Vietnamese National On Texas Death Row

                                                                    LETTER FROM SON TRAN; 2004

Happy Vietnamese New Year!! It's the year of the Monkey, therefore you are permitted to monkey around some! Smile.

May I introduce myself?

My name is Son Tran - I'm an Vietnamese male incarcerated on Texas death row who is interested in making friends and having pen-pals.
If I was ask to describe my personality, what would I say? Hmmm.. . I am easy going, good-natured, and open minded to most things. I am disciplined and well mannered. I carry a positive outlook towards life, and more than not carry a smile on my face.

Some of my interests and hobbies: I like to stay active, so sports and working out is a part of my life. I'm always trying to grow and exceed in all aspect of life and in all things I do. I am an avid reader/ and I enjoy correspondencing with others. From time to time, depending on my mood I write poetry or draw. I also like to relax listening to music, and so much more.

Well, I hope this brief summary have given you a better ideal of the man I am, and the desire."-, to befriend me. So if this person is you--- and you feel the slightest urge to write--- then do so... don't be shy. I would be glad to hear from you.

Sincerely, SON TRAN

My address: 

 Son Tran # 999372
3872 FM 350 SOUTH

Just A Few Questions

Have you ever stop to wonder about the life of a prisoner? A death row prisoner? Being confined 23 hours a day in a 6x9 cage. Think you can handle it? Can you begin to imagine the roller coaster ride of emotions and physical toil they must endure, knowing that they will one day be killed, euthanized like some animal; strapped to a gurney as lethal doses of poisons are injected to course through the i.v. placed in your veins, chasing out every flicker of hope and condemning a life that could have been... to walk through the valley of death? Can you accept something like that happening to a friend, a family member, a loved one? Them having to say goodbye, and then watching the tears that are shed for no longer being able to laugh, smile or talk to you? Could you deal with that? How might you feel if I told you I know the feeling and answer to some of these questions?

Hello. My name is Son Tran. I am a Vietnamese male. Incarcerated since 1997, at the age of 17, I was ultimately sentenced to death at 20 years of age by the Courts in Harris County, and shortyly thereafter arrived on Texas death row. Where I now write this at the age of 23.

This month (October of 2003) makes the sixth year of institutional confinement for me. It's not like I'm counting and keeping track, one can ' t help but reflect on the years lost. During these years I've fought, survived, and endured the dreadful conditions, the brutality of guards, and experienced first-hand the inhuman existence of prison life. My eyes have witnessed so much that I am no longer surprised by what"they see.

I wake each day with a heavy burden, this arching blade upon my neck as I fight to seek relief from the courts of appeal. I strive daily to maintain a positive composure and outlook towards life, and not let incarceration plant the seed of bitterness, or allow hatred to grow--- fester within my spirit. At times it's tough, but I've learned to live and adapt to each situation I face. I still laugh and smile in the worst of times/ and hold strong to my dreams and beliefs. I can't--- wont give in to self-pity nor, will I give in to the system design: to enslave me and program my mind; to break and take away from me any desire to think, to fight, to live; in short: to be me.

I face life's trials with my head held high, and do all I can to better myself in the eyes of what has become for me the beast: The system. Hopeful that I'll eventually share with those who believe my death sentence is just, I am not the monster the Courtsled them to believe, nor am I the monster---to justify their views--- that they need me to become.

So who am I then?

I am a dad. I am someone's son. I am a person who would like to make a difference. I am a human being. I am sitting on death row sharing with you my life.

I am Son Tran.

                                POETRY BY SON TRAN - FROM TEXAS DEATH ROW


As I stare Into my mother's eyes
and see her love for me,
my eyes get teary, my vision clouds.
I do everything I can
to fight back my tears---

I haven ' t cried since I don't know when,
but seeing the sadness in my mother
as she attempts to smile, just breaks my heart.
I try to reach out and comfort her ,
to reassure her I will be okay---

but the glass window between us won't budge.
So, I just stand staring, feeling hopeless ,
with silent tears running down my face.

* A Mother's Love *

S. Tran '02


Kiss me girl and let me know you're near.

I see in your eyes that your love for me is pure.

There's no question of our love, of its certainty,
for our lovemaking sparkles so passionately.

If this is a dream, please let this scene remain;
don't send me back to reality--- don't bring back my pain,
my pain of loving you from behind these prison walls.

Don't let me die alone with this broken heart of mine---
shattered into a million pieces, never again to entwine;
don't let my love for you haunt me like this,
carrying it with me, knowing that your touch I'll always miss.

And if this truly is a dream, then let me die in my sleep,
for were I to wake, I would surely weep:
I'd be back alone in this cell, behind these merciless walls.

*Prison Dreams*

S. Tran '01

I'm living in hell, cold and alone;
my only wish is to be released and go home.

Each day I struggle for peace to find---
I can't let this place taxe what's left of my mind.

Yet late at night I can hear him screaming.
He's trapped inside, begging God for freedom,
wishing he were only dreaming;

and praying for forgiveness, no doubt,
but what does God have in store for a soul crying out?

Every man behind these walls has his own story to tell,
a personal pain on which to dwell.

But who will listen to us,
listen when society says our punishment is only justice?

Will You Listen?

 S. Tran '01


                               PENPAL REQUEST  - PLEASE WRITE !  

Hello, my name is Son Tran. I am a Vietnamese male condemned to die, residing on Texas Death row. With a hand of friendship I reach out beyond the walls and razor-wired fences, in hope to find someone willing to befriend - and stand by me as I struggle to battle the killing machine that wishes to extinguish the flame which gives me life.

 Confined in what I can only describe as a tomb, 23 hours a day, where day and night entwines as one' and time, the void that breeds loneliness is stressful and unbearable. I struggle daily to maintain a sense of sanity, for I refuse these walls to get the best of me. In times like these I know having someone - a friend to write can help make my mere existence more bearable.

 Should you be reading these words and feel the slightest urge within to write - to reach back and accept my hands of friendship, thus, allowing us the chance to share our life with another...then, please don't hesitate another moment. I would be glad to hear from you. Life is too beautiful a journey to ride alone and not share it with someone else.

Each day brings me closer to a fate unknown, a fate unsure, but together, surely a brighter fate exists for me...for us.


Son Tran # 999372
3872 FM 350 SOUTH

  GERMAN and ENGLSH European Support Page for Son Tran
  Son Tran's Penpal Request at Lamp of  hope

                         The CCADP offers free webpages to over 500 Death Row Prisoners
                                                       Contact us for more information.

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This page was last updated April 1, 2005            Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie in Toronto, Canada