read each chapter, and then we were mailing our thoughts back and forth to each other every day. It has been a way of sharing for us, just like we always look at each sunrise and sunset, and think of each other. I say I understand, and I really do. Nothing gives me peace or a feeling of contentment quite like reading my Bible. I am glad to know the same is true for Rich.
Rich tells me that there is a guard at Polunsky Unit that cannot seem to find the Purpose Driven Life book. His name is Sergeant Thompson. Rich asks me if I would give Sgt. Thompson his Purpose Drive Life book if he is executed. He wants the book to continue to bless people. I ask Sgt. Thompson’s first name, but Rich doesn’t know. He says just send it to 3rd shift Sgt. Thompson. I tell him I will.
At 9:50 p.m., the guard walks behind me and says “10 more minutes.” I cringe, knowing I have to leave my son here. It is so very, very hard to do. We spend the last few minutes joking about great escape plans, swooping down with a helicopter, and such. Sadly, we both know it is idle chatter.
Finally, time is up. I press my hand to the glass again, and he does the same. The tears are so close to the surface for me now, and there is a huge, uncomfortable knot deep in my throat. I feel it again as I write this for you. I have learned to live with it. We say good bye, and he asks me to try and bring his daughter for a visit. I promise to do so.
As I leave, all the inmates are still sitting inside their cages. I pass to the other side of the visitation room, and I can see Rich from the back side. He turns to face me, and waves through the wire grate as I once again pass through the controlled doors. I continue to wave as I go down the long glass corridor towards the entrance of the building, until I can no longer see my son. Now I let the tears roll down my cheeks. As my son would say, four more days and a wake up call until he is snatched from me forever.
I head back to where I am staying, taking the two pictures he drew with me. When I get inside, I open the pictures. Rich told me at visitation that even if he gets a stay, he doesn’t think he will draw again because he couldn’t draw anything that would come close to these two pictures. He is right, they are wonderful. For me, he has drawn the head of Christ, complete with a thorny crown. It is all in charcoals, and beautifully done. The expression on Christ’s face is pained and peaceful at the same time. The picture for Ricki is of Ricki. He copied a photograph I sent him of Ricki from last summer, sitting at my kitchen table, drinking a Dairy Queen Blizzard with a big smile on her face. He captured her image and personality beautifully. I not only have a wonderful, gentle, kind, strong son, but a very, very talented one as well.