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Donald Duke Palmer

  Death Row, Ohio


My name is Donald Palmer and I've been on death row in the state of Ohio for more than 14 years.

I grew up moving from place to place, often going back to the town I was born in; Martins Ferry, Ohio.
I changed schools 21 times before graduating from Martins Ferry High School. I've lived in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri,
Connecticut, West Virginia, Kansas and Florida before being arrested. I've lived in more than 2 dozen places in those 7 states.

I grew up mostly as a poor kid, but did have a few years of wealth between the ages of 8-12, due to my mother's 3rd, and last marriage...
 which ended as a separation since 1978 until her death; Sept. '03.

I went to church (Protestant) off and on throughout my childhood. I believe in God, and I choose to believe in Christ.
I once read a quote which said, "God is too big to fit into one religion." I do not believe in "One True Religion".
I do not believe life is all there is all there is to our existence... simply because, if it is, there's no point to it!
That would mean that we're only here to propagate our species, and we are the only threat to the rest of life on this planet!

I believe the universe is of intelligent design. I believe man was made in the image of his Creator.
If Jesus was "God in the flesh", and He said, "Even the least among you can do all that I have done, and even greater things",
then being made in His image also makes us "God". "God is love"... we've all heard that at some point in our lives.
So, when we love, we act as God. Love, in its purest sense, is not selfish. Yet, when we do a great kindness for a complete stranger,
 the reward is felt within us, and it does feel good, and I do it because it feels good. So, love can be selfserving,
even if we end up helping someone in the process. Perhaps loves is selfish. Perhaps God is selfish in His love for His creation.

I believe in God because life has no meaning without something more than the life we live.

Being a death row inmate has given me an unique advantage over most people.
The death penalty exists because the majority of voters support it,
 so (in essense) I'm not fit to live among the majority.
Being hated by the majority of society has freed me from the social makes that we all wear.
 Suddenly, being anti-social seems to be a virtue, instead of a mental dysfunction.
Why would I want to make a good impression for those who support "LEGAL" murder?
So, freed from what other people think of me, I have no need to put on any pretense.
I can be myself, and what other people think of me is none of my concern.

Secondly, I've been forced to deal with my mortality! Unless something changes,
I'm going to be executed by the State of Ohio, on behalf of its citizens!
 Once I had accepted the fact that I'm going to die. I've learned to live life.
I have no responsibilities; no bills, no job, no car... NOTHING!
It made me realize how much of our lives is wasted on "Things to do...".
At the end of life, when we're about to die, all we have to comfort us is our memories.
The tme we spend, needlessly, to acquire wealth is time we could've spent with loved ones.
So, this is my belief about life;

Life is a journey. Every action we make in our lives begins with a thought. No one can place a thought
in our minds... only we can put a thought there. We are the sole authors of what is in our minds, and
therefore responsible for every action we make in life. If we think life sucks, it will. If we think life is
good, it is. However you perceive life, that is how it will be for your. It is a choice, because the thought
is yours... you put that thought into your mind, because you chose to see life that way. How you see
life, at the end of your life, is how you chose to live it... and it's how you WILL see it.

I choose to spend my life with friends and family. Loving them, being loved by them, sharing the
journey through its pain and troubles, and its pleasure and glory.

"I think, therefore I am"...

I've spent my 14 years on the row writing to penpals. I pick a handful of people who are "real", and I allow them to see all that I am.
Because I have no worries about whether people like me or not, I know that the ones who do bond with me like me for who I am.
It allows me to weed through all the false pretenses and fake personalities.
And, I've found that people really do want to be known for who they are on the inside,
 but most are too frightened of what other people will think.
If only they would realise that what other people think of them has no effect on who they are.
It is what one thinks of oneself that makes us who we are.

Let's face it... I have nothing to lose, and nothing to gain. It'd be easy to be what people think I am; the worst Ohio has to offer, scum of the earth, unfit to live, murderer, etc etc. I could be bitter. I could hate the majority of society. But, I am not anything I've ever done, anything people say I am, anything I've been taught, anything I've been judged and convicted of being! I am who I choose to be! I don't hate the people who want to see me executed... I pity them.
The people who judge me don't define who I am, they define themselves as people who judge others. Only I know the thoughts in my mind,
and I know I'm not anything people say I am. I am only who I think I am, and I have the power to be whoever I want to be,
simply by putting the thoughts in my mind, and by the actions those thoughts create.

Whether oone chooses to believe in God, or not... either way, you'll be right.
As for heaven and/or hell... I'll leave that to those no longer living.

As for me, I believe God is like the ocean, and we are but drops of water that inevitably will return to its source.
We ARE God, and will return to Him when our vessels can no longer contain Him.
How we exercise the God within us is all that matters.

I'm a death row inmate, and I'm a good person, and I'm glad to have lived this day.
That FACT pisses off the majority of our society, and I really don't find it to be any of my concern!

Live and let live!

Personal facts;

Name: Donald L. Palmer, Jr. aka "Duke"
Date of Birth; February 11th, 1965
Height; 6'1"
Weight 220
Education: H.S. Diploma/Technical training
Conviction; Agg Murder (x2) Agg. Robbery (x2)
Sentence: Death
Years on Death Row; 14+
Hobbies; Writing, drawing, painting, reading, working out, introspection, poetry, singing and listening to music.

Goals: Enjoy life, no matter the circumstances, and die a better man.

Donald L. Palmer
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, Ohio 44505

    *  Note from Donald Palmer's supporters:  
Duke needs an investigator pretty quickly. One who will work for free if possible.  

All the investigator is needed for is to get 2 statements.
After that duke can then present this to the courts and get some help BUT
he needs these statements FIRST,
If anyone can help please contact Duke DIRECTLY
and he will let you know what he needs. thank you.


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Last updated December 28, 2010  Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie