Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Letter from Death Row (Texas is executing more prisoners than ever this year)



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"They executed my friend R. I've known him since he got on the row in 2004...now he's dead, and I'll never see him again...I worked a deal with the law to get him fed when he went off and got gassed....The night he was executed I stayed up listening to rock music. Singing our favourite songs. I sang until I screamed and screamed until I was hoarse. It's still hard to realise he is no more...I refer to more of my friends in the past tense than I'd care to." And this is a man who says he doesn't know how to love.



Irving lives in a cell like the one in the picture; alone all the time. He's been there for 12 years. I read his heartbreaking letters, and sometimes they make me weep.

Whatever he has done - and he never refers to it - does any human being deserve to be treated like  this? He had an appalling childhood; not an excuse, but maybe a reason? He writes: "I once went to school, and for show and tell I showed them the belt marks and bruises".

12 comments:

  1. Frances,
    You are doing a wonderful thing here....shedding light on the atrocities committed in this country. It is heartbreaking, a shame and an embarrassment and I hate it. I HATE IT. The same people that applaud treating people like animals (no, worse than animals) tell you they are CHRISTIANS and go to church every Sunday. Sure they do...to see and be seen. Sanctimonious assholes. The humane society would be up in arms if dogs were treated like this. Oh! Can you just hear the outcry?

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. The big problem is that not enough people know about it (one of the reasons I keep banging on about it). I'm sure I've said thsi before, but Rick Perry. Texas governor, can be seen on video saying he wouldn't lose sleep if innocent men were executed (he of course has the power to prevent each execution).

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  2. You are a heroine.
    We all know that certain factions of American society are still living in the last century.
    I did hope they would grow up. Texas will be the last stronghold of the idiots. Big hats, big cars, big guns and tiny,tiny brains.
    I also hoped Obama would stop them...he is perhaps right not to, with what I saw of Idaho they would have another civil war.
    All countries are a little bit daft but when I heard the outcry over the bombings from Boston my feelings were less than charitable. The ex-Irish Bostonites feeding the coffers of the IRA getting blown up did my heart good...Shame on me. Double shame for lumping all Bostonians in the same pot... I quite like Boston except for them tipping our tea in the harbour and not being able to finish with road works.

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    1. Not a heroine, Adrian. Just a woman with a mission!

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    1. It's dreadful, Wendy. This treatment of human beings is diabolical. As Yvonne says, if you did it to an animal, you'd never get away with it.

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  4. I am shocked and horrified. I come from New Zealand where (to my knowledge) we do not have institutions such as this nor do we have the death sentence - thank god.

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    1. Hi, Wendy. You probably haven't heard me going on about this before! But if you - or anyone you know - would like to write to a prisoner, there are more than 200 waiting for pen friends..? It can be very rewarding. The two I've had have amazing spirit and sense of humour, despite their appalling existences.

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  5. A dreadful way to treat people, Frances and worse that they don't care either way about innocence or guilt. It is a wonderful thing you are doing x

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  6. I really admire you having the courage of your convictions and getting involved in this, Frances. It's horrific - as you say, an animal would be treated better.

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  7. When I first read this post I just stared at it foe ages in a sort of dumb sadness. Now that I'm trying to catch up after a month of little time in Blogland I still feel the same. I really find it hard to find any adequate words for the situation.

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  8. what a letter. we warehouse the underclass and forget about them. the power structure feeds on them. it's more than sad. it's a crime. thank you for posting.

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