UNCENSORED FROM TEXAS DEATH ROW
WELL HELLO AGAIN! My name is Richard M. Cartwright AKA (Chi-Town). Some of you will hopefully remember me from Paul Colello’s Uncensored from Death Row.” Since than my best friend (Paul Colella) has been moved to population and will fell the Free-World sun on his face and grass between his toes. Paul, I love you Dog. Keep you head up!! I just recently sent Paul a letter asking if I could take over “Uncensored on Death Row” where he left off. Once I get his permission I will start my writing to expose the extremely torturous and humiliating circumstances we on the row presently face.
I have recently been placed back on the infamous F-Pod, Level III?? Why you ask? Because I cussed out an officer? Why? Because said officer cussed me out! When I went to court in Captain Wickersham’s Office (D.R. Captain), he said “How do you plead?” I told him guilty, but the reason I cussed out the officer is because he cussed me first. To this Capt. Wickersham says “Well you should expect that!” WHAT? This is the man who is completely responsible for the CO’s behavior, which they claim is professional! YEAH RIGHT! He said this on tape and in front of 3 other witnesses, one of whom was my substitute counsel Mrs. Jones! Verdict Guilty! Move on out inmate! Now a week later December 20th, 2004, they come to my cell and tell me to “pack up, you’re going to F-Pod!!” Well, there goes my special Christmas visit with my 8 year old daughter, Ricki, just like that. So of course I’m pissed, but decide what to do! I come out of my cell. I’m handcuffed from behind and walking towards F-Pod and just as we get there, I get slammed face first into the floor! Why? Let me read the case. Quote “Reduction from Level II to Level III for assaulting Sergeant Paul Tolly, with no injury or weapon by grabbing his shirt in an aggressive manner causing a use of force.” Mind you all, I’m handcuffed behind my back with an officer holding an arm on both sides of me, yet I assaulted Sgt. P. Tolly. Once the Rouge Captain Wickersham came to Death Row the Officers do no wrong, no matter the circumstances! The level of despair and frustration this causes knows no limits, none!! They think it is a joke. Oh Well. I don’t think it’s a joke. My daughter is not laughing. It is cruel!! That is the bottom line. I lost my special visit with my daughter, 2+ years without a case!!! I refuse to “except” any of this regardless of what Capt. Wickersham says. I will now start to stand up every time I see wrong doings, every time! I’m sick of frustration and hopelessness I often feel. I refuse to give the administration that kind of control. They took my visit with my daughter. They can hurt me no more that that. Well until I hear from Paul, I’m signing off, but not giving up!
In My Struggle,
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
December 24, 2004
3:35 a.m. - I’m pacing my cage, 1, 2, 3, turn, 1, 2, 3, turn. It’s Christmas Eve and I pace. My emotions alternate from love to hate, pain to rage, hurt to confused. I pace trying to outrun the BEAST WITHIN. The beast made of my pain and hurt. There is no room for pity or sadness in here. No understanding of love from the powers to be….just pace my cage on Christmas Eve and keep my demons away.
I’m at a breaking point. I don’t know when I will fight, but fight back I must. One can only be pushed and cornered for so long. You either snap back and fight or break. I will not let them break me. They lost all their bargaining chips when thy took away my special visit with my daughter. Nothing else can be held over my head.
As I pace and write I think back and see how the conditions here on the row have steadily gotten worse day by day! New restrictions, more rules from prisoners. No one else has rules to follow.
We sit passively by as we wait our turn to be slaughtered. Why? For commissary? For our radio? That is what it boils down to!
Me, it was the special visits from my family, the real reason form my passivity. I’ve tried, but now I try no more! I will not be pushed 1 inch!!! Broken toilets, cold showers, nasty dog-type food! Dirty, filthy, stinking Pods that no one wants to clean.
I do not regret these last couple of years of being passive and most likely I would have been able to continue my blind-eyed-ways through the last year or so of my life. I tried, but now I pace, hoping to hold at bay my aner, heart and pain….turning all into a rage against this DEATH MACHINE they call TEXAS.
I almost feel relieved or rare I say “FREE”? I am my own destiny and I choose to take you all on the ride with me through what’s left of my life. Hold on tight and fasten your seat belt. This will not be pretty. I will pull no punches. No softened truths. Just write it raw and how I see it. My own not-so-personal diary of my little hell on earth. Do I deserve it? Some say “Yes”! Are they wrong? Who am I to say!
This is not just about me, but it is about a society called Death Row. A society put together by you the Free-World Voters. A necessity? Who’s to say?
Do not doubt that we are our own society! Upside-down and backwards as it may seem to you guys out there, be are a dysfunctional society. As motley as a crew we are.
I’ve seen far more love and compassion in here than I’ve ever seen in the free-world! Struggling in the throws of Death to redeem one-self. To come to terms with yourself. To forgive yourself. To die bit by bit slowly each day, betting closer to death. Each execution on step closer to YOU!!! Not so slowly at the POLUNSKY UNTI DEATH HOUSE though!
Prisoners kill themselves on a regular basis!! This is fact not fiction. Then there are the ones who fid escape through insanity! You think it is an act? Soam say “Yes”! Tell that to the man who cut his penis off. Or the many men who live in their cages and play in their own bodily wastes!
The guards just laugh and ignore them. Voices of the haunted. Voices of the mad. This cage is made to break ones will to live and save the State of Texas millions of dollars on appeals. Because we (prisoners) volunteer to drop our appeals and get executed! Just a state sanctioned suicide, eh? Dr. Kevorkian, anyone? However the state may want to sugar-coat it. I’m just calling a spade a spade!! ASSISTED SUICIDE SAVES THE STATE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. GOD BLESS TDCJ! They hold the power of life or death in their hands through their chosen actions. Think about the above stqtaement…I feel like I’m playing cards with a stacked deck. I know it’s stacked, but have to try anyway. What other choice do I have? Assisted suicide? That will never happened.
Well, I’ll sign off for now….need to write some letters….
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
It is Christmas Day! Merry Christmas to all and God Bless you and you families. I spent most of my day thinking about my little girl and hoping she had a wonderful holiday along with the rest of my family out there.
Of course Christmas day on the row is no reason to stop the abuse or insanity. My neighbor, Donald Newbury, #999402 AKA “Lizerd”, one of the infamous Texas 7 is coming back from his Christmas visit with a 5 man extraction team wheeling him on a gurney!! Merry, Merry Christmas Donald!!!
I asked Lizard what happened. After visit policy is a “strip search” in the legal cage! Why? Who knows? You visit over the phone with bullet-proof glass between your visitor and yourself…anyway. I digress…When Lizerd was just in the legal cage and un-cuffed he asked “to speak to the Captain”! They asked “what for?” Lizerd said “personal reasons, not everyone’s business”. This place is like a damn gossip column for real. The powers to be told Lizard the Lt. Griffin was the highest rank on the farm.
Now Lizard told me “I’ve been in this system off and on since 1979 and worked many jobs that required me to be ready 24 hours a day and have had Captains pull me out too many times to count, so I know they always have a at least a Captain available.”
Anyway Lizerd refused to come out of the legal cage and the “Goon Squad” 5 man team was used to extract him by a “use-of-force.” Of course they did not use the usual tear gas and pepper spray on him because they did not want to stain the “pretty white walls” in the main hallway! They must make sure that it stays presentable for tours! (NOTE HERE: there are 6 pods on Death Row A-Pod – F-Pod. Now A-Pod is all newly painted and properly cleaned religiously. Why? Because that is the “Show Pod” for tours and media…The rest of the pods are dirty and smelly.) The use-of-force was of course dirty as they all are. They put the handcuffs on sideways so they dig into you nerve and bones. On as tight as possible. Same with the leg shackles.
Why did Donald feel the need to go to this extreme? He has been filing paper (grievances) on these people for years about unsanitary cells…(See, at first they moved all members of the Texas 7 once a month for security reasons, i.e. harassment…then it was 1 per day for 3 weeks and now it is 1 or 2 x a week!!!) Moving into cells full of human waste…..!!
He would have kept fighting with just paper, but on October 15, 2004, they violently assaulted prisoner Newbury while he was handcuffed behind his back on the run refusing to go into a cell that was filthy.
I asked prisoner Newbury to write in his own words what happened on October 15, 2004.
Donald Newbury, 999403 AKA Lizerd:
"On October 15, 2004 as I was brought out of the shower I saw 3 Sgt., a Lt., and a handful of COs (Non-ranking Officers). I was informed to pack my property because I was moving.
As I was packing I showed Sgt. Puttman the grievence I won which is GR. # 2004008074 wich clearly state the requirement of the ranking officer in charge to properly search and sanitize any cell they are moving a prisoner into! This is for disease control and also for security reasons. The above #2004008074 grievance was signed off by Warden Alford.” (Mr. Newbury also has stated Death Row Warden Jones also signed off on 2 grievances about the same security disease threat.)
“Now as they moved me or tried to move me to FF-71 Cell I noticed the cell was filthy. Mind y’all, this is a constant battle seeing I’ve been moved 56 times just this year ALONE!!! So I stopped at the door and advised Lt. King (who is now Captain King) of the proper policy and procedures that need to be followed before moving me into this cell. Lt. King walked in the cell, walked out and said ‘Put him in the cell’. I locked my legs and refused to move.
TDCJ allows a prisoner who is in imminent fear or bodily injury or safety to refuse an order! Without repercussions. With aids, Hepatitis C, Bronchitis floating around this camp….I had good reason to not want to enter this filthy cell.
Lt. King told the officers to stop until a camera came! (Policy states: Any use of force must be taped and a 5 man team suited up in ’Combat Protection Gear’ if at all possible.) Lt. King stated ‘Warden Alford is not here. I’m running this and you will go.’
In the mean time
Captain Wickersham come storming down the run, walked past me and told the
guards ‘Put the Punk in his cell.’ (Now the term ‘punk’ in
prison means a person who was forced to perform sexual favors on other men.
Very degrading and unprofessional.) Now in that one statement he violated
a few rules.
1) No attempt of intervention to try and reason the matter through by talking. (Work wonders Wickersham)
2) Called Prisoner Newbury a Punk. Provoking the situation more.
3) Authorized a use-of-force with no video camera and no extraction team.
Of course by the time the use-of-force (punches, kicks, arm bending) ended the camera was finally there at the very end! Convenient, eh?
Then Capt. Wickersham violated more policies and procedures by taking it upon himself to cancel my approved visit, leveling me at Level III status. A Captain alone can NOT change a prisoner’s status. That has to go through the proper channel which is (DRCC) Death Row Classification Committee. Just another ‘I’m Above the Law’ Rogue Move by out Rogue Capt. Wickersham. I grieved this issue also and low and behold, the grievance was ‘lost’ and the time frame to file ran out! (God Bless the ‘Good Ole Boyz ‘Sys. Of Justice in TDCJ.)
Now I know what it means when they wear their TDCJ issued hats that way ‘We take care of our own’. Hell, sounds like something for a street gang, eh?
Now I have had 4 use-of-forces since than because I refuse to lie down for the ‘Master’ and all his puppets!
Here is a funny bit of irony for y’all. Now remember this all started with them saying they must move me every 7 days….well my first 9 ½ weeks on Level III (which is the highest security risk status there is) I was not moved at all!!! I guess they only move me once a week when it does not inconvenience them, but me. So that tells me they are just playing games with me. This is not security. It’s a dog and pony show!!!
Thanks for Reading My words
It is 3:00 a.m. and I just received my pathetic breakfast tray!! One spoon, yes on tablespoon of instant eggs and 1 tablespoon of applesauce and 2 hockey-pucks or biscuits and a carton of milk! I’m starving here so I have decided to jack my breakfast try.
Now policy states that they get a 5 man extraction team, gas me, run in on me and get the tray before a weapon can be made. Instead they spend 2 hours trying to talk me out. 6 a.m. come and second shift leaves and no I’m 1st shifts problem. Can you say passing-the-buck?
Now I’ve heard nothing so far and it is close to 10 a.m. Plenty of time to make a weapon out of a sharp and sturdy plastic tray, which I do no do!!
Anyway lunch comes around and they don’t feed me ANYTHING!!! Now it is a federal law that you cannot keep food from a prisoner for a punishment. They are suppose to come get the tray by any means necessary and put me on Food Loaf for 7 days! (What is Food Loaf? Well, they basically take a tray of food in a blender, grind it up and bake it into cornmeal.) Food Loaf is disgusting but the corn meal fill you up. That’s why I want it! Damn shame I’m so hungry I want to eat a nasty food loaf instead of what the powers to be claim is a well balanced and nutritional meal! Yeah because Sgt. Ludwig tells them not to.
Well, I finally agree to give them the tray and get on Food Loaf. I now wonder how long they would have starved me. If that is not cruel and unusual punishment, what is? Sounds like a Nazi Concentration Camp.
You see how this is working, we have the Rogue Capt. Wilkersham who does what he pleases. All the Rank below him see this and do as they please. Now Major Nelson, sho is above Capt. Wilkersham just ignores it all, I-60’s, grievances…and turns a blind eye. She knows exactly what all her ranking officers below her do. It is so frustrating to be put in a no-win situation as this but to give-up or give in is just not an option for me anymore. They are going to kill me. I can’t get my special visits….nothing else matters to me at this point!!! I’m really trying to hold it together!
In Struggle and Solidarity
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
All is quiet, like before the storm….
Knock, knock, knock, Cartwright, hey Cartwright. You going to Court? Yeah, give me a minute. I’m going to court for the “Assault” on Sgt. Tolly and Possession of a shank (weapon) Kangaroo Court”. “How do you plead Offender Cartwright 999224?” “I plead Insanity” “You can’t plead Insanity. You can plead Guilty, Not Guilty or no plea.” “Capt. Bailey, my plea is Insanity.” He laughs and wrights “None” in the space; 30 days cell restriction!!
Now I’m being escorted back to my cell and just stop on the run. Why? I’m just fed up!! Releasing or trying to release my frustrations. Time for another use-of-for. At this time more officers are called and a video camera is present. Sgt. Henderson fails to follow procedures and fails to have a 5 man team suit up…..to much paperwork I suppose. They forcefully put me on the floor and shackle me legs, than forcefully lift me up onto a gurney and wheel me to my cell. No paperwork? No case? Did not happen! Convenient to say the least. No problems here says TDCJ!
Anytime they put a use-of-force, they are supposed to suit up!! They truly have no rules, but we must follow them all. No rules for them. They hold all the aces. But we must keep trying just to survive the constant injustices placed upon us…
Now as I come wheeled back on the gurney they go to get Donald Newbury for court. Now I don’t know how or why, but Mr. Newbury and I have seemed to be feeding off of, or into each others hopeless frustrations. Misery loves company? Strength in numbers? I don’t know, but I take comfort in the camaraderie we now share. It take a little of the hopelessness out of the frustration.
Anyway 30 minutes later and Mr. Newbury is being brought in on a gurney! I have to laugh or else I’ll cry. I know how he feels. I know what he is going through and, more importantly, he knows how I feel. 2 men fight the entire system! Can we win? Never! Can we survive? Maybe!
What is hardest is the pain and worry we cause to our loved ones, family and friends….who I can say al least for myself, are the only reason I still have the strength to go and keep on fighting. For the love and happiness I find in my daughter’s laughter, for my mother, who has never left my side, even when given reason too, and to Melissa for stealing my heart and teaching me how to love again, my friends, Missy, Suzanne, Sandy, Y’all bring so many smiles to me, my sister and her house full of kids and the endless humorous stories you send. Thank you all for your love and support, for all your kindness.
It is 5:10 p.m. and Sgt. Ludwig just brought Newbury a case for today’s little use-of-force, but brought me none! Oh well, just proves a point! They have no rules or regulations to follow. Two prisoners do the same thing on the same day and 1 gets a case and 1 does not! “TDCJ Logic” ? Oxymoron.
Keeping the Spirit Free***********************************
I want to say I know this is hard. You live the battle often worse than I by not knowing from minute to minute. Thank you for your strength and support and for the love I never had before you.
I Love You. Keith Lizerd.
Donald Keith Newbury, 999403”
Dec. 29 cont….
told his officers NOT to shower me. He gave no reason what-so-ever according
to CO Sever and CO Wright. Rogue Rank at Polunsky Unit Death Row is out
of control Lt. Griffith also refused to feed me at breakfast time. Punishing
me for what? I broke no rules! I have a security box on my bean-slot.
At no time are both doors to be opened, so where is the threat?
Here is procedure:
1) Open top of security box and place tray inside.
2) Close and lock top of security box.
3) Once top is secured open side slot for prisoner to get his food tray out.
4) Once done, secure and lock side slot!!
Yet Sgt. Stern refused to feed me saying “Sit on your bunk inmate!” Like I’m a freaking dog!! Sit Boy, Sit! That is ONLY Policy for cells without security boxes, than again what is a Rogue Sgt.? Capt’s, Lt’s, Sgt’s, no rules for them. Sgt. Stern already lost his Sgt. Stripes once on another unit. So they bring him to Death Row as a CO IV for a couple of weeks and give his rank back. I will try my best to find out why he lost his stripes in the first place.
No shower! No food!! Man this sucks and I’m starving. Now when they refuse to feed me, Mr. Newbury (who does not have a security box) stuck his hand out of the food-slot to prevent Sgt. Stern from closing it.
Now Policy states that when a prisoner has a slot “jacked” No more slots should be open and that prisoner shall be watched at all times ‘til said slot is secured. Of coarse Sgt. Stern just left, Newbury, the slot, served the rest of 2 Row and than came downstairs and fed the rest of 1 Row!! Captain Wickersham has let all rank and officers under him out of control. No structure! How are we supposed to know where we stand? One day this is a rule, the next day it is something different. Chaos reins the Death Row ranks and officers all at Capt. Wickersham’s will. Why is Major Nelson allowing this? I don’t know. Call her and find out!!! Please call.
Back to Newbury and the jacked slot! Newbury gave it back one Lt. Griffith finally came on the pod. Still Newbury should have gotten a major disciplinary case and 7 days food-loaf. (I’m glad he did not!!) The reason he did not is because that would mean paperwork for Lt. Griffith’s shift and with paperwork, questions are asked! Why did Newbury jack the slot? Why did you not feed or shower Cartwright?
This all started when Capt. Wickersham came to take over Death Row!!! One person starts an avalanche of trouble. I have “The Death Penalty”. I really do not with so spend what little time I have left fighting these people, nor will I stand-down while they steadily screw me over. I can only speak for myself. I know many feel the same way I do, but we are all made differently and handle things differently!
Well, thanks again for “listening”. I better close her for now before Suzanne starts getting mad at me! Thanks again Suzanne and James for all your help and support. You are 2 very special people.
Until Next Time,****************************
Once again my mail has not been picked up and processed this morning! It is still sitting in my door where I left it. I’ve been trying to mail the same four letters out since Monday the 27th!! Melissa, Mom, Suzanne and Paula, please forgive the delay. It is by no means intentional!
Well, let’s see if I can find out what’s up. I hollered over the run just now and Ivan Cantu and Mr. Newbury said they both had mail going out on the 31st that was not picked up. This is Bull----!! They push and push! They want a reaction? I will give them one.
Shower time Cartwright. Officer White and Officer Puttman tell me to strip-out, do the dance, lift testicles, raise arms, run fingers through hair, turn around spread you butt-cheeks, lift your feet, show the bottoms….put you boxer shorts on, squat down, put your hands out behind you to be handcuffed. The bean-slot on our steel-door is approx 2 ½‘ from the floor so as I do this the officer (don’t know which one, my back is turned) puts the handcuff on one hand and starts to put the other one on. I jump forward pulling the cuffs, the dog leash and the officer with me. I end up with the handcuffs and dog leash. This is called “Jacking the Cuffs”. Sgt. Thompson is called and I explain what’s up! He is not in charge of mail….so I say right on, suit it up! We all know shit rolls down hill. So I cause them enough grief. They will get on the mailroom too!
1 hour later here comes Rogue Captain Wickersham, Lt. Roach, Sgt. Thompson and Five Man Extraction Team (i.e. 5 men in body armor, helmet, gas masks and a shield). 1 man is Officer Moss (approx. 240 lbs.), 2nd man Big “C” (approx. 300 lbs.), 3rd man Officer Smith (about 200 lbs.), 4th man Officer Smith (another one, 240 lbs.) and 5th man Officer Daniels (190 lbs.). They come stomping in here like Li’l Troopers, very intimidating (sarcasm people, sarcasm). Sgt. Thompson gives me 2 orders to relinquish the hand restraints, strip-out or chemical agents will be utilized! I fail to comply so they blast my cell with pepper spray and tear gas!
Shit!! I live in a cement box, the ventilation is shut off during a use-of-force. My eyes water, breathing through a…..wet sock. Convict’s gas mask. It doesn’t matter. Adrenaline is kicking in and I know this was going down this way.
They spray, wait 5 minutes, then give me 2 more orders and spray again! As soon as they spray the second shot the door rolls open, DAMN!! CAUGHT ME SIDEWAYS AND FLATFOOTED. They usually wait 5 more minutes, 2 more orders and than fun in. They got down this time!
The team gets in a few shots (That is the name of the game.), handcuff and shackle me, pull me out the cell. Moss, 1st man, got my left arm. Who knows who got what else. Now mind you, my hands are cuffed behind my back, my legs are shackled and the weak bastards slam me to the floor AGAIN!! RIGHT ON!!! I start yelling and cussing telling what they all have blah…blah…blah…I’m burning, I’m sore, I’m pissed.
Nurse comes, asks how I feel! I say I feel like a teenager! They take 4 photos and put me back in my cell, lay me flat on the ground, take off the leg shackles and than start to remove the handcuffs, telling me not to move! You got to be kidding me! One cuff comes off, I’m on my way up and swinging. Of course they slam me right back down and place all the restraints back on me. Another nurse, more photos. 2 use-of-forces in 10 minutes.
Now here is the issue. I told them put me in my cell, take the shackles off, get out and I gave them my word. I’d go to the bean-slot and give up the cuffs, but I will not lay on the floor and be punked-out. Now Sgt. Thompson asked Lt. Roach if that was cool. Roach and Thompson both know I may get out there but my word is GOLDEN. I refuse to break it. Of course Rogue Capt. Wickersham said “No”. So once again I’m on the floor. These fools take off my shackles and I start kicking and thrashing and bending. I yell out “You are gonna have to break something. F-you” and just going as hard as I can on the floor, hand-cuffed and 5 men on top of me.
Finally Rogue Capt. Wickersham agrees to let me have my way on my word. I do what I say. The use-of-force is terminated. Now let’s see if my mail goes out Monday. If not, we will Rock’N’Roll some more.
Jan 1, 2005
Happy new year! YEAH RIGHT!! If you have a release date or parole, it is one more calendar behind you. One more calendar closer to the Free World.
On Death Row, It is one more calendar closer to death. One more year for me to watch my beautiful daughter grow up in photos. She’ll be 8 years old on Jan. 17th. One more year to see the pain, worry and hurt in my mother’s eyes or hear them in her written words. One more year I’ve watched the State of Texas Kill 26 more men in the name of “BLOOD-JUSTICE”.
8 years I’ve been doing this and the effects are overwhelming. Numbness is the best way to describe it. We live in death, facing her everyday as those around us get executed.
Then there are those who can’t handle our private and personal hell. Those they are finding hanging in their cells. Cutting their wrists, swallowing handfuls of pills to bring the pain and torture to an end.
Then there are one who find freedom in their insanity! Playing in their own bodily wastes. Yelling at their inner demons for release.
Happy New Year INDEED!!!
I know a lot of you people say “who care?! Bunch of murderers crying about fair-play!” My penalty is Death. I accept this. At this point I embrace it. Just leave me alone until my time comes.
2005 is the year they will kill me, unless some kind of miracle takes place. I do not wish to be on Level III, very limited visits and an empty cell, mattress, sheet, legal work and writing supplies. But I will not be treated like some kind of piece of dirt to stay on Level I!! I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror everyday and live with who I am and what I’ve done.
Well I now have about 14 pages going to James and Suzanne, who both work and have enough kids to start an army! HA! HA! HA! Thanks a lot guys. I mean that. Hey James. You should thank me. Without all this writing, you and “Suzie Q” will just be making more babies!! HA! HA! HA! Damn Right I’m Jealous.In Struggle and Solidarity
4:45 p.m.- We just had another incident due to lack of professional behavior by the 2 COs working. Officer Rains and Officer Harper. They are running showers and just decided to go from my cell, 73 cell, to 75 cell, skipping over Ramiro Hernandez, 999342, in 74 cell. Why? I guess because they can, or they don’t like him, or for fun. I do not know.
Ramiro beats on his door asking, well screaming about a shower. The officers laugh at him. To them this is entertainment, breaking the boredom of their day.
Ramiro wants to speak to some rank (i.e. Sgt., Lt, Capt., whatever). Of course said officers aren’t trying to hear it and just move on, refusing to call rank.
Ramiro then starts a huge fire!!!! Smoke and flames everywhere. Fire alarm ringing. Oh yeah, he is gonna get some rank now. Now Officer Rains and Harper come to put out the fire with the fire extinguisher. But one that is done, they start to shoot the fire ext. into Ramiro’s cell just for more laughs. The fire was on the run outside his cell. Ruining personal property, books, photos….Ramiro starts chunking piss-water on them. Oh they just stopped laughing now. Amazing!!
Sgt. Thompson comes down and asks what the F#@! is going on. Ramiro tries to explain in his broken English that the officers are trying to jack him for his shower. Sgt. Thompson asks his officers about this and they say “we did not V.R. (verbally refuse) his shower, we just missed him in the line-up…blah…blah.” So all is said and done. We will shower. NOT QUITE!
Now Sgt. Thompson tell Hernandez he has to let the Sgt. Search his cell because once you throw on an officer you get put on 30 Day Container Restriction (i.e. no cups, shampoo bottles, milk cartons). So Officer Harper and Rains move Mr. Hernandez to the wall while handcuffed behind his back while Sgt. Thompson searches his cage.
Now as they escort Hernandez by my cell Officer Harper jerks Hernandez’s right arm. So Hernandez jerks his arm back and says “What’s your problem? Me got no pussy you bitch.” Harpers says “Do that again and you will eat concrete”.
Very tough indeed. Mr. Hernandez is 5’3” tall and is handcuffed wearing a pair of shower slides (flip-flops). Harper is a good 6’2”-6’3” and 250 lbs. What is he trying to prove? Hernandez won’t back down!
Sgt. Thompson hears the commotion and comes out and brings Hernandez back to his cage. His container-free-cage now.
About 40 minutes later Sgt. Thompson comes back and tells Hernandez that Warden Jones place him on 72 Hour Property Restriction. This means NOTHING IN YOUR CELL. NOTHING. No mattress, sheets, clothes, NOTHING. I guess that is the easiest way to prevent fires, eh?
The Officers sure aren’t going to be punished. Just Hernandez. If the Officers were not messing with him, there would be no reason to start fires. We pay no matter what. So the 2 Officers are standing behind Sgt. Thompson just grinning and smiling like the cat who ate the canary.
Hernandez refuses to come out so now Thompson has to go get a Five Man Team to get him out. Mr. Hernandez does not plan on making the team run-in-on him, but wants to aggravate the rank and officers a little bit. They have to go suit up in their gas-infested body armor, helmets, masks. That is 5 officers, than usually one female officer running the camera. About 2-3 bystanders watching the show and Lt. Roach. All with better things to do I’m sure.
Hernandez comes out and they take all his property.
Really it does not matter. If Hernandez needs ranks, one of us down here will start a fire for him. This is F-Pod. This is the one Pod on Death-Row where a convict can count on Unity of Convicts around him. We care not for commissary and will not sell-each-other-out for a radio.
Ok, another day in paradise. I hope we have a quiet day tomorrow. Thanks for listening. If you give a damn, call up Warden Jones, Major Nelson, or go above their heads and complain about the unfair treatment.
In Struggle and
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
On a good note:
Saturday, Jan. 1
WELL OLE LIZERD HAD A VISIT WITH HIS WIFE! He came back looking like a love-struck-puppy!! HA! HA! HA! On level III we are only allowed one 2 hour visit a month. That is the hardest sacrifice. I just wanted to say “Thank You” to Joan (Lizerd’s wife) for standing by him and making sure he knows he is loved! Joan, if you could have seen the smile on his face as he came through the gate of F-Pod-F-Section. There could be no doubt that man is head over heels in love with you. Love conquers all.
God Bless and Good Night.*************************************
Sunday the 9th
Well, we’ve come to a close on another week here in our own personal, torturous hell. I sit here and watch as tempers flare, violence erupts, and feel the pressure building. I see that assaults on officers are becoming a rising answer to many who are at the end of their ropes. Hell, it beats the hell out of suicide, eh?
Suicide is also on the rise one again, not to mention the poor lost souls being shipped out to the infamous Jester 4 Unit (TDCJ’s cruel idea of a psychiatric ward). As soon as you get there, they strip you naked and put you in 4 point restraints on a bed! That’ll cure what ails you, eh??
I personally (R.M. Cartwright, 999224) have been doing my best to avoid conflict, but things keep pissing me off. I’ll get to that later on.
I had a wonderful surprise visit on Monday, the 3rd of this month. I did not even expect it or know I could have it. All the restrictions they presently have on me. It was a wonderful visit with a woman who stole my heart. She traveled from out of state, knowing she’d only receive a 2 hour visit, instead of an 8 hour special visit.
Melissa, think you my love, thank you for loving me and thank you for caring. Your love makes such a tremendous difference in my life.
I was, or at least felt completely free for those 2 hours I spent with her. Love on Death Row!! Who’d of thought it??
Now as the visit ends and I head back to my cage on F-Pod the first thing I notice as I walk through the entrance is the overpowering smell of pepper and tear gas! Damn, back to reality I come! I don’t ask anyone anything. I go to my cell, turn off my light and envelope myself in darkness and replay every minute of the visit I just had. Trying once again to escape this messed up reality I live in.
Later I find out Mr. Newbury (Lizerd), you should remember him, was the one who got run in on, and then I find out part of the reason was me, or for sticking up for me! Damn, I feel like a heel!! Still I hold my patience and self control and thank him for getting down.
Mr. Newbury wrote an account of what went down and I will include it in with this opening for all to read, in his words, what happened.
It seems the officers have decided to up the ante on their abusive behavior! Why not?? They have Rogue Capt. Wickersham to back up their every dirty move. I mean if 5 men in complete body armor come into your cell after they have sprayed enough gas and other chemicals to incapacitate your breathing and sight, need to punch and kick you so subdue you, well something is wrong.
is Mr. Newbury’s account as stated per Rich about what happened:
“On Monday, 01/03/2005, once again fed up with the deplorable conditions here, including the often inedible food, sleep and sensory deprivation and now, food deprivation, as myself, Donald Newbury, 999403, and Richard Cartwright, 999224, were denied trays.
First I jacked the bean slot so they couldn’t close it, then I jacked the cuffs at shower time. The officer involved, Christopher Loop CO II, told Cartwright ‘You don’t want to do that when I’m on the team. I’ll crush your bones!’ This guy is big and muscular, 6’1” or 6’2”, about 280 lbs. I told him to not take it personal, to just do his job as I was doing mine. Lt. Richie came to talk to me and told him I was all through talking. It was time for some action.
They suited up a 5 man extraction team (AKA ‘Goon Squad’) and came to ‘run-in’ on me. They gassed me twice with the strongest (10%) pepper spray they had.
As I was choking on this, they then sprayed my cell with another gas called C/S or ‘Mace’. This ‘mixing’ of chemicals constitutes an excessive use of force, is strictly prohibited by UOF Policy, State and Federal Regulations and Laws as well as the MSDS sheets on use of these chemicals.
They were really eager to hurt me bad when they came in the door 60 seconds after spraying C/S on me, immediately started throwing blows with their fists instead of merely trying to subdue me in accordance with UOF Policy.
Since I had now no choice but to defend myself I managed to rip the crash helmet off of Loop and got his gas mask, then pinned him to the bunk belly down and pounded him in the back of his head just like the other 4 of them were at my back beating me in the head, lungs and kidneys.
Finally they got me down on the floor where they cinched leg irons on me so tight it cut into my Achilles tendons to where I could not even stand or barely walk after being removed from the cell.
In the meantime they rubbed my face all in the gas on the cell floor, busted open my head in 2 placed by ramming it into the concrete repeatedly after I was cuffed, shackled and totally subdued.
Then they began punching me in the head and kidney a few more times, for added measure. Because they opened a 1/2“ gash above my eye I was taken to medical and brought back on a stretcher.
They dumped me into the empty cell (#82) next to mine (#81) and told me I couldn’t go back to my cell until it was decontaminated. In #82 cell the toilet leaks and there was sewage all over the floor so I demanded to be taken back to my own cell and told them I would decontaminate it myself!
In the meantime they refused to allow me to shower and decontaminate myself so the gas stayed and kept eating on me, drawing water blisters on my skin all over my body.
Finally they got the SSI’s (Prisoner Porters) to clean up my cell and moved me back into it at close to 6:00 p.m. This Use of Force (UOF) occurred at about 12:15 p.m. after lunch, but I was written major disciplinary case #2005016731 alleging that I ‘assaulted’ CO II Loop on 01/03/2005 at 1:40 p.m. ‘using the open end of a hand restraint (hand cuffs) by swinging and striking the officer repeatedly during a Use of Force.’ The assault resulted in injury (to Loop) which required treatment of first aid’.
I’m at a loss to understand how/why they charge me with assault when they are the ones who were the aggressors. They came into my cell assaulting me! Because I jacked their cuffs they had a reason to ‘run-in’ on me and subdue me, but not beat me senseless for no reason! I wasn’t resisting until and after they started beating me!
The purported objective of UOF is to pin the prisoner using a capture shield and to subdue him without injury. Five of them on one little ol’ me standing there in my shorts yet I assaulted them?!?! This sort of thing is typical of Warden James Jones, who graded this case.
I was left in #82 Cell over 6 hours covered in pepper spray and C/S mace gas. It took me an additional 2 days to get a mattress to sleep on after I was finally moved back to #81 Cell. My mattress was confiscated because it was so contaminated with pepper and C/S mace gases.
These are the conditions which drive people to insanity, suicide or death by dropping their appeals as did James Porter, 999378 (Executed on 01/04/2005). R.I.P. BRO! This one was for your!).
We’ve had five attempted suicide in the last 2 ½ months, 2 of which were ultimately successful and 2 others very nearly so. When you consider that this is a relatively tiny population (445 Prisoners) perhaps you can understand how onerous and oppressive these conditions are.
Weekly cell moves for harassment, starvation, Level III punitive placement with no disciplinary case and no due process at all. Currently Hank Skinner, 999143, is on Level III and food loaf for merely requesting a copy of a grievance he’d filed on Captain David Wickersham for retaliating against him earlier last year. Every time Hank writes a grievance for one of us or himself the Captain siccs his goons on hank to take his property and tear up his cell. Currently they’ve go half his legal property and religious material, refusing to return it and four parcels of his outgoing legal mail addressed to Attorneys which they refuse to return or mail out.
Hank is one of those guys who believes in following the policy and using the grievance procedure but since they’re now openly retaliating against him for using the grievance procedure and formal channels of redress, I wonder how much more abuse he’ll take before he takes the route I did……
I’m no angel, but I must defend myself and do whatever it takes to make them leave me alone and quit harassing me with their ‘frequent cell move’, destructive cell searches, 24 hour per day isolation, denial of food, etc. I was sentenced to death by lethal injection, not years of physical and mental torture.
Donald K. Newbury
My aggravation builds. I’m pissed, it is now personal. They make it so!!!
These officers have no rules. They cuss, they get mad at you, refuse to feed you… They rattle the cage, but never think about facing the lion inside. Well, that changed for Officers Brenda Traylor and Officer Rachel Bounds on January 5th, 2005!
I personally do not like or much agree with violence towards women, but truth be told, around here the female officers start 80% of the bull-shit with their mouths and actions. It is like they get off on trying to humiliate and insult us. Prison is a world unto itself. In here if someone calls you a bitch or a punk…it’s time to fight. Prison is not a friendly place and we all know the rules, even the officer. So when you step up to another, expect to pay the price.
I know I probably sound like some macho block-head, but I did not make up the rules that rain my insane world. Prison has its own rules, and like I said, we all know what they are and if you cannot understand that you should be very thankful. Nobody should have to live like this and very few enjoy it, but it is what it is and has been since the beginning and will be in the end.
Note from Suzanne Cookston: Before reading any further, I have to put in my own statement in defense to Rich’s statement. I’ve never been to prison and I know what he’s saying is true. Woman or not, I hope I would never be stupid enough to call any inmate a punk or bitch. Anyone with any common sense knows that.
You adapt, or become pray, it is that simple.
Anyway, Robert Campbell, 999023 (AKA CHILI RED) was the lion who’s cage door came open! Accident? I prefer KARMA instead. You reap what you sow. What comes around goes around.
is Mr. Campbell’s account of what happened to him:
“On January 2, 2005, I called Officer Brenda Traylor to my cell to ask her could the porter wipe the outside of my cell door. But instead she stated ‘What the fuck you want?’ So I asked ‘Who you talking too?’ She said ‘I’m talking to you bitch’. So I said ‘nah, you ain’t’. So they left.
The next day, Monday, January 2, 2005, I’m standing at my door talking to my neighbor, Officer Traylor came halfway up the stairs and asked me ‘what the fuck you looking at bitch?’ So I cursed her back. As she was leaving she gave me a ‘fuck you’ sign!
The next day we went through the same thing, she calling me bitches and hoes!
The next day, Wednesday, January 5, 2005, I was in the dayroom, Officer Traylor and Officer Bounds came on our section to escort some people to court. As Officer Traylor was staring at me, so I asked her do she have a problem. She said ‘yeah’ me. So I told her to come solve it then!
So they take one guy to court. At that time Officer Garrett and Officer Stroeder rack me up in my cell and told me get ready for shower. So Officer Traylor and Officer Bounds bring the other guy back.
Now they are coming up the stairs to get my neighbor, Tony Dixon, to go to court. Officer Traylor is standing in front of my cell looking at me. I said ‘What the fuck you looking at?’ She said ‘You, bitch’. So we argued ‘til they were gone out the door.
Then they, Officer Traylor and Officer Bounds, brought my neighbor back. She’s looking at me again, instead of paying attention to the Officer Beard/Muncell in the picket to tell her what door to roll. But she didn’t and Officer Beard/Muncell rolled my cell door. I stepped out and said ‘What’s that shit you was talking’. And she said ‘I wish you would’. So I hit her, and we starting fighting Officer Bounds sprayed me with her gas. But it was knocked to the floor by Officer Traylor, who was kicking at me. Officer Bounds picked it up again and tried to spray, but I knocked it out of her hand.
Then Officer Bounds picked up the food slot bar which is steel all the way through, which it weighs about 7 to 8 pounds. And 18 inches to 2 feet long and hit me across my back 3 times. The 4th time, I hit her and knocked the bar away on the floor. I turned back around and started fighting with Officer Traylor some more.
About 30 seconds later Officer Garrett and another Officer came running up the staris. I got up and went back to my cell and closed the door. They came back about 15 minutes later suited up and stuff and ordered me out of my cell, which I came out.
They took me into the hallway and took pictures of me, which I have a bruise on my right rib cage and marks across my back. They then escorted me to F-Pod Level III. I’ve been here 3 days now and I don’t have nothing. No toothpaste, deodorant, soap, nothing to write with.
They put me on food loaf and I’m not supposed to be. The only way you get on food loaf is if you disrupt the feeding procedures or jack the food slot. I didn’t do neither on of them, but they still got me on food loaf.
I asked about my recreation. They told me that Captain Wickersham called down to F-Pod 3 times and told Officer White and Officer Moss that I was on cell restriction. Now how am I on cell restriction and I haven’t went to court yet?
They got me in this cell that is broke. The water don’t cut off. Every time I ask to speak with some rank, don’t none come down!! I know that I was wrong for hitting a female, but she was wrong for calling me bitches and hoes ‘cause I never called her.
I asked the Sgt. about my property of what I’m supposed to have while on Level III. He told me I was on property restriction! And that I can’t have nothing, no soap, toothpaste, deodorant, legal work, writing material!
I don’t have nothing to go shower with and they know this and they refuse my shower. I haven’t brushed my teeth in 4 days. I don’t have a toothbrush or toothpaste. I don’t even have a jumpsuit to wear. It’s freezing cold and all I got is a mattress and a sheet and one boxer shorts!
After I left E-Pod to come to F-Pod, Lt. Richie went back to my old cell and started tearing up my property. He through away my socks that I bought from commissary. He through my commissary cup out and then stepped on it and broke it. He through my commissary shorts out. He through my tennis shoes away. He was supposed to pack my stuff up, not through it away.
Robert J. Campbell
Of course the
powers-to-be, Capt. Wickersham and Major Nelson did not like this at all
and went above and beyond the stated rules to punish Mr. Campbell. Really,
they have nobody to blame but themselves. They let their officers walk around
and do and say what they want. Let me give you a very personal example:
On Saturday, the 6th, I was “fishing” (we make links by braiding string together and slide it under our doors and down the run. The next fella throws his line out to catch yours and that is how we pass things) with Hernandez down the way for a pen because mine ran out of ink. Now officer Stain (6’3” about 280 lbs.) sees this, comes in the section and snags my line and breaks it!!
True we are not supposed to have lines, but what the fuck! I’m on death row. I’m on level III status, can’t get no lower. I’m locked in my cell 24 hours a day, with only one hour of recreation a week. I need to fish to get by.
Anyway, I say “What are you doing Mother Fucker??” He said “Who you calling a M.Fer??” I said “you bitch.” He walks over to my steel door, with its totally secure splash shield…and says “You should not be fishing.” So I just laugh and tell him what a bitch he is. He makes some comment about me being a tough guy or some shit. I tell him “I ain’t tough, but roll this door and we can box”. He says “No Cartwright, I don’t have to worry about you, that needle will take care of you!!” (TALKING ABOUT THE OLE LETHAL INJECTION). Now I know I said the first insult, no doubt, I won’t sugar coat my actions. I gotta mouth on me. I’m no angel, but that last comment was way out of line.
I look at the picture of my family, my mom, my daughter, my heart stealing Melissa and know when they do kill me, it will hurt the ones I love most. It won’t hurt me. I’ll be done with this he3l-hole, so that professional officer throwing that is my face broke the resolve I’ve been hanging on to. I no longer respect or obey their rules!! I’m at the end of my ropes and I’m sure not trying to kill myself or head to Jester 4, but I need to unload my frustrations, my aggravation. Let me move on.
We have another addition to our Level III, F-Pod crew. His name is William Berkley, 999422 AKA Ghost. His version of his little adventure will also be enclosed with Newbury’s and Campbell’s. Seems they found a ½ a joint in his cell. He just moved into that cell and said it most have been in there already! Who know, but once again proper policy and procedures were being followed, the officers would know for sure.
Before moving a prisoner into a cell, they are suppose to clean, sanitize and shake down (look around for weapons, drugs and contraband), but they NEVER do this. I guess it is too much work.
Even if they caught Mr. Berkley and then proven of smoking a joint, it is still not a level III offense, but a level II! Level III according to TDCJ Policy is for assault behavior, weapons or a repeated offender of the same offense. You can’t tell that to Rogue Capt. Wickersham, though. He does what he wants to do; why shouldn’t we? I mean at any give time an officer can write you up a bogus case and you lose your level!
The following is Mr. Berkley’s account of what occurred:
“I just got moved from D-41 to B-81 on January 7, 2005. I was moved real late so by the time I got to my new cell it was about 10:30 – 10:45 p.m.
I cleaned off my bunk because it had chill or potted meat all over it and squeeze cheese all over the desk. By the time I got all this cleaned up, it was 12:45 at night, so I said screw it, I’ll do the rest tomorrow.
I woke up about 11:00 a.m. I usually wake up early, but I went to bed late. I cleaned out the storage container and mopped the floor, then took a break. There had been at least 10,000 years of dust under the bunk. I don’t think the person before me even swept or cleaned under the bunk.
Now I shouldn’t have to be doing this because it’s TDCJ policy to clean, search and sanitize, and make sure everything works in a cell before they move an ‘offender’ into a new cell. I started to draw and said I’ll clean the sink and under the bunk later.
I have 3 bags, 1 personal (which is ½ a bag), 1 legal and 1, I put my clothing in. I had 1 bag unpacked when 2nd shift started doing shakedowns. They pulled out my neighbor and did a little 2 second shakedown.
Then they came to my door and this guard starts taking her sweet time. She closed my door, not all the way but closed it so I couldn’t see in.
Then all of the sudden, she says put him in the shower. I’m going to go through his cell thoroughly.
So I said ‘Hell no’ and asked for rank. I refused to give the cuffs back and stepped through the cuffs. Rank came and I complained about harassment and discrimination because she pulls one person out for exactly 1.23 seconds (I time all shakedowns in my section with a stop watch from the moment I hear or see the door open, until I see or hear the door close.). She wants to take a quick scan of one dudes stuff, but go through mine with a fine tooth comb.
The thing that struck me as odd was she did not close my neighbor’s door. She was bent down at my storage box and kept looking back at me. I was turned sideways because I was talking to my neighbor. Then all of a sudden she gets up and closes my door. No guard has ever done that before.
Then she walked toward the desk area where I couldn’t see and comes running out talking about ‘put him in the shower. I’m going to go thoroughly through your stuff’.
When rank got there I politely explained my situation. He walked to my cell (I was still in the shower.), came back like 10 minutes later holding a folded up piece of toile paper, my bottle of glue and my sewing needle and asked ‘is there something you want to tell me about?’ I said ‘What, my glue and sewing needle? You found it, so….’ He said ‘Anything else?’ H said ‘No, no, no, is there anything else you want to tell me about?’ I said ‘No’. He said ‘What about this?’ and held up a piece of bunched up toilet paper. I asked ‘what is it?’ He said ‘You tell me.’ I said ‘I got no clue’. He looked at me, paused and said ‘It’s marijuana’. I said ‘Oh, hell, no, that shit ain’t mine’. He said ‘It was in your cell’. I said ‘bullshit. That ain’t mine. I just got hear yesterday and ain’t even had time to unpack. Plus I don’t fuck with that shit because I know you do random drug tests. Give me a drug test’. He said ‘You’d really be willing to submit a drug test?’ I said ‘Give me the cup. I’ll piss in that mother fucker right now!”
He looked at me for a second and said ‘you said you just got here yesterday. Was your cell clean?’ I said ‘Hell, now. There was chili or something all over the bunk’…and explained the rest.
He stood there for a second then said ‘Alright, this is what’s going to happen. We’re going to take you to level III, because a guard claims this was found in your cell. We’ll give you a drug test; if it’s positive, you’ll stay level III; if not, you’ll get moved back to level I.’ And here I am.
Yesterday, he told me it tested positive, that it was marijuana and asked me my statement. I told him that it wasn’t mine. I will take a drug test to prove I didn’t smoke it because the ‘roach’ Sgt. Reed showed me was a partially smoked, not full, joint.
William Berkley, 999422”
Can you imagine living like that? Bad enough we are waiting to be murdered, but we try to be good. We try for our families who want to come visit us, but when you do not know what the rules are anymore, you never know, you just don’t ever know.
Hell, up until about 3 weeks ago, I hadn’t had a case in over 2 years!!! I was waiting on special visits from out of state for January, February and March, but all that is now gone over some B.S. case. My daughter, who will be 8 years old on the 17th of January, was suppose to be brought to see me by my mother, who lives in Chicago. Awful expensive trip for a 2 hour visit, so I get no visit with my Angel Ricki. That hurts, that is painful.
But hurt and sorrow don’t work in TDCJ! Rage, hat and anger, those get you action. Those get us attention in here. So I just turn my pain and sadness into anger and rage trying to hold onto my sanity. Now I must try and release it…damn it, I hate the way I feel right now. I hate the hurt and pain I’ve one again caused my mother and my daughter. My daughter will only turn 8 years old one time…and now I will miss seeing her on her special day. They can’t give me that back. All they do is take and keep taking.
Well, I will end this one here. I’m getting more aggravated the more I write. They call me an unrehabilitatable, heathen killer, but I do have a heart and it feels love, along with pain…they just don’t know.
I will close with a live from Baudelaire: “I have felt the wind of the wing of madness.”In struggle and solidarity,
Richard Cartwright EXECUTION DATE SET for May 19, 2005
Well another week in paradise has gone by. Well, it has been 11 days, a whole complete 11 days without a state-sanctioned-murder! Wow!! Is that a record? Seems like it should be.
The last (execution) murder was James Porter, 999378 (Bones) on 01/04/2005. I guess we officially should call his death an assisted suicide for James chose to drop his appeals rather than live in a cage. I do not agree with James’ choice, but I do respect it and even understand why! Hell, why not? We live in a cage and get treated worse than animals. We eat sub-poor food.
Our prayers go out to James’ friends, family and loved ones. At least he is finally at peace.
Three more murders are set to take place this month. Jose’ Briseno, 999043, Troy Kunkle, 000784, George Jones, 999147, please keep them and their families in your prayers. Jose’s date is for the 20th, Troy’s the 25th and Jones’ the 27th.
I do not want to lessen the impact of Mr. Briseno’s and Jones’ dates by focusing more on Mr. Kunkle, but I’ve known Troy for almost the entire 8 years I’ve been on the row. Troy was born on 5/27, 1966 and ended up on death row on March 2, 1985; he was 19 years old. When he was arrested, he was 18 years old and had no prior criminal record. At this time, 2005, Troy has spent 20 years on the row. He has spent more than half his life on the row in a cage. Troy is not the 18 year old kid they brought to this death house. He has grown up; he is a different person, for one, he is now a full grown man….older than his years for the life he has lived for sure. They say the death penalty is designed for the worst of the worst. Troy is by far not that!!! 20 years does change a person, any person.
For instance the Green River Killer, this man killed at least 50 women and brutally raped them, he has a life sentence! How is one to make sense of this?
It is wrong to kill, no doubt, but how do you fix it by killing?? That is an oxy-moron, eh? It is wrong to kill and we are going to kill you to show you and the world it is wrong. There is absolutely no logic in this way of thinking.
Troy, I don’t even know if you will read this before they kill you, but I want you to know that I’m gonna miss you, Bro!! You will live on in the hears and memories of those who’s lives you have touched, which is many. We’ve had our ups and down, but I’ve always considered you my friend, and I’ve bee praying for you, your family, your wife, Christi, along with all the men on “death watch”. Man, Try, we had some good times together, eh? Remember all those “cement wrestling matches” we used to have? Ha!Ha!Ha! The “Finger Take Down” in the commissary line?? Hey, Troy, I’m gonna miss you Bro. Keep your head up and Ride the Lighting into you next life. Love and Respect, Your Bro, Chi-Town.
Just like that people, I’ve had to say goodbye a hundred times and more in the course of my 8+ years on the row. It does not get any easier either.
Let me go back earlier in the week and talk about some of the thumb-screw tactics of our fin administration here on the row.
Monday, the 10th, seemed to be the days of days. It started with Donald Newbury, 999403 (Lizerd; his spelling, not mine) as he refused to give his lunch tray back. This is a major security threat because the food trays are extremely heard plastic and on can break ‘em down and make shanks out of them. Actually, you could make quite a few and pass them around to others. Of course Lizerd has no intentions of doing this, but they do not know that. Lizerd is just trying to get his point across. He is sick and tired of being moved once a week, sometimes twice a week.
See Lizerd is one of the infamous Texas 7 that escaped TDCJ a couple years back and showed hoe truly incompetent this system is. They move him, or say they move him as a security precaution, but it is just plain old harassment or better yet, let’s call it revenge. Hell, if they are worried about him digging a tunnel, shake his cell down, eh? Hell, that’s policy and correct procedure calls for anyway. This place is stressful enough without the administration adding more shit to the game.
Now the powers-to-be that want to move him for “security reasons” once a week just let him keep the tray. 2 different Sergeants and 1 Lieutenant came to talk to him; they cannot see in his cell because he has his door and window slots covered, trying to talk him into giving the tray back! Lizerd’s only response is “You know what it is, suit-up!!!” The rank leaves and Lizerd is up in his cell waiting for the team or “Goon Squad” which does not shop up.
Approximately 4 hours later (Lizerd could have made 3 or 4 shanks and passed them out) my neighbor William Berkley went to shower and when he came back to his cell, he jacked-the-cuffs, as they went to remove them.
Jack-the-cuffs…it means as you reach you hands through the door slot behind your back, if you time it right, as the officer removes one cuff, you yank your other arm in the cell as hard and fast as you can.
Well, Mr. Berkley was successful and got the cuffs, one on his wrist and one free swinging.
Now you might think Mr. Berkley did this to just join in with Lizerd, but that is not the case. Berkley or AKA, GHOST, is a very mild mannered skinny young guy. He weighs about 140 lbs and always says “yes sir” or “no sir”, “thank you”….very well and proper in the manners department. For 4 days, Ghost has politely asked all the guards and 2 different Sgt. to get him his property. He has been in his cell 75 cell F-pod, F section without so much as a TOOTHBRUSH!!! Why? I’ll tell you why. Because politeness gets you nowhere in here.
I gave Ghost some toothpaste, but I’m not trying to share my toothbrush. I got limits. Well,10 minutes later, Sgt. Henderson and Lt. Richie are down here talking to Ghost. Ghost says “Sir, I’ve been trying for 4 days to get my property and I get no response.” “Sir, I will not give you the handcuffs back until I get my property.” Sgt. Henderson says “Well, you won’t get your property this way and we will come in there and get the cuffs.” Ghost says “Sorry to hear that you feel that way sir.”
I’m laughing my ass off at this point. The Sgt. is totally pissed. I guess he is also not used to politeness.
Now for 4 days the officers and rank say “we are short-handed, we don’t have the staff...to get your property”… Typical B.S. Remember this comment.
Anyway, now Lizerd is still upstairs with the tray and I tell Ghost “Hey, dude, you’re a little to small to fade the team in that cell.” He says “don’t worry Chi-Town, I’m not stupid. I will fade the team if I have to, but I’m gonna try something else.”
Here comes the team and they are huge, the 5 men in body armor, helmets and gas masks are well over 800 lbs. combined weight; easily if not closer to 1,000. The first 2 alone make up more than 500 lbs. (Y’all can get these tapes to confirm all of this!!) Sgt. Henderson says “Inmate Berkley, I’m giving you a direct order to relinquish the hand restraints and submit to a strip search or chemical agents will be used.”
At this point, Ghost, ha!ha!ha! takes the free hand-cuff and locks it to the screened window slot in the door! Now they can’t come in. They can’t open the door. Now Sgt. Henderson says “Inmate Berkley, I’m giving you a direct order to relinquish the hand-restraints and submit to a strip search or chemical agents will be applied.”
Now I start screaming “How’s he gonna do that. He is handcuffed to the door.”
Sgt. Henderson puts on his gas mask, tells the camera “At this time, I’ve given Inmate Berkley 2 orders to relinquish the hand-restraints and he has failed to comply. I will now use chemical agents.”
He does spray Ghost! I’m kicking the door screaming!!! “What the fuck. He is handcuffed to the door…he can’t relinquish…SHIT….” I’m irate. This is a totally excessive use of force!!!
Now, Lt. Richie, Lt. Griffith, Sgt. Henderson, Capt. Wickersham, Major Nelson, a camera operator and a five man team are here along with 1 or other observers. So we have about 13 officers! Now, why is it they cannot find any available staff for 4 days to get Ghost his property, yet we have 13 people standing in line to kick his ass, or watch him get his ass kicked.
Now everybody is screaming how can he relinquish the hand restraints…. After another 20 minutes of negotiating, Ghost agrees to let ‘em pop his door open, it can only open about 1” with him cuffed to the door, and let Sgt. Henderson reach his arm in there and un-cuff him from the door. This is done. Now they strip search Ghost, re-handcuff him and open his door and take him to the picket area for medical examination and 4 polaroid pictures.
Anytime a UOF (Use of Force) is applied, they take 4 photos and a nurse looks at you! Yeah, that will help a whole lot, eh?
After they are done, Ghost sits down on the run and refuses to walk. “Sir, I’m sorry, but I want my property.” Anyway, they pick him up and carry him to the cell.
Now to give credit, where credit is due, I actually heard one of the officers on the good-squad, I don’t know which one, say “Hey, be careful, man. This dude is small.” What shocked me, they seem to get gung-ho on me!! I guess being 6’2”, 205 lob is a little different. Still I gained much respect for Mr. Berkley for standing up for himself.
Oh yeah, Mr. Berkley did receive his requested property, later that night!!! AMAZING, NO??? They also moved him off the Level III F-Pod-F-Section to Level II E-Pod! Congrats Ghost on you level 2 status.
See the worse you act, the better they treat you.
Well, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me back track….remember ole lonely Lizerd upstairs with the tray? Now let me mention something here…Lizerd is no “spring chicken”. He is 42 years old, I’m sure he’d much rather be sitting in his cell writing Joan and drawing dirty cards! Ha!Ha!
The camera lady, the 2 Lts., the team, and Capt. Wickersham, Sgt. Henderson, all head upstairs to deal with Lizerd. Capt. Wickersham at this time tried to talk to Lizerd. Lizerd said “I tried to talk to you on Oct. 15, 2004 and you disrespected me by saying ‘pt the punk in the cell’, remember? No more talk, let’s rock!!”
Now Lizerd has his cell light covered, door blocked off, his cell is pitch black. They open his bean-slot shinning a spot-light in there trying to see where he is. Lizerd had a sheet up ½ across his cell, plus he was hiding behind a homemade shield of newspapers and towels, so now they still have no idea if he has a weapon or not (one again, he does not and never had). Sgt. Henderson gives Lizerd 2 direct orders to submit to a strip search and hand restraints. Of course Lizerd says nothing. Sgt. Henderson sprays this new kind of gas, it’s white and called CS #587 and it is very costly, but very, very aggressive, also. It actually seems to suck the air right out of your cell. This is the 1st I’ve heard of them using it. It also causes your eyes to close. Actually, they used the same stuff on Lizerd last time. My bad!!
The last time they sprayed him twice with the regular CS 10 and sprayed him with the CS # 587 on the 3rd spray. He was ready for it this time. Though. Old-School Lizerd knows how to adapt. He had plastic over his eyes and socks over his mouth. It is not much, really it’s quite sad when you think about it. You in a cement and steel box, no circulation with all these burning, blinding and breath taking chemicals.
Anyway, back to Lizerd. After Sgt. Henderson sprayted the 1st burst of gas in the cell, it was apparently no enough for Lt. Richie so he says “oh no, go ahead and load him up.” So they sprayed 3 more seconds in his cell…1, 1 thousand…1, 1 thousand…1, 1 thousand. They wait 10 minutes for the CS # 587 to take full effect and now Lt. Richie give 2 more orders “Inmate Newbury, I’m giving you a direct order to submit to a strip search and hand-restraints or a second burst of chemical agents will be applied”.
Lizerd says nothing! Lt. Richie sprays Y seconds of this CS # 587 in Lizerd’s cell, now that’s killer people. That CS # 587 ain’t not punk!!
Well, they wait another 5 minutes for the chemicals to have its killer affect to weaken Lizerd as best it can before the good squad comes in. I hear the cell door slam open. I hear banging, more banging, Capt. Wickersham yelling “get him down, get him down,” Lizerd is chunking the team. Point man is thrown to the bunk.
Now remember Lizerd has a plastic eye cover, 4 socks and a jumpsuit, while the 5 man team has gas masks, helmets and body armor. It is a no win situation, you can’t win, why try??
Because when you reach that point, you either break or fight back. They push you and push you and keep pushing you. They take and keep taking. You let ‘em break you or fight back. Hell, this is the only human physical contact we are allowed. Think of it like this, if you ignore your kids, they will be bad, because even negative attention is better than no attention.
I know I probably sound crazy, but we live in a total sensory deprivation environment and the physiological effects are truly devastating. You can’t understand the full impact without leaving it for a couple of years.
Just look up and see how many people have tried to kill themselves or gone crazy here in the last few years! Damn, can I ramble on…back to Lizerd…
They finally are able to wrestle him to the floor and put on leg-shackles and hand restraints. They carry him out of the cell and drop him on the run. 30 seconds later Lizerd is talking trash to the team and Capt. Wickersham :). Venting his frustrations and why and how this all started, saying “I just want to be left alone, stop harassing me with these ridiculous weekly moves” (NOTE: Amongst all the body armor…the point man comes in with a huge plexi-glass type shield, ouch!!!).
Now, the team picks Lizerd up by his jumpsuit and carries him down the stars to put him 71 cell. Once again no sanitizing or cell search is done as TDCJ policy and procedure requires.
After they put Lizerd in the cell they cut off all his clothes! Why? Just because they can.
So now the team removes the leg restraints and leaves the empty cell. Lizerd goes to the door and they remove his hand restraints. Now Lizerd is butt-naked and in a totally empty cell with no soap to wash off the killer gas.
Captain Wickersham, to his credit, then came to tell Lizerd that he wants to talk to him either later today or fist chance in the morning. Also to Capt. Wichersham’s credit, he kept his word and had 2 officers escort Lizerd to his office at about noon the next day.
Now Capt. Wickersham had done his research on Mr. Newbury and all his filed grievances about all these moves and how the cells were never cleaned. He actually won the grievance filed on not cleaning and inspecting the cells before they move him in, yet they still do not. Lizerd was moved 56 times in 2003 and approx. that many times in 2004.
Of course the mailroom, commissary, legal library, book library….could never keep up with his location. He’d miss store, receive mail late, no access to books of legal works. The whole time, 3 years, Lizerd has been filing paper work and following the system and nothing was ever done or even attempted to be down in all that time.
Now after Lizerd has been fading the goon squad since Oct. of 2004, Captain Wickersham and Lizerd have had a private talk and came to an agreement. If Lizerd stops fighting the team, they would reduce his moves to one a month.
Now in accordance to TDCJ policy he is not supposed to be moved, but every 90 days, but he was willing to meet ½ way with Captain Wickersham.
I will close
this bit about Lizerd with a quote from Lizerd:
“So, with all this said and done, I find it shamefully said and positively sickening that the only way I was able to obtain my goal was by violence, not by following proper procedures.”
Well, you’d think that was enough excitement for one day, right? Hell no! I’m still totally pissed by how they gassed Ghost, even though Sgt. Henderson gave him an IMPOSSIBLE order to comply to. Once again how does one relinquish the hand-restraints when he is handcuffed to the door.
Now I was planning on jacking the dinner tray, but 1st shift fed us and second shift picked up the trays, not 1st shift. So I gave them my tray.
After a few minutes of chasing around the thoughts in my head, I was still pissed and decided to let them know about it. They came to show me at about 7:15 p.m. or so. The officer put on handcuff on my wrist and I jacked the cuffs just like Ghost did earlier. The 2 guards tried to talk me out of the cuffs. I said “it’s not personal, go suit it up.”
Finally, a relief team of rovers came to watch me (Once you have the hand-cuffs, there must be an officer watching you the whole time). The pod rovers got everyone out of the showers.
At around 8:45 p.m. Sgt. Hutchinson came around to talk to me. Trying to resolve the situation without a UOF!! It’s too late for that now. Sgt. Hutchinson leaves and comes back with a gas mask and some gas CS-10.
Now here comes the 5 man team stomping in. My adrenaline takes over. Again, Sgt. Hutchinson tries for about 20 minutes begging me to lay it down.
Finally at 9:20 p.m. they spray a long burst of CS-10 gas after I refuse to give up the cuffs in my cell. Damn it, it’s been awhile and the gas hits me hear, but I keep composure and I’m just happy they are not using the CS-57!!
Lizerd is down the run giving me a play-by-play on what’s going on because I have no plastic over my eyes, because I don’t use it. Dumb-ass that I am. Eyes watery, breathing labored. I wait, pacing my cell like a cornered lion, just not that tough!!
5 minutes ass and Sgt. Hutchinson give me an order for the cuff. I refuse. He sprays another long shot of CS-10 and closes my bean-slot. Once again, the chemicals assault my eyes, skin and breathing.
About 10 minutes pass and no I‘m tripping, what’s going on?? Why are they not coming in. Shit, I’m on fire. Sgt. Hutchinson once again says “Inmate Cartwright, relinquish the hand-restraints and submit to a strip search or chemical agents will be applied.” I laugh! He sprays, but shortly there after about 2 seconds the can is empty.
So at this point they have used an entire can of CS-10 on me...and I wait…Another 10 minutes go by, shit according to Lizerd it has been close to 30 minutes at this point. The gas is kicking my ass. I’m thinking I’ve faded the worst of the gas and as Murphy’s law would have it.
I hear Lizerd yell down the run “Hey Chi-Town, he just got a can of CS-587!!” Just what I needed to hear, right.
The Sgt. gives me the orders to relinquish the cuffs….I laugh…They spray a 4 or 5 second burst of CS-587 in my cell, as they do it, my wet rag over my mouth (my gas mask) tied on with a piece of sheet falls around my neck. Man, CS-587 stole all my breath! I could not breath, just cough, choke and spit. Now it’s a waiting game…I want to lay it down. I can’t breath. I’m 90% blind, but my stubborn pride or “stupidity” pulls me along.
5 minutes later the team comes in. They came in hard and fast. Lizerd said it sounded like thunder and he felt his cell wall vibrate. He is in 71 cell, I’m in 76!!!
By that time they folded me up and restrained me, face smashed into a liquid puddle of gas. I can’t breath or see.
Now I will quote
Lizerd’s description of me since he has put it so eloquently! Yeah, right!!!
“Chi-Town looked like he was painted orange with CS-10 gas and than dog-piled by the whole Chicago Bears Football Team. He was not able to walk properly with the leg shackles put on to tight and no eye site. The gaurds would walk him 3 feet to the left than to the right /\/\/\/\/\ to keep him disorientated on his where-abouts. Mind you he is in full restraints”.
Alright Lizerd, thanks a lot! ~Smart-Ass-Smirk-Here~
Anyway, they lead me off the pod and out to the hallway and lay me down on the floor in the steel box. As I lay down my feet stick 3 feet out the box. It is extremely small. They take off my leg shackles and fold me into the box and lock the door.
I stand up and allow them to remove the 2 sets of handcuffs off my wrists. I was than ordered to strip-out. I did so. My eyes just started to open.
After stripping out, I was given back my boxer shorts and nothing else…handcuffed me behind my back through the bean-slot and opened the box.
They than put my leg shackle back on. I told the Sgt. “What about my shoes? I’m not walking barefoot on this dirty ass floor. You want to carry me?”
They give me my shoes and escort me back to F-Pod F-Section, but not to 75 cell, but to my new cell 72, right next to Lizerd! Ha!Ha!
They lay me on the floor and take the leg restraints off. They go to remove the hand restraints and tell me not to move. I say “Oh, no. You take them off, we are gonna fight. I’m not gonna lay on this floor face down like some punk!! Not gonna go down like that. Just get out of the cell and I give you my word. I’ll give you the cuffs back through the slot” and they agreed and I kept my word.
They left me in my new empty cell with nothing to decontaminate myself with.
Approximately 2 or 3 hours later, they brought my property to me. Man what a night.
While I was in the hallway, they did take their 4 photos and the nurse checked me out and noticed a cut on the back of my head! I’m told I was ok, that was an old injury! Wink!Wink!!
The rest of the week’s been pretty quiet. Us old men, Lizerd and myself, are licking our wounds.
I’m happy to say Lizerd is done…he got what he wanted and is going to do his best to get back on level 1! I don’t blame him. He misses his weekly visits with Joan very, very much. Don’t worry Joan, I’ll make sure he behaves himself. Hey, Joan, why are you laughing at me. I’m serious!! Not that he needs any help. He love you and that is all he needs.
Now, on the 11the they had a team escort prisoner Robert Gene Garza 999466 from Level II F-Pod E-Section 65 cell to Level III F-Pod F-Section 82 cell because of a staff assault.
Let me explain, on January 5th, 2005, Mr. Garza made his Level II from Level III. A few days after, they moved Mr. Garza to 65, his toilet broke, could not flush it without it over-flowing.
Now Mr. Garza kept telling them about it and asking to be moved. He is living in a damn out-house for crying-out-loud.
Now after 2 days of trying to do the right thing, they are taking him to 64 cell periodically to use the restroom throughout the day and night. Of cause 64 cell has no light, so he can’t move there, but there are other open cells.
On the 11th, they took Mr. Garza out of 65 cell to use the toilet in 64 cell. Mr. Garza gets on the run and sits down. Now he is handcuffed behind his back and 2 guards are there.
Now Sgt. Hutchinson comes to try and resolve the problem. He tells Mr. Garza “You’re going into 65 or 64 cell”. Mr. Garza says “I’m not going into my cell ‘til you fix the toilet and 64 cell doesn’t have a light”. Sgt. Hutchinson tells Mr. Garza “You are not going to stay on the run until they fix the toilet.” Mr. Garza says “Do what you gotta do Vato, I ain’t moving.”
As Mr. Garza sits on the run, here comes the plumber with a “toilet snake” to try and fix the toilet. He pulls up toilet paper…getting soiled and 2 day old water al over the floor, but still cannot fix the toilet.
At this time, Lt. Sterin is also on the run. He tell Mr. Garza “they are going to have to fix his toilet through the pipe-chase. Go back in your cell.” Mr. Garza says “Vato, I ain’t going in my cell with a broken toilet and shit water all over the floor”. (NOTE TO THE READER: Lt. Stern came to Death Row about a year ago from another Unit. He did something wrong at this other unit, lost his rank and was sent to Death Row as C.O. 5. Before long, he got his Sgt. Stripes back and just recently, became a Lt. again. I do not know why he lost his rank, but I ca guess. Anyone able to get this info to me would help me out incredibly in showing you the Row gets all the throw-backs and rogues working here.)
Now Lt. Stern goes into Mr. Garza’s cell and starts packing his property. An unjustified action. Mr. Garza asks him “what are you doing?” Lt. Stern ignores him and is just whistling.
Mr. Garza says “You can’t hear me, Vato?” Lt. Stern looks down at Mr. Garza and says “nope”. Mr. Garza spits right in Lt. Sterns face!!! Now, Lt. Stern turns to the lady with the camcorder and says “Turn it on. Inmate Garza just assaulted me.”
First of all the camcorder should have been on. As soon as Mr. Garza sat down and the officers put there hands on him to keep him there, it becomes a UOF!! Maybe Lt. Stern did not want the camcorder picking up the fact that Mr. Garza has been living in a cell for 2 days with a broken toilet, he? Or his unjustified actions of taking Mr. Garza’s property. (NOTE: POLUNSKY UNITIS IS ACA or American Correctional Association approved which means this unit gets extra funding for being in compliance with the states rules and regulations. Maybe the fact that the ACA states that an inmate should be moved or the toilet fixed within 4 yours of reporting the problem kept the camera off. Who truly knows.)
After that Lt. Stern takes out his can of gas and says “Inmate Garza, I’m giving you a direct order to allow the officers to put you back in your cell or chemical agents will be used.”
Now Mr. Garza, who is sitting on the floor and already hand-cuffed behind his back, looks up at Lt. Stern and says “do whatever you gotta do, Vato.!!” Lt. Stern gives another similar direct order and Mr. Garza says the same thing.
At this point, Lt. Stern puts his gas away and leaves. He comes back in a few minutes with a Captain. No one knows this Captain’s name. The Captain finds out all that happened and tells Mr. Garza “You’re going to Level III for assaulting Lt. Stern by spiting in his face.” Mr. Garza says “That’s fine. I’d rather be on Level III with a working toilet than on Level II living in an outhouse!”
The Captain asks if Mr. Garza is going to walk over there. Mr. Garza ways “What about my property?” Captain says “If we give you your property back, will you walk over without resisting?” Garza says “yes!”
They move his property into 79 cell and he follows. What a damn shame that Mr. Garza had to drop back down to Level III just to get a working toilet.
This is another week in paradise. Man, can you see the daily B.S. we all must face? We are treated less than human. It’s frustrating as hell. I don’t know the words to use to try and relate how we feel. Do you care? Should you care? That is your individual choice.
I will leave
with a quote from The Book of Counted Joys
“Hope requires the contender
Who sees no virtue in surrender
To the cradle to the bier,
The heart must preserve.
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
P.S. Any info about CS # 587 would be greatly appreciated. Do they need a special license to use it? Long term affects? Is it for tightly enclosed areas? What is it’s chemical breakdown?
this about the gas by talking to an officer who wished to remain anonymous:
“CS # 587 has an antidote for its effects and you must have a license to carry and use this gas and also to get the antidote.”
It was also mentioned by Lizerd “this gas is always retrieved by a Captain or higher rank. I guess the powers-to-be just don’t think a 5 man team in body armor with CS-10 gas is enough; what a bunch of sissies!!
Also, I would like to add that if there is an antidote, I know it has not been offered to Chi-Town or myself….maybe it is just for the officers, eh?”
FYI: Anyone can get these UOF tapes to check the above written facts. Anyone not representing me (I.E. my mom, sister, girlfriend…), strangers can get them at $3.59 a tape. Just to let people know, they have a way to check the facts in my writings.****************************************************
My Daughter’s Birthday…I planned on sleeping the day away in a funk depression. I stayed awake all night, rolled-up mattress on my bunk starring out into the sky, thinking of My Lil Ricki, searching the sky for stars, with the perimeter of the prison lit up like daylight, stars are often not able to be seen, but I know they’re up there and I know if I stare long enough, I’ll see a few.
I saw 2, or at least I imagined 2, I don’t even know. I needed to see stars so I wished them into existence and wished my Lil Ricki a happy 8th Birthday filled with love and happiness. She is so special, so sweet, so loving. Damn, I want to hold her, kiss her, give her tickle bugs….
Anyway breakfast was served and after they picked up the trays, I covered my window, to black out my cell and sleep my depression away. I have a bad habit of turning my sadness and pain into anger and rage. So I sleep, just let me sleep. I guess I was just asking too damn much, eh?....
I wake up to the sound of someone beating on my door! I say “go away!” The “someone” says “get that stuff out of your window Inmate.” I say “who the fuck are you?” He says “It does not matter who I am. My job is to tell you what to do and your job is to listen!!” Talk about dumb-luck!!!
I get up and who do I see standing at my door, but Population Warden Alford, Death Row Major Nelson and a Lt. Bryant who I’ve never seen before. I’m standing at my door and Warden Alford (He’s a big ole dude too) tells me “take it out the window” which is in the back wall of my cell “or I’ll get a team to take it out”.
I laugh and than hang a towel over my door window, so he can’t see! Warden Alford talks a little trash about “I’m from population. We do things differently…blah…blah…blah…” I’m too pissed to care about threats, damn, I just wanted to sleep, one day, that’s it.
Warden Alford tells the Major about using CS # 587 gas. Major Nelson points to my cell and Lizerd’s cell and says “the gas don’t bother those 2.” Warden Alford says “That’s because y’all don’t do it right.”
Now there is a big plexi-glass window covering the 2 steel window slots on my door to keep prisoners from throwing boiling water, piss and sometimes even fecal matter. They leave!
At 9:56 a.m., Sgt. Foteh and Lt. Bryant came back with CO Martin and CO Daniels and some tools to take the plexi-glass off! I guess Warden Alford thinks that spraying gas through my bean-slot will not saturate me enough or cut off my breathing, what an ego!!
So as they do this, I take my towel down to watch. Lucky for them, I am a prisoner, who doesn’t like to throw urnes and fecal matter on the officers, yet anyway, never say never. They treat me like an animal, I will act like an animal.
I then put a piece of clear plastic over my eyes and tie it to my head with a sock. I than wet another sock, fold it over 3 x and put it over my mouth and now and tie it secure with another sock around my head. I tie a sheet up from my wall to my light so they can’t see me too well, bad thing is I can’t see them either.
My neighbor, Lizerd, is my eyes, giving me the play-by-play! Thank you dog, I mean Lizerd! You are on hell of a sireeeeen! Ha!Ha! (Inside Joke).
Team arrives along with Warden Alford. Lizerd says “Chi-Town, here comes the team and they’re huge. I don’t recognize anyone.”
I put 2 and 2 together, it’s a team from population, Warden Alford was not bullshitting when he said population does it different I guess.
Warden Alford sprays a 7 second burst of CS # 587 in my cell, a long 7 seconds!! This stuff attacks, oxygen, it steals your breath, it is scary.
Now procedure is wait 5 minutes and spray again, so as I’m trying to see how long I can go without breathing!
Let me back-up. Before they sprayed, Sgt. Feteh did give me 2 warnings. He said “Inmate Cartwright, I’m giving you a direct order to submit to a strip search and hand restraints or chemical agents will be applied.”
Then Warden Alford did the 7 second spray at 10:09 a.m.
At 10:12 a.m., Sgt. Foteh give me two more order and uses the rest of the can of CS # 587.
Once again Lizerd is letting me know what’s going on and keeping the time on all this. Thanks dog!!
Hellooooo goon-squad!! They rolled my door and it was on. 5 men, point-man with a double-shield, point man goes sideways as the shield meets my shoulder, we both flew back onto the bunk and I’m swinging and they are swinging.
Finally, they drop me, face first, on the floor, rip my jumpsuit, boxer, socks and gym-shoes off of me and get the shackles and hand-restraints on me. Now this is where I get pissed. I’m on the floor, hand-cuffed, leg restraints, 5 men in body armor and this big sissy point man starts kneeing me in the head (now this is with shin-guards, hard plastic on the outside) about 4 or 5 times.
I started calling him all kinds of bitches, hoes and punks. Yeah, not smart, but at this point who cares.
(Damn, it felt like 20 minutes in there…) Anyway, 10:17 a.m. they carry my naked ass out of my cell and drop me on the run. I’m steady talking trash to this point-man! (I do not know his name or anyone on the good-squad and no one else did either) That was the whole point I believe! How do I pay back the point main?? I guess I don’t now!!! I digress! Now this all took place in 72 cell.
The team picks my naked ass up and carries me to 76 cell and places me on the floor, my upper body under the bunk (I gotta say something here…It is not a nice feeling to have 5 men rip off your clothes and strip you naked by force. I felt violated, I really did! It was not a nice feeling at all. Just trying to be honest with y’all. I’m embarrassed by this feeling, but I try to keep it real!! Don’t get me wrong. We will be doing this again.)
Now Sgt. Foteh says “Inmate Cartwright, we are going to remove the leg restraints and hand restraints, don’t move or force will be used.” I tell Sgt. Foteh “fuck you, y’all ain’t gonna just take all the restraints off and expect me to lie here naked on the floor and let these officers out of my cell. Man you got me fucked up!!”
Sgt. Foteh says don’t move. They remove the leg restraints. They start to do the cuffs and I go-a-kicking and thrashing. They twist me up like a pretzel. The point man, who is standing up or else it was 2 men, puts the EDGE of the shield in the back of my neck and leans on it!! Boy!! Tough guy, eh??
They get my legs shackled again. Sgt. Foteh again tells me about resisting saying “Cartwright this is the way it's gonna be done.” I say “No it is not Sgt.!!”
I than state “Look, I ain’t no punk. I’m not laying here on the floor, ass-naked, while you take these restraints off.” I than said “I give you my word that if you take the shackles off and leave the cuffs on, I will give you the opportunity to take the cuffs off in the bean-slot on the door.”
He says “No!” I say “Y’all ain’t gonna make it out the cell this way.”
So once again, they remove the shackles. I don’t move. They go for the cuffs. I start kicking, bucking, grabbing for cuff-keys and they steadily got my legs folded down onto my upper back and wrestling with the cuffs, they get ‘em off, but when they try to leave, I start getting up and trying to swing….smash, we all fall down again. It sure it hard fighting while your naked.
They get the cuffs and leg shackles back on me. Now Sgt. Feteh sees I’m not playing and agrees to do it my way. They remove the leg shackles and exit the cell. I get up and walk to the door and stick my hands through the bean-slot and they remove the cuffs.
My word is golden. I tell tem that.
10:27 a.m. is the time the team finally exited 76 cell.
Nurse asks me how I feel! “Just fine” I say.
They take 4 photos of my nakedness :). Smile for the camera!!
The team leaves the pod.
They bring me my property out of 72 cell.
It is now 3:15 p.m. as I write this and I still have no mattress or sheets! Damn, I just want to go to sleep. Now at 1:05 p.m., they brought my Bro into F-Pod with a 5 man team and a stretcher. His name is Lee Taylor, 999344. His nickname is Tiny! I will wait ‘til he tells me what happened and report it.
They moved him in my old cell 72! He was also butt-naked on arrival! I guess these people are a little perverted, eh?
The following is Mr. Taylor’s account:
“Greetings, regards and salutations,
Whoever reads this, know I hope you and your are in the best of health and highest of spirits!
I wanted to speak out on the violence and complete unprofessional tactics that some of these correctional officers use. Mainly the administration in place on D.R. at the present time.
As we all know there are good and bad in every form of organization. It seems that TDCJ has made a mistake in putting too many bad apples in the administration on DR, 12-Building.
Let me relay what has been happening to me and my friend…..
Robert Pruett, #999411 is on death row for (wrongly….) the death of a corrections officer on another unit in population. This happened (I believe) in 2001-2002.
Also, just recently an officer (corrections) had been escorting Robert to the rec. cage. While they were walking past the cage (cell) doors, the officer got ‘speared’ with a prison-made shank and pole. This is just history information you need to understand to see why the events that happened escalated into the ‘Use of Force’ (ass whipping!) that was applied to Robert and I….
On Jan. 16th I was in E-Section next to F-Section where Robert was caged. All the day long there were 5-6 correctional officers having a little social meeting in the picket (There are supposed to not be anyone in there except the assigned ‘picket’ officer).
That night after shift change, Robert yelled out over to me in E-Section that Mrs. Hendry (property officer) had been in the picket when all the other 4-5 officers were. She had gotten on the intercom and told Robert that she was writing him a masturbation case!
He was devastated! Because he had not even spoken to anyone all day. He was minding his own business. The only thing he could think of was that maybe she saw him in the coarse of pissing! But he didn’t realize everything that was going on…..
After hearing what happened I asked a couple officers that I am pretty ‘cool’ with. I get along with most of the correction officers! I don’t hate anyone. Like I said, there is good and bad in every organization!
I was told that there are a small group of officers that are out to get Robert. Mrs. Hendry is married to a black man. So she naturally feels more comfortable talking to a black inmate…Well, let’s just say the information she gave back to me and Robert. She said that she didn’t write a masturbation case. Officer Parker did!
Now why would a male officer set out to do that? And then us a female officer (Hendry) as a ‘front’ for the case? Think about this. Robert was due to get his Level I back in two days! The administration and property officer (Mrs. Hendry) are the only ones who know when someone is coming up for their level!
So here is Robert in a little cage doing his damn absolute best to stay out of trouble. I mean the dude wouldn’t even keep simple ‘contraband’ like food and stinger to eat with! On level II you not allowed to eat….Well, only the three B.S. meals TDCJ allows. But nothing from the Level I commissary list of luxury! He wanted to see his best friend and supporter form Switzerland for a special visit. He did try hard…I was even kidding or making jokes about it!
So here we are on Jan 17th. I am in F-Section dayroom cage. Roberts cage (cell) is directly in front of the dayroom. We talked about everything. I could hear the dissatisfaction and disappointment in his voice. He said ‘shit, I just want to live in peace for the remaining few years I have to live…!’ It pissed me off the hear and see how his emotions were running wild. All because some few officers are upset or mad about why he is here on D.R.
Well, Jan 17th was a holiday (Martin Luther King Day), so the only ranking officers that were here on 12-building were Major Nelson and Sergeant Foteh. If you did a survey on D.R. 99% of inmates would tell you Sgt. Foteh is not worth shit! I knew that but I never even had a chance. I refused to come out of the dayroom, because even after the picket officer called Sgt. Foteh, he didn’t come to see what the situation was.
That is his job people! All I wanted to do was talk to the Major about why Robert was going through all this unnecessary B.S.
Here I am in the dayroom when Sergeant Foteh comes in. He doesn’t even ask me what the problem is. He says ‘You come out of that dayroom now or I got a team for your ass, and we will steam roll your ass!’
I couldn’t allow the dude to talk to me like that people! So I told him to suck my dick.
Here comes the 5 man team. All with riot gear. Of coarse all 230 lbs. plus. Front man with a shield. All have gas masks and helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, vests, hiking boots, etc….
What do I have? Well, let’s see. Some tape on my eyes so I can see. And a rag around my nose and mouth so I can try to breath!
They sprayed me 3-4 times with two cans of gas. One from either side of me.
After I was gassed good enough to let them feel good about themselves, the door to the dayroom opens! I fight to keep form getting absolutely beat the shit out of. I got five grown men fighting me, with no defense. One stuck his finger deep into my eye socket. That shit really hurts people!
So they get me in leg and hand cuffs. Then while I am laying on the dayroom floor in a ‘puddle’ of gas, they strip me but ass naked!
All this is on video camera people anyone can get this stuff. TDCJ sells the tapes of Use of Force, I think. I know there are ways to get the tapes…
So I refuse to walk anywhere. Therefore, they carry me out to the hall put me on a stretches and wheel me to the dreaded ‘F-Pod’. On Death Row, F-Pod has the illusion of hell! Absolutely, I fight and curse them the whole way….They reduce you to an animal level.
Once they get me in my new cage they lay me on the ground and push me under the steel bunk. Under there with absolutely no defense. They take off the cuffs and leave the cell.
I crawl out from under the bunk to the glorious sound of my brothers and friends wanting to know if I am ok and if I need anything to help the burn and cuts. They send me soap and towels to try and wash the burning gas off my body…The burn lasts a couple of days!
About two hours later comes my friend Robert through the door. He has gone through the same treatment as I.
As sad as all the violence and mistreatment that I just told you is, the saddest of all is the fact that I didn’t want to do that! Neither did Robert! All we wanted to do was speak to the Major about why some officers are out to get Robert!
So the next day I am in the dayroom on F-Pod (Hell). In walks Warden Bisco, Major Nelson and Captain Wickersham.
The warden tells me “Lee, I am surprised you’re going off”. That’s because since I have been on D.R., I have rarely gotten into trouble.
The Captain doesn’t say anything. I have never talked to him before.
The Major and I have a conversation where she admits in front of the Warden that Sergeant Foteh never even told her of called her to let her know there was a situation with me before the riot team got there! She admits that her own Sergeant that is supposed to report all violence to her never did until the situation was so out of control that there was no stopping.
But even though she admits it in front of her Warden, I am still on Level III. Sergeant Foteh is still here and has not had any punishment for under-minding his Major.
Part of the problem is these B.S. unprofessionalSergeants don’t know their head from their asses so they improvise. And the higher administration allows them to run rampant. Because of the complete unprofessionalism and utter lack of respect for me as a man, Seargent Foteh and I are enemies until I feel the situation has been rectified.
Lee Taylor, 999344”
Anyway, I burn form gas and just want to pace my cell and try to cool off the burn. Once again, anyone can get a copy of these tapes to check the facts. This tape will be rated R, though. I was naked. Anyway, until later.
One more note, I’d like to add. They take Polaroid pictures right after the run-in. I guess because it takes a while for your bruises to show as anyone who has been bruised knows.
The whole left side of my head is blackish-red from the knee-butting, the right side of my face is bruised from being dropped face first to the floor. My left knee is swollen. I have bruises up and down my legs and a boot print on my butt-cheek!
Maybe we can do this again tomorrow so today’s bruises and beating will show up on tomorrow’s tape.
It is no 4:10 p.m. and the just brought another prisoner in here via GOON SQUAD EXPRESS. I just found out his name is Robert Pruett, 999411, his nickname is Tool. I did not see him come in so I can’t say much.
The following is Mr. Pruett’s account:
“Psychological warfare is routinely implemented by the employees at TDCJ-ID to not only subdue inmates, but push them past the threshold of sanity. Some of you may consider such a statement ludicrous, a mere delusion by some sensory deprived death row inmate (as I once concluded after hearing similar things very early in my incarceration), but I know first hand that it’s truth. My most recent predicament exemplifies how some employees here, who ‘strive to operate the institution as consummated professionals’ incessantly test inmate’s sanity.
On January 16, 2005, I sat in my cell anxiously anticipation the few privileges I would soon have once I was promoted to Level I on the 18th. Death Row behavioral modification system where Level I is the best you can get and Level 3 the worst.
I was reduced to Level III in August of 2004 for aggressively protesting the cruel and unusual way we are often treated here. I spent over 4 months without receiving a disciplinary case, working my way back to Level II to my radio. I decided that I would put up with the behavior of some CO’s and try my best to live in peace in what could be my last few years alive.
Anyhow, I was happily going over the simple pleasure that Level I offers because I was scheduled to get my Level I on the 18th, just two more days! As it turns out, some CO’s know about me coming up for Level I and they thought they’d play mind games with me.
Close to shift change on January 16th a female CO (who is also the property officer) named Hendry accused me of masturbating on her and informed me that I was going to Level III because she was writing me a case.
I was not masturbating, but I was urinating and at first I thought maybe she thought I was. Paranoid, I tried to explain to her that I was no doing that, but she was adamant: I would get a case.
I couldn’t believe my misfortune! All that time I endured Levels III and II, trying my best to get my Level I so I could see my friends, putting up with all sorts of crap, only to lose it all for something I DID NOT DO! I was completely devastated.
The next day, I was informed by another inmate that Ms. Hendry knew I was due to come up for Level I (she’s the property officer and she’s given a list of those who are scheduled to come up because she brings them their allowed property) and that she was seen talking to Officer Parker, an officer who has made it clear that my time on DR would be rough because of my case.
You see, most officers here did not know I was convicted (wrongly!) in the death of a CO. After an inmate speared a guard who was escorting me in November, that information was spread across the internet and now all these CO’s know about my case. Some have expressed their disgust and made it clear to me that my life would be hard here. So I came to the realization that Hendry and Parker conspired against me.
The next day, my best friend tried to help me get Major Nelson to the pod to talk to me about the situation. She’s rumored to be a decent and reasonable person, so we figured she’d help if we could talk to her.
Unfortunately Sergeant Foteh came to the pod and he wasn’t trying to talk. He wouldn’t even let the Major know that we only wanted to talk. Instead he used chemical agents on my friend and sent a 5 man team, suited in riot gear, into the dayroom to beat him up.
After I force them to do the same to me in my cell, we wanted to talk, they didn’t.
After words, I was place in a cage off the pod and Hendry approached the cage saying, ‘By the way, I tore that case up. I know you weren’t masturbating. I was just messing with you! Enjoy Level 3!’ with a smile on her face.
So if you think that these folks strive to conduct themselves in a professional manner, then you are wrong. Their job is to secure us and make sure we are following the rules, but they sometimes feel it is punish us in any way possible and they’ve shown that they’ll stoop to any level to accomplish that.
Personally, I want to live out what is possibly my last years alive in peace, yet they don’t seem to let me. What does a man do in such a situation to keep his sanity?
This is how it always happens, a new administration comes in (I.E.: Rogue Capt. Wickersham, Major Nelson), see things are too quiet and can’t help but put a stick in the bee-hive. The stick works for a moth or 2 and then all the warrior bees come out to fight.
Like I said, before, there are only 3 escapes for us, Suicide, Insanity or Fight back and keep hope alive. Been a few attempted suicides, 1 or 2 successful suicides and a Van Load of D.R. prisoners have gone over to Jester 4, TDCJ prison for “nut-case” men who find release in their own fantasies, playing in their urine and feces, smearing it on their walls, to mark their territory like wild-eyed-beast.
Goes back to what I said earlier, you treat a human being like an animal long enough, he becomes one.
The rise of suicide, insanity and violence has increase considerably since the Administration of Major Nelson and Rogue Capt. Wickersham have been in charge. I guess Death Row Warden Jones has just gave them free rein of what they want to do.
Well, the powers-to-be refused to feed F-Pod F-Section or F-Pod E-Section hot trays today for supper. These 4 sections house Lever II and Level III D.R. Prisoners. Instead we got a paper sack with 1 peanut butter sandwich, no jelly, 2 small, I mean very small hot dogs, and 2 pieces of bread.
Now showers either. I guess they got us locked down. Is it for just today? Who knows. Tomorrow will tell it.
Damn, looks like I’m in for a busy week.
Back again. Nurse Mitchell just brought my afternoon meds and when I turned away from the door, she said “Oh My God, what happened to your back?” I said “What do you mean?” She said “You have 2 or 3 huge bruised and skin scraped off.” I just shrugged my shoulders. I guess that was from the shield or something. I’m sure I’ll fell it in the morning.
I know, I’m rambling. I guess it’s emotions. E-Section, it had to be at least 8-9 people flooded! The water flooded d-e-f section and went out into the hallway. I guess that is how they try to justify locking E-Section down.
See they try to punish everyone for a few troublesome events! They try to make us fight amongst ourselves, but it won’t happen o F-Pod!!
There are some wicked side-effects from that CS # 587 gas they used. The “morning after” affects are killer. This is the second time they used it on me and the “morning after” my nose bleeds and my chest hurts when I try to take a deep breath. Lizerd also mentioned this plus headaches. I thought the first time I was just getting the flu or something. That is some wicked gas, for sure.
Good morning, it is 2:30 a.m. and they just brought me my breakfast. A Johnny Sack again!! 1 egg with tow pieces of bread and a single slice cheese sandwich.
I guess we are still on lock down!
I’m kinda tired. The wing officers on second shift at 6 p.m. were backed up do to lack of 1st shift getting their work done due to the 3 UOF’s yesterday by the time Officer Alexander and Officer Pettis got done doing the showers and recreations on the 4 sections of F-Pod who are no locked down. So we did not get our necessities, boxers, socks…until close to 11:30 p.m. So 3 hours of sleep, talk about sleep deprivation!!! I wish I could go back to sleep but I’m too upset at the moment. Nothing to really say, be back later.
It is now 9:00 p.m. and the day has been quiet. At lunch 9:30 a.m. we had another Johnny Sack, 1 peanut butter sandwich, 1 chicken pattie. Man I’m gonna try to crash.
It is now 4:05 p.m. and we received a hot tray!! Woohoo looks like lock-down is over. After chow they even let us shower, boy!! I feel special!!!
It has been relatively quiet all day, but you know what they say…it always get quiet before the storm. It was nice to have a somewhat peaceful day to recover from the bumps and bruised of yesterday.
I’m gonna try and do a daily report even on he quiet days. I have letters and legal work also, so no promises, but I’ll try.
Y’all have a good night.In Struggle and Solidarity
Breakfast, 3 pancakes, milk and pineapple spread…I’m going bad to bed!!!
Seems like it will be a peaceful day. Turned in my commissary list last night, 1st time in 30 days. I have been on 30 days commissary restriction.
On Level III, you are only allowed to buy $10 in writing material, i.e. stamps, pen, paper, envelopes…1 bottles shampoo, 5 hotel size soap (1.25 oz.), 1 toothbrush, 1 deodorant. Probably doesn’t seem like much to y’all but try going 30 days without the above hygiene items!!
Lunch time. Wait-a-seconds…Johnny Sacks again!! What’s this? 2 cold corn dogs and a peanut butter sandwich, a small piece of pound-cake! They say a pipe broke in the kitchen. Hell, F-Pod is better than the Jenny Craig diet. I’ve personally lost over 15 lbs. in the past 30 days.
Here comes a very close and dear friend of mine, Rick A. Rhoades, #999049, unfortunately, Rick is being brought in my a 5 man Goon Squad, painted in orange from the CS-10 gas, damn!!! I’ll be sure to try and find out what happened and why.
Here comes commissary! Woohoo!!....I can’t believe this shit here…NO HYGIENE ITEMS!! NO SOAP, NO SHAMPOO, NO TOOTHPASTE!!! I did purchase 27 (37 cent) stamps though, at $9.99!!
Now I ask a commissary worker if they are going to allow us to go to store again next week. Of course he says “Cartwright, your on Level III and can only go to store once every 14 days and you know it!!” real smart-like, you know the old saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!”
Then I explain I’ve already went 30 days without…he says “nothing I can do!” Then he walks away.
My Bro Lee Taylor “Tiny” is in the dayroom and sees I’m hot, but he says nothing.
5 minutes later they take Tiny to his cell. It was Officer Loop and Officer Mulberry. When Officer Loop removed on cuff, Tiny tried to Jack-the-cuffs and Officer Loop tried to rip Tiny’s arm out of the slot to keep him from doing it.
Tiny (who is anything but tiny) grabbed fast and pulled hard and got the cuffs, key and all!!! Tiny says “get some rank for my homeboy, Cartwright.”
I feel like an as, now, but appreciate his help. If we don’t stick together, they plow right over us.
Turns out Officer Loop got a nasty cut on his hands from trying to hold onto the cuffs (Officer Loop always seems to always get the raw end of the deal. He is 290 lbs., so he is this card’s point man on the 5-man team. The point man or shield man is basically the sacrificial lamb!! He sacrifices his body to clear a way for the team.
I will say this for Loop. He is extremely professional about his job. He takes nothing personal. As point man, he will hurt you. It’s part of the job. But he does it and does not, to this point, throw any extra punches on the prisoner is down and subdued. Gotta give him his cars on that. He is professional in his attitude and behavior. If all the CO’s acted that way, there would not be 90% of the problems we have now.
I’m rambling again.)
Anyway, Sgt. Henderson comes down to get the cuffs from Tiny and tape a UOF tape and had a nurse look over Tiny and take 4 Polaroid photos. Once Loop was injured, a UOF paper work needed to be done. Policy is followed for once, eh? AMAZING!!
Sgt. Henderson says he will call commissary and find out what he can. Of coarse he lied. He never called!
That is why we act out. We try, we really do try and talk and ask and we are totally IGNORED, until we act-out, make them pay attention. A damn shame.
Dinner is served. Low-n-behold, Johnny Saks again, 1 salami and cheese sandwich and 1 peanut butter sandwich. Man, I’m getting a tad-bit frustrated to say the least. I bet ODR (Officer’s Dinning Room) has hot food, no doubt about it. I can’t see Major Nelson eating a peanut butter sandwich.
SOMEONE ORDER ME SOME PIZZA! CHICAGO-STYLE-DEEP-DISH!! Hell, if I’m gonna dream, I want the best!!!
It is now 7:30 p.m. or so and an ese` named Jorge Salinas Jacked the handcuffs. I don’t know why! I know Lt. Stern used so much gas (Jorge was in 69 cell E-Section), it had everyone in D-E and F Section coughing, burning and blinded. That is 42 men effected! Can you imagine what Jorge was feeling like in that tiny cement tomb!!??
Well, they move Jorge off the Pod after they ran in on him 4 hours later. Damn, he got guts. Jorge looks to be about 140 lbs.!!
Found out later they moved him off the Pod to Level I Pod, just to keep him out of F-Section, the only Level III Section at this time, because he did all this to be over here to be close to his homeboy.
Now think about that for a second. The only way to get moved by his homeboy was to get gassed and beat up. Now, Lt. Stern and Capt. King are so spiteful, they move him to a Level I Pod. Not just Level I, but DEATH WATCH!! Cruel and Unusual Punishment at its best.
DEATH WATCH has 14 cells where they house the prisoners who already have “murder dates” and are just waiting out their last few months, weeks and days. Complete and utter PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE, would you not agree? Should the powers-to-be be allowed to house a man without a “date” in DEATH WATCH a punitive action? You tell me? Hell, call Warden Jones, Major Nelson, Capt. Wickersham and tell them!
Is this not outrageous, or am I overreacting? Am I too close-at-hand to make this call? It feels wrong to me. I don’t even know Freddie; hell, I might or might not like him if we ever met. But none of that matters.
It was 11:30 p.m. when Jorge left out of here. I’m emotionally drained.
I’m going to sleep. Good night.
BREAKFAST!! Scrambled eggs (2 spoonfuls), 2 Bisquits, Oatmeal and a milk! Beats a Johnny.
I’m going back to sleep.
Here comes Sgt. Henderson with his lying-ass. It is about 8:30 a.m. Lt. Griffith and Capt. Wickersham are up stairs talking to Rick Rhoades. I pull the Sgt. up and say “What’s up? We gonna get to go to store and by hygiene anytime soon?”
He says “I called and they said 14 more days. Than he walks upstairs.
Now 10 minutes later, Capt. Wickersham, Lt. Griffith and Sgt. Henderson come back down stairs. I ask Capt. Wickersham about commissary! He has no idea what I’m talking about!! I look at the Sgt., but say nothing. I then explain the situation to the captain and he said “I’ll make sure as soon as commissary has hygiene they will be down here.”
So that’s that, but what about this punk Sgt. Henderson? Why lie, talk to us like we are stupid. Now I was going to Jack my lunch tray today, get run-in-on and do it over being screwed out of my hygiene all because Sgt. Henderson could not be bothered to pick up the phone and make a call.
Lunch has arrived. 18 oz. prime rib, 12 shrimp, a Caesar’s salad, oh shit, I started losing my mind again!! Ok, we had a raw Pork link, a clump of orange rice, some beans and greens.
Oh, I just received a kite from Chili Red from upstairs at 12:00 noon.
Here comes DR Warden Jones and Sgt. Brown! All-of-a-sudden! Now it is important to note that Warden Jones and Captain Wickersham NEVER WALK THE PODS!!! The only time is when trouble brewing.
If they walked them on a regular bases, a lot of problems could be solved before they become full-blown. I mean once a man or woman reaches that point of no return, it’s to late. I mean, to be frustrated enough, mad enough to breath in breath stopping gas, blinding pepper spray, your skin burns for days afterwards and than have 5 men in body armor beat-you-down. I mean come on, do you think that is fun? It sucks. It’s painful, but it is a release, one that helps you to vent your frustrations without the route of insanity or suicide.
Here is Chili-Red’s kite, or article I might say! I let everyone know my site is open to all.:
“On June 20, 2005 at 11:30 a.m., I was sitting in my cell reading, when Warden Jones and Sgt. Brown came walking through looking in my cell Warden Jones stated to Sgt. Brown ‘That is the one who jumped on Officer Traylor’.
Sgt. Brown says ‘Oh man, you jumped on Officer Traylor? You’re lucky I wasn’t here.’
So I said ‘What would you have done Sgt. Brown?’ He said ‘You know what time it is!’
Now Sgt. Brown just stood there and threatened me right in front of Death Row Warden Jones and Warden Jones just smiled. Where does the corruption end?
Then they want to know why I jumped on Officer Traylor!
I’ve talked a few times before about obtaining these USE OF FORCE (UOF) tapes a few times now. Lizerd who had his wife try to get a hold of them (she finally was able) went through hell and high water. The tapes are supposed to be able to easily get by filling out an open records act request!
Of coarse when Lizerd tried to get them himself, he ran into some problems, there seems to be a clause in the ORA that prevents inmates from getting them (we are less than human after all, right?).
Then Lizerd had his girlfriend try to get them. She could not!! They said she is a representative of him and therefore falls into the same clause (can you say stonewalling??)
TDCJ has a way to “interpret” certain fules in their own special way. First they told her there we’re no tapes!! Then when she asked TDCJ officials, well than how come Mr. Newbury is on Level III and the stated reason was a UOF, which they have to tape???
She eventually got all the tapes, but they did their absolute best to try and intimidate and frustrate her attempts. She had to have an attorney make some calls to do a little intimidating of his own.
ATTORNEYS ARE NOT required. TDCJ just likes the power games. Each costs $3.56 to obtain.
They just moved Jorge Salina out of Death Watch and over here to F-Pod F-Section where Lt. Stern should have, by following policy, put him in the first damn place. Just too many mind games. UNNECASSARY head-games, damn can we die in peace? Hell, no they want us to die in pieces!!
Other than that, the day has been quiet, good-night!
I talked to Rick Rhoades, 999049, about why he got run-in-on on the 18th. He said he was just sick and tired of how these people steadily keep taking more and more from Death Row, as a whole, since we were moved to the Polunsky Unit.
It really is a shame it is like poking a lion with a stick while he is in a cage. Sooner or later the lion is gonna get his. Every new Major and Captain we get comes up with more rules and reasons to take more from us. It is really sickening, why do they do it? I guess because they can. I don’t really know.
I think death is a final enough punishment, but maybe not to some. The day was relatively guiet…
It is this card’s Friday. Let me explain. There is an A-Card and B-Card. A-Card works 4 – 12 hour days and than gets 4 days off while B-Card works. Rank and Officers alike go out of there way to make sure no problems are brewing so they will not be forced to stay late on their Friday.
Robert Pruett 999441 AKA Tool, Lee Taylor, 999344, AKA Tiny and myself, Rich Cartwright, 999224 AKA Chi-Town were all scheduled to go to court today. They came to get Tool at about 2 p.m. but before they got him out of his cell, Captain Bailey (He runs Death Row “Kangaroo” Court) came onto the pod (Boy!! Surprise!!) which I’ve never seen him do and call the escort officers over and they all leave the pod without Tool.
None of go to court. None of the 3 above that is. Court was run for other. We don’t think nothing of it.
Second shift comes on at 6 p.m.
At about 8 p.m. mail is passed out. With my mail, I receive a Disciplinary Hearing Result Notification; they ran my case without me even being there!! Tiny and Tool received the same notification.
My case No. is 20050138996, Tiny’s #20050138900, just in case anyone wants to check my fact, we were all given 15 days cell restriction. That means only 1 hour of recreation on Saturday.
The reason they gave for not taking me is…this is word for word as Capt. Bailey wrote “Offender’s recent behavior has been disruptive and his promise to be disruptive if brought out excluded him from the hearing.” I say “what promise, to whom?” That is just an excuse.
On Tiny’s case, Capt. Bailey wrote “Offender’s recent behavior prior to this hearing and his statement to be disruptive if brought out excluded him from the hearing.”
Tool already ripped his up so no quote there! Ha!Ha! Youngster hot0head! :).
Well, that card will be back on Tues., the 25th and as long as they accuse me of planning on being disruptive, I will be disruptive. I might try and wait ‘til their Friday. They say and do whatever they want and pass us off onto the other card. I will lace blame on those who lie, cheat and manipulate the system against me.
Now today is my 1 hour recreation for the week. I’ve been on cell restriction since Dec. 20, 2004….
Now Tiny and Tool just received their cell restriction yesterday evening via the mail :(.
This morning Officer White and Officer Daniels inform Tiny that their paperwork does not show him to be on cell restriction. What!!
So Tiny shows them his paperwork! They say sorry, no can do. They ask Tiny if he wants a shower. He says “Yes.”
It is about 8 a.m., Tiny steps oot of the show, handcuffed behind his back, as always and just sits down on the floor and says “Rec. Time. I’m gonna get my recreation today, one way or another.”
Now Tiny weighs about 245 and he is not fat. He is a giant of a youngster. After all is said and done they agree to give Tiny, what by rights, is his 1 hour of recreation instead of dealing with trying to forcefully put him in his cell.
See how this works people? Act out, get what you are supposed to. Don’t act out, get run-over!!
I got to recreate in the outside cage. It was 70+ degrees and sunny! Eat your heart out, Mom!!! :)
Quiet and Peaceful All Day!Richard M. Cartwright
Well, it is Monday morning and all is quiet at this time.
Breakfast was served at 3 a.m. 2 spoonfuls of eggs, 3 spoonfuls of applesauce, 2 biscuits, and a milk. All cold of course, but the food has been served cold ever since we’ve came to Polunsky Unit.
We’ve excepted this and have moved on I suppose. The food, or lack of, becomes an extremely serious issue and problem on F-Pod level II and level III. We do not get to buy food in commissary as a punishment, so our 3 small and cold meals a day are all we get.
Lunch is served. Sloppy Joe’s! I wish it was no so sloppy and had some more Joe (meat) in it. The Sloppy Joe’s was consumed within four bites. There were 2 pieces of white bread, undercooked corn and some ranch beans. Brown water for drink. It is supposed to be tea.
Dinner is served! “Man, what is this crap!?” I asked the officer and he says “Man, I don’t know what it is, but I wouldn’t eat it!” Well, I have no choice. The main course is…hell, I just ate it and still do not know!! I think it was mushed-up cornbread, green pease and some meat bits. The whole thing was no bigger then…I guess about 4 spoonfuls. Green beans, carrots and undercooked corn. Brown water.
I just finished eating and I’m still hungry.
Well, only 10 more hours ‘til breakfast. Guess I’ll be drinking gallons of water, tonight.
G’Morning, it’s breakfast time again. Oh, yeah baby :)!! 3 dry-ass pancakes, some applesauce, and a carton of milk.
I’m going back to sleep.
Lunch time. Hamburger patty, potatoes, carrots, beans and 2 biscuits! Woohoo, not bad at all. 1 good meal out of 5, not too bad at all.
Seems like it will be another quiet day. I’m sure you appreciate that, eh Suzanne? Smile :}.
Well, I spoke too soon Suzanne :(! It is approx. 2 p.m. and Eddie Johnson has refused to come out of the outside recreation yard. I’m not sure what it’s about.
I want to speak on a person’s issue at hand but cannot! It is no my place to reveal Eddie’s personal trial and tribulations. I will ask him to write about the experience when it is all said and done.
Words from Eddie Johnson, #999236 written on Jan. 26, 2005:
“The week after Christmas, I received word from the Chaplain here at the prison that my Granny called up here…my Mama had died the day before.
I guess it didn’t hit me, ‘cause the Chaplain asked did I understand what he said. Of course I did. He pointed out that I did not react in such a way most people do when receiving such news. I was not looking sad, wasn’t crying, just had a passive look.
The very next day I received a letter in the mail from my Mother! I read it. It was written in my sister-in-laws handwriting, so I assumed my mother was on here deadly last breaths talking as my baby sis’ wrote.
She was telling me how much she loved me and missed me, that she wanted me to not get into any unnecessary trouble and try to keep fighting to get off death row.
It seemed as though I had lost all my emotions, as there was more within me at the time. I felt like something was definitely wrong with me ‘cause I haven’t shed a tear since my queen died.
So I contacted the Psych. Department at this plantation. They assured me it was not common, but not abnormal, and that it may sink in later.
It’s been almost a month since she passed on. There has been emotions building up silently that I was unaware of. The past month I’ve not been angry, sad, lonely, happy, depressed or anything.
Yesterday (01/25/2005), I was allowed the one hour out of my cage to go outside into a slightly larger area made like a pit. There is concrete walls that goes about 30 feet up on all side. Across the top there are steel bars that tic-tac-toe back and forth to ensure that even when we look to the skies, we see prison.
This is our ‘outside hour’. The air isn’t fresh, but there are smells out there we don’t get on the inside. There are spaces that divide the ‘yard’ up so two of us can be out at one time, separated by steel bars serving as ½ way marks.
When outside the only thing we can see is the same stuff we see in our cages (concrete and steel).
Oh, I forgot, we can look up to see the sky. Sometimes we catch sounds (birds, lawn mowers, airplane), but if we look up too long, a person’s neck starts to hurt.
I never stare straight up for too long anyway, for fear that a bird may shit in my face ~ seen it happen too many times.
Well, yesterday, I somehow ended up outside by myself. So I was deep in thought. Observing the sounds, the smells, weighing my fantasy vs. reality, the ‘damns’ and te ‘what the fucks’.
For no reason, or every reason, I just became angry and frustrated.
I was thinking about all the bullshit and games my captors play on us here. All the psychological torture and forms of submissions, the excessive rules and abuse of ‘authority’ and policy (most of which is meaningless and unexplainable).
The frustrations built up and I was like ‘fuck it’. All the missing emotions started fighting to spew out all at one time. The mental thing just wasn’t cutting it. I felt like some physical release was in order.
I’ve had my share of squabbles with the ‘extraction’ team of guards in riot gear, so I knew first hand that it helps relieve some stress.
The 2 officers came to tell me my time is up. I told ‘em to go put their ‘suits’ on, and I was gonna hang outside for a while.
Once a prisoner refused to come in, they must notify their supervisors. They (supervisors) came down and we talked about it a little, but that didn’t help me any. So they went to get 5 guards to suit up in ‘gear’ to physically force me back inside.
About 20 minutes and they returned with the ‘team’. The supervisor gave me an ‘order’ to strip out and comply. I refused. He shot this 35 mm rifle looking cannon thing inside the area to dispense chemical agents (gas) around me.
After 5 minutes, the procedure was done again. But this time when I refused, he pulled th pin on this big grenade looking thing.
I know what is was, but of all the times I’ve fought the team and been gassed, this is the only type I’ve never experienced.
It stared smoking and fogged up the whole area where nobody could see.
The smoking chemicals began to burn my lungs and chest and sting. My eyes were okay though. Then my eye began to water. As they watered, I noticed it was excessive. The gassy chemicals started to burn where I couldn’t see. The water kept flowing all the way down the sides of my face. That has never happened like that.
It crossed my mind ‘What the fuck is wrong with me?’ That’s when I realized that the water cascading down my cheeks were tears.
I couldn’t see and it was burning.
Myriad of things began zigzagging in my mind, manly my Mama. Damn, not now Mama, I’m about to bang with these pigs. I tried to fight it off. It wouldn’t’ stop.
Suddenly I was struck with a thought that it was my Mama crying. Why the hell won’t it stop? I couldn’t see shit! I can’t let ‘em gang up on me if I can’t see?
The supervisor was going through the 3red and final verbals as I was coming back to grips with myself.
I squinted to try and see. Barely could make out the figures lining up I front of the door, getting ready to rush me.
I heard something in my head say let ‘em go ahead and have this situation, and to not let ‘em come in on me during this state of mind.
I threw my hand up and the supervisor took it as a surrender sign, then asks was I coming out?
I said ‘Yes’.
All last night I was arguing with myself. I gotta let a little more crying out. Try the Psych. Again and if that doesn’t help me ease some of this stress, then I’ll try it my way, the physical way.
But I have to at lest listen to my Mama for once and try it her way. She asked me not to get into trouble unnecessarily. I’ll see how it goes.
If I would have listened to her, my manish ass wouldn’t be here right now.
But the psychological torture gets to a person over time here on this plantation.
My mind ain’t clicking right. Everyday I hear voices in my head ‘I’ma kill you, we gone kill you. I’ma kill you’. The next morning when I wake, it’s ‘I’ma kill you, I’ma kill you’.
It’s a reminder and a threat. And they’re not bullshitting either as I see dudes I’ve come to know take that journey of no return ~ escorted away by these very voices in my head…’I’ma kill you’.
How the hell am I supposed to take that? Especially when the first law of nature is self-preservation?
I can’t make a conscious decision right now, but my nature won’t let me lay it down…..
Sir Eddie Johnson
Well, at about 5 p.m. Lizerd hollers down to me and says “Hey, Troy sends his love and respects! Says he will be back, they are not gonna get him tonight.”
See Troy Kunkle, 000784 AKA “TKO”, gotta watch him. He’s a South Paw! Smile. Good to know his execution will not prevail tonight.
I really cut for Troy! We’ve had some damn good times together. I’ve know troy for just about 8 years now. He got on Death Row at age 18 and is now 38 years old. He has spent more than ½ his life on the row.
They have been trying real head to kill Troy in the past few months. He has had, I think, I’m not sure, 3 dates in the past 5 months or right around there.
He came to the row a boy and he is now a man.
Well, it is good to know they won’t get him, tonight. STAND TALL AND KEEP FIGHTING, TROY.
I ask Officer Alexander if Troy is back yet? He looks at me and says no!! We talk a little, Alexander leaves.
Troy has been EXECUTED, MURDERED, KILLED!! He is gone. I wanna scream and yell. I want to let my demons surface. I want to share my pain with someone in the worst way, in a very bad way. I want to physically hurt as I emotionally hurt.
I hat the way I feel. My losses keep stacking on top of me, burying me in my misery, almost to where I can’t breath.
A breaking point is becoming closer once again. How much death can 1 man stand? How many friends must I watch systematically slaughter in the name of Texas’ Blood Justice? When will it stop? Not ‘til my turn? Not even than!
My pain and loss will stop, but my loved ones’ pain and loss will start!
Nor will I be the last to grease the wheels of Texas’ Killing Machine with my blood.
Damn, TKO, I’m gonna miss you, Peckerwood!! Christi, I will keep you in my prayers. Stay strong Christi. Troy did for 20 years!!! Troy was a warrior!!! I love you Bro, until the next life!!
Breakfast, 3 pancakes, applesauce, cereal and milk…
Troy is stuck in my head! Damn, I hate this shit. At least he is finally free from this Hell-Hole. That is my one comforting thought for the one’s killed by BLOOD-JUSTICE.
It is too early to feel this morbid. G’Night.
Lunch time. Sausage link, 2 pieces of bread, potatoes (raw :( ). Squash and beans.
Well, commissary, once again refused me the purchase of hygiene items (i.e. soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo)!! I’ve gone WITHOUT SINCE DEC. 20, 2004! Man, F@$* this.
I’ll talk to Capt. Wickersham once more, today. If I do not have hygiene items in my cell tomorrow, I’m going all the way off!! Treat me like an animal and I will act like an animal.
Am I wrong? What else can I do? I’ve talked and wrote all I can. If that does not work, I have no choice but to take it to the next level. This shit is ridiculous!!
Dinner time. 1 scoop (Ice Cream) of rice with a few, very few shreds of chicken in it!! Squash, beans and carrots.
Man, what a frigging joke this food is getting to be. I probably drank enough water in the past month to float a ship.
I went to medical today, for a torn ligament, and I weight 191 lbs. I was 220 a month ago.
I’m 6’2” so I was far from overweight to start with.
Oh, yeah, I got some aspirin for my tore knee ligament, all’s better now! Yeah, Right!!!
I’m gonna close this down for now. I’m emotionally exhausted!!!
It is now 9:45 p.m. and the officers just informed us for the second day in a row we are out of necessities!! Socks, boxers and they brought us Chocolate Brown Towels.
The definition of necessity = A) Indispensable thing, B) Imperative need!
This is bullshit! NO HYGIENE, NO CLEAN TOWELS, NO CLEAN BOXERS OR SOCKS! This is just cruel and unusual punishment onto cruel and unusual punishment.
Breakfast, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, applesauce and orange drink. Must have someone new working in the kitchen because the proportions were actually enough to feel up the slots of the tray! Boy! He’ll be fired lunch time.
Meatloaf, potatoes, green beans, cornbread and brown water.
I’m jacking my tray. I want my damn hygiene!
My Bro, Rick Rhoades, 999049, jacked his tray too! UNITED WE STAND!!
I’ve tried to talk. I’ve wrote I-60’s. Followed procedures all no avail so fuck it. Let’s Get Physical!!!
Sgt. Brown and CO Nunley come talking to Rhoades and myself to see what the problem is. They look in our cells and see they are gas-proofed and we have our convict gas masks (wet socks) sitting on the table (smile). No Go Commissary, suit-it-up!!
Capt. Wickersham comes by. He is upset and has a slight attitude, but I would expect him to. To his credit, Capt. Wickersham seems to be trying to resolve this issue, but to no avail so far.
I think we are finally starting to earn each other’s respect.
Capt. Wickersham has been in TDCJ a long time, officers…become somewhat institutionalized after years in here. We all must adapt to our environment to survive.
At 11:51 a.m. Capt. Wickersham, Sgt. Henderson and Sgt. Brown leave the pod to try and see what they can do about our hygiene.
Rhoades and I still have our tray ready to fade the team.
Capt. Wickersham is back and he has commissary lists with him. Capt. Wickersham says he got it under control
Rhoades and I give up the trays.
They leave with the commissary lists.
It is now 1:15 p.m. and we wait! By the way they handed out commissary lists to everyone on Level III and Level II on F-Pod. Once again, why must I act out to get what I have coming?
Commissary is brought to all the Level III and Level II prisoners!! Now if R. Rhoades and myself did not jack the trays, NOONE would have gotten to purchase hygiend!!
Dinner time! Damn it. Rhoades and I get food loaf for the next 7 days ;(. Hell, at least it feel you up if you can stomach the taste.
Hope the rest over here appreciate the sacrifice. Truth is I did not do this for anyone but MYSELF!! Don’t think I’m trying to save the world.
R. Rhoads, my Bro, did not even need to go to store. He sacrificed because of me.
Friends are hard to come be, Bros even harder. To be a friend in prison is a dangerous, dangerous title, one not to be give or received lightly. Thanks for staying down for me Rick!!
R. Rhoades only reason for even coming down to F-Pod was to ride with me and let rank know that if the mess with 1, they mess with all.
At least now I have toothpaste, soap and deodorant!! Why must I have to fight for necessities!! Welcome to our world, eh!?
Words from Lee Taylor, 999344:
“Greetings, Regards and Salutations,
I am here wishing all you out there are in wonderful health and high spirits! Thank you all for taking the time out of your no doubt busy lives to read these articles from ‘our’ world!
Hello to Kati, Ines, Dee, Ciara and Lene! You all will have receive mail from me by now! Keep smiling and thinking of ‘us’ on the inside…….!
I have a couple of issues I would like to ‘vent’ about in this article.
First would be the problem I had last night, 01/26/2005, around 8:30 p.m. I had to ‘jack’ (hold) the food slot in the door in order to get a ranking officer on the pod.
I say I ‘had’ to because for the past week I have ‘had’ just to receive a clean towel! I couldn’t take it any longer!
About 8:30 p.m. the officers on the ‘floor’ passed out our daily cloths. Socks, boxers (towels three times a week). The officer walked up to my door again, for the third time in a week with towels and socks that were coco brown! I mean really dirty people!
Everyday ‘we’ (inmates) get the same excuse! ‘All we do is pass the stuff out’ blah, blah, blah….is what we are told about socks and towels that no sane person would use to dry off after a refreshing clean shower!!
The officers seem to think we are supposed to except that answer…blah, blah, blah! Not me, says I!! So I ‘jacked’ the food slot to get rank!
After numerous calls to the rank by the ‘Pod’ Officers, the rank decided to finally come see what the problem is. Or what some inmate (me) is crying about……
In comes Sergeant Hutchinson. We talk a little. He refuses to look at the coco brown towels. Why? Because he admits that he knows and has known for the past week about the problem of dirty cloths being passed out on Death Row.
He says that the reason they are filthy is because something is wrong with the piping to the washing machine.
Okay, lets say that is true. I tell Sergeant Hutchinson. But let’s get a little deeper into why the clothes are so dirty!
We inmates do not have any access whatsoever to dirt or anything that could make our body so dirty that the towels would be as dark brown as the concrete floor! We don’t go ‘outside’! Our ‘Outside’ Rec. is just another steel and concrete cage. So where is the dirt coming from?
Sergeant Hutchinson agreed that we don’t have a way to accumulate that much dirt. With that agreement I then proceeded to explain where all the dirt is coming from!
See when these officers pass out socks, boxers, towels, sheets, pillowcases and jumpsuits, it is all thrown on the floor, then swept into a big pile. They sweep all the little piles across the dirty ass floor all the way to a ‘central’ pile. Then it is all put into a buggy!
The floor out on the run is very dirty! The officers track dirt and mud with them when they come to work. They can’t avoid it. Dirt finds it’s way into the institution.
Also, when the food is passed out and the trays picked up, there is food and juice spilt inevitably.
So when the cloths are drug across the floor, it becomes very dirty.
I talked to the sergeant about all this. I said as a logical thing person you know that is wrong and not sanitary at all!
Again, he agrees on all accounts! But here is his response! ‘I have been here a long time. All that time these officers have done the same process (rushing cloths across a dirty floor with a broom). I can’t change it now. That is just how it’s done.’ Can you believe this shit?
That blew me away people! Why is the man a damn Sergeant? He is the only person that is supposed to change procedures that are idiotic.
So I tell him ‘If everyone that has been placed in a ranking position thought that way, the world would never change for the better….!’
Anyway, people, he agreed to write the problem in his ‘report’. He gave me a grievance form to fill out, which I have.
Let’s see if anything comes of it! Most likely not, though!
That’s why I must vent my anger in this article! Because if not, I would just act out in anger….That seems what these people wish for us to do!
Thanks for reading this and allowing me to vent my thoughts!
Special thanks to the wonderful lady who writes all ‘our’ thoughts on the net (Suzanne)!
Lee Taylor, #999344, ‘Tinywood’ “
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE!! Just found out from R. Rhoades that there is an (IOC) Inner-Office-Communication taped to the dayroom that DR phone calls are being resumed.
We have not been allowed phone calls for the past year! Why? Who knows, short-handed-staff is what they like to way.
So now it you’re a god little boy and receive no cases for 90 days, you can have a 5 min. phone call with loved ones while an officer sits across from you with another phone to his ear to listen to you phone call. I feel very special!!!
They can stick there phone call up their a*#!!
By federal law, there are SUPPOSED to be telephones in the dayroom.
Now, they act like these 5 min. phone calls will pacify a convict!! Man, Please!!! Like a phone call should make me be good! What incentive, eh?
Give me a contact visit. I’ll be good. I’ll be “saint-like”. Really, no sarcasm there. To hug my loved one, to receive a kiss, is this asking too much?
Even if you hate me, even if you believe I’m human waste and deserve death. What about my mother? What about my Rick Marie (my daughter) or my lover, Melissa?? Do no their feelings and wishes count?
My daughter turned 8 years old on the 17th of January. I held her 1 time, in court, when she was a little over 1 month old. We have bonded through visits, drawings and letters. No hugs, no kisses, no tickle bugs!!
You say what about victims’ rights? I say, my mother, daughter and Melissa have become victims in their own right!! They have hurt NOONE!
When the State of Texas kills me, my suffering, my time in hell is OVER, DONE!! That is when their suffering will truly start.
This is not justice. This is revenge, plain and simple! You cannot argue that.
Justice would be to make me live in prison for life. To watch my mother slowly age and die and not be able to comfort her.
Seeing my daughter going through life’s struggles, life’s ups and downs, watching her grow closer and closer to my ex-wife’s husband, watching them bond, it hurts. It breaks my hear, but all that pain, all that hurts leaves when I die.
Melissa, I crave for her touch, so close, so much love, a love so pure, so all-consuming, yet…I have not the words, but I know my death will take a part of her with me. What of her pain?
They love me? Don’t cry victims’ rights tome. All the victims’ right movement does is complete the vicious circle of the suffering of the innocent.
Just calling a spade a spade. It is not justice, but revenge. Revenge against the innocent.
Enough said!! G’NIGHT!!
Man, I slept in today. At 10:30 a.m. the Goon Squad brought in a young looking peckerwood in here. He was painted orange in gas and cut on his forehead!! I learned his name to be Clinton Young, 999447. I’ve asked him to write in his own words the whats and whys of his run-in!
He is burning up right now, so it might be ready for Monday morning mail call.
It has been a relatively somewhat calm week. I’m sure Suzanne will be thankful not to receive another 20 page week of Uncensored.
I will continue to write it as I see and hear it, no more, no less.
Also, if anyone
has questions or comments, please don’t be shy. For me, against me, I want
to hear about it. Leave e mails at email@example.com or write me direct
R. Cartwright 999224
Polunsky Unit DR
3872 F.M. 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
Please don’t pull no punches. Tell me what’s on your mind. I speak my mind. I want “y’all” to speak yours. Hate me or love me.
God Bless and keep you safe. 1 more week comes to an end.
Mr. Young just hollered down here and said he wrote something for Uncensored! Sounds like all the rest, eh? Just standing up for what is right. It’s the only way we can!
Clinton Young, #999447, account:
This is my first time contributing to UNCENSORED, so please bare with me.
I have been having problems with TDCJ since I arrived in April 2003. Mostly because of my youthful age. I was 19 when I got here and am now 21, and the fact that I look as if I should be a model for Calvin Klein, not a Death Row inmate.
So some of those with a lower than average I.Q. translate these traits as a weakness.
I am fully aware of what it takes to survive in ‘the system’, as I lived 2 ½ years on the most violent juvenile farm in Texas! So when pushed, I push back. Though I never initiate.,
Well, on September 16, 2004, the court placed an order to seize costs for court on me. This bill had a grand total of $209,292.32. The order state that the prison inmate trust fund was to add up the proceeding six months deposits (03/16/2004-09/16/2004) and charge me 20% of the amount from that time period. Then charge me 10 % of each months deposits until the total bill is paid.
I would like to add that I am the ‘ONLY’ inmate on Death Row with this bill.
Well, the TDCJ inmate trust fund has misunderstood the court order. They have placed the bill on my account as I have to pay 20% of the ‘total’ bill being $40,000+ before they only remove 10%.
So this means I can not go to commissary until I pay forty thousand plus dollars.
Needles to say, it won’t be too soon.
Well, I have been on level I being a passive prisoner. I had a media visit planned from Sweden. I was the only person in my case that refused to talk to the police or testify, and I was the only on that got the death penalty.
Well, this media visit was a chance for me to tell my side of the case and to get help in my appeal. This was a very special visit for me.
When it came time for me to go to the visit, the officer told me that they have ‘direct orders’ not to let me take any paperwork to my media visit. So I was unable to take important legal papers, that prove my innocence, so I could show the world and tell my part.
Now to make matters worse, I was only allowed 20 minutes. Not even the minimum 45 minutes allowed for a media visit.
It was cut short by a prison representative. So my chance to tell my side was blown.
The reason for this happening is because one of my neighbors in a cell next to me killed himself. He was allowed to do so at the incompetence of TDCJ.
So they, by law, are guilty of his death or I might as well call it what it is ‘Murder’.
Well prison official were worried I was talking to the media about this fault of theirs instead of my case. They were paranoid that they would be exposed. So they screwed my chance!
This proved to be too much for me. So today I refused to exit the dayroom, which is where an inmate gets his one hour recreation. It is just a large cage with a table and pull-up bar.
A few minutes later Sgt. Thompson comes to speak with me. I tell him my problems and explain that I will not exit the dayroom.
He leaves and Lt. Griffith arrives to talk to me. I once again repeat my problems and the fact that I will not leave the dayroom.
He than goes to get a five man team to remove me from the dayroom.
After 30 minutes, they, being the team, finally show up.
Sgt. Thompson is armed with a 37mm grenade gun and a can of military grade pepper spray. The grenade guns are supposed to be used in an open environment, such as outside. The dayroom is inside of the Pod.
Thompson then fires the grenade at me! It explodes and gas goes everywhere. It felt as if a propane torch was shoved down my throat with acid thrown I my eyes.
I walk around getting used to the gas, when all of the sudden, I see them getting ready to use the pepper spray.
I then ask them ‘Why the hell you gonna gas me with that shit?’
I then get very pissed off, because I become aware that they are trying to cause me intentional harm.
So I grab a bottle full of water. When Sgt. Thompson sprays me, I throw the water bottle at him. It hit the dayroom bars and exploded.
I started to yell and cuss. I can’t remember what all I said, but I informed them all of their ‘less than man status’.
The gate opened and the 5 man team rushed me.
The floor was slick from pepper spray and baby oil, which I placed to make the team fall down. I can’t run because I will fall, though, only because of the gas as I was standing in the only dry spot. But Sgt. Thompson put a quick end to that.
Well, the first man on the team is like 6’6” and about 300 lbs. I am 6’ even, 184 pounds. Not a good match up. More so, when he has a shield and 4 goons behind him, I decide to play brains over brute and dive for his feet!
He falls, I fall, we all fall! I know from experience that they will start punching me. so I try to get a few blows myself. Keep in mind they have body armor on! So my blows only land on bullet proof vests and helmets. It is purely for psychological reasons that I even fight back.
Then the punches come and one asshole place his hand in the gas on the floor and thought it would be a good idea to rub it in my eyes. He was pressing his fingers in my eyes so hard that I have bruises on my eyelids! I didn’t even think that was possible.
The bruises are mostly on only around my eyes. Though I do have a large bump on the back of my head from a well placed knee.
They then stripped me in the puddle of gas! Meaning my entire frontal was cover in pepper spray. ‘Everywhere!
This was done in front of 14 men in their cells that overlook the dayroom. It was an attempt to dehumanize me and hurt my pride. I am far too secure with myself to allow this to affect me as they wish.
They then place my boxer back on me, place all restraints on me and pick me up.
We then leave and head on down to F-Pod.
Did what I did change my screwed up media visit? No! But that is not the point.
The point is to stand for what I believe in. ‘If a man doesn’t stand for something, he will fall for anything.’ By showing that I will go to an extreme over an even that I was wronged by places in mind that it is not wise to do this again.
I guess I will now just kick it with Mr. Cartwright and see what the future holds.
I thank you for your time in reading this.
I leave as I came.
Very truly yours,
Clinton Young AKA
‘Great Balls of Fire’ ;) “
Well, another week went by. A fairly quiet week as far as Death Row F-Pod is concerned. Nobody has had to fade the team or result to any violence to get what they have coming.
One of the benefits of being on F-Pod is when you ask for a ranking officer, you get one.
Also, the higher-ups NEVER put officers on F-Pod that are known trouble-makers and yes there are plenty.
F-Pod is the ONLY pod that has the same officers working all 4 days of all 4 shifts 99% of the time. No females at all, because it is considered either too dangerous for them to work down here or because they are usually the cause of most of the bullshit we must fact.
Please don’t get me wrong, I like women! I know I’m sounding like a woman-bashing male-chauvinist-pig, but I’m not. I come from a divorce family and was raised by an extremely loving and caring mother.
So, though we might starve on F-Pod, we don’t have to deal with all the bull-crap those on Level I deal with.
If the men and women in administration know they are going to have major problems if their unruly officers mess with you, they keep them at bay.
We found out yesterday, 02/05/2005, that another death row prisoner could not handle the madness that is our world. He had enough of the inhumane treatment and sensory deprivation and ended his own life by hanging himself. His name: Chad Britton, #999426, AKA Psycho Bob, birthday, August 11, 1974 (30 years old), been on death row since August 12, 2002.
I have never met Chad or even heard of him before now. I guess that is because of the way they house us.
There are friends of mine on the row who I have not seen in over 4 years!!!People I am not even allowed to write. Just more of the sensory deprivation hell we live in.
I would like to offer my condolences to Chad’s family. At least he is at peace, finally.
Well another suicide, another $1,000,000 or so saved in appeals and lethal injection.
I know TDCJ and Texas tax payers love this, eh? God Bless Texas!!! It’s a win/win situation for Texas, eh? They do not have to answer to no one!
Just like when Deon Tumblin, 999275, 28 years old, killed himself on November 2, 2004!! Ching Ching! Another $1,000,000 saved by his suicide, his escape from hell.
It sickens me. Ok so we are on death row! Yes, we are and don’t you think being sentence to death and waiting to die is punishment enough?? Do we need to be physically, emotionally and psychologically?? If you believe that, than I’m here to tell you, you are by far more cruel and heartless than I ever dreamed to be.
How much trouble would contact visits be? Most death rows in America have them. What a difference that would make! I would not be on F-Pod if my good-behavior allowed me to hold my daughter, hug my mom and kiss my soon-to-be wife (or to kick Missy off in her butt for being a Minnesota Vikings Fan).
Group recreation? Our dayrooms are big enough for 4 men to recreate at a time.
TV’s?? Hell they complain about cost, but more than a few organizations have agreed to “foot” the bill??
Why are the suicides, insanity and increased number of staff assaults not enough? If an officer dies, would that do it? What will make people sit-up and take notice? Is the deplorable conditions we live in just? Did what the Nazi did to the Jews just? The Taliban TV murders just?
Hell, why not start to televise all American Death Row Executions?? They want it to be a deterrent, right? You, the people, say it is just, so why not watch it be done. Let your kids watch it with you!
Why not? It is American Justice, no?
Oh, maybe you can vote for the death penalty as long as it is done at a distance! Do you fool yourselves that that way your hands and soul are blood-free!??
Anyone out there want to come watch my execution. I have 4 witness chairs open! Wrie me and I will surely save you a spot.
No I am NOT joking. Come get personal with your blood justice. Free tickets to Justifiable Homicide!! Bring your kids too. Oh no don’t be ashamed, this is justice. Show them what awaits them if they are bad.
A guy who live by Chad and just moved to F-Pod is going to write an article about Chad and what and why it all went down. They were good friends and hopefully, his article will give you some insight on Chad’s personality.
Words from William Berkley, #999422 in memory of Chad Christopher Britton #999426:
What’s up everybody! This is Ghost AKA William Berkley, 999422, here. I must confess that I have a very sad story to tell you all today.
Yesterday, my very close friend hung himself in his cell. He is dead. His name is Christopher Chad Britton #999426 AKA Psycho Bob.
This has seriously fucked me up. I don’t even know where to begin with this.
Hold on let me think….It is now 7:12 p.m.
As I sat here and stared at this paper for the last 13 minutes I guess I should start by telling you about him.
He tells everybody his name is either Chad or Psycho Bob, but we had our own names for each other. He called me HOSTG (pronounced Hoist, his spelling, not mine). I would call him DACH (which is Chad mixed around).
As you can tell by our numbers, we got here roughly about the same time. I had been here a year and got moved to D-Pod 34 CAGE. I did not know anybody in this section. About 2 days later Dach got moved to D-39 right upstairs.
Well the next day I seen him walking in the dayroom by himself, so I hollered at him. I introduced myself to start a conversation. We quickly became friends and exchanged photos and other info.
He liked to read a lot which I don’t do but he had a good heart. He was always trying to help people out.
I ain’t really got nobody. My family can’t afford to come a lot or send money.
Dach knew I would draw and try to sell my work to get soap and stuff. He would make a spread of homemade tacos everyday and shoot 3 or 4 of ‘em down the run to me.
We are both smart asses with the way we joke. I remember I told him “Hey, buy me a roll of tape and I’ll let you keep ½!”
He used to give me his Lowrider magazine because he knew I couldn’t afford a magazine subscription to anything. He had about 10 or 15 different subscriptions.
I would always draw stuff for him to give pen pals.
It’s fucked up, because the day before he and I spent about 4 or 5 hours outside. Now we are only supposed to get one hour so I will not tell you which guards let us stay out longer, because they could get in trouble. They knew we were homeboys so they let us chill out and kick it. Everything was cool We were joking and laughing and it was the usual B.S.
The only problem Chad really had was TDCJ. The day before he was doing his usual shit talking about how fucked up this place it. He still gave no indication of committing suicide. In fact he was talking about going off and fading the team so they would quit harassing him.
Now Chad was on Level II for alcoholic beverages. Yes Dach did indulge a little but he was real cool about it. He wouldn’t get wasted and talk shit to the guards. He would just put his headphones on and jam out.
Damn, the more I write the more I miss him. Hold on, I got a really bad headache and I got to stop crying.
It’s now 8:14 p.m. and yes I was crying. I ain’t afraid to admit it. My fucking homeboy just fucking died and I am crying about it. If that makes me any less of a man in your eyes than that’s fine by me. But the fact that I cry still lets me know I have a heart and feelings.
Well, what do you know, a Death Row inmate with a heart! Ain’t that something. Aren’t we all supposed to be heartless cold blooded killers?
Hold on, I’m rambling now. I must be hanging around Shy-Town (Chi-Town, I spell his name that way, because…..well, I just can!! HaHa, you old man!) too, long!
Back to Dach! Him and I used to always repeat this line from the move Young Guns. It goes like the following:
Before I break it down, let me splain it to ya. Young Guns is a Wild Modern Western with Billy the Kid. How they got a ½ Mexican ½ Indian dude named Chavey in the movie and they are in a world of shit. They got the U.S. Army looking for them, the U.S. Marshals, everybody.
So Chavey says “We must go to the spirit world and the wise spirit will show us the way.”
What it actually is, it they get fucked up off of peyote.
Well while they are trippin’, Billy the kid jups on his horse backwards and Chavey leads the Regulations through the spirit world village and Curly says ‘how come they ain’t killin’ us, Chavey?’ (Dach would say that part.), and Billy would yell out ‘’Cause we’re in the spirit world, asshole. They can’t see us!’ (I would say that part). Then we would both start laughing.
Now I don’t know for sure Dach did what he did. Only him and God know that. But now that I stop and think about everything, I truly believe in my heart that it was the B.S. that TDCJ put us through that finally pushed him over the edge.
Hold on, I got to take another break…..
It’s now 02/06/2005, 10:07 a.m. This is hard to write…
Chad told me the day before that he was tired of TDCJ’s continuous harassment. He wanted to start going off and fading the team. Not to heart them, but so far that’s the only way we can figure out how to get the guards to leave us the fuck alone.
I find it utterly sickening that we have to resort to that to die in peace.
The fucked up part is I got an actual innocence claim in my case. Someone else was identified and the prosecution didn’t let the defense know until the jury had already started deliberating. I have got documents to back all this up, too. It gets worse, too, but this ain’t about me, it’s about Dach.
My poor friend Dach. His exact words were ‘I’m so Goddamn tired of these mother fuckers taking my shit and blowing it out of proportion. A goddamn sewing needle, my magnets (He used to make speakers, because the headphones always break). They act like I’m this fucking terrible, terrible monster, because I got a sewing needle to fix the hole in my socks. I’m tired of this shit, Ghost. I ain’t no fucking dog in a cage. I’m sick of this fucking shit.’
You know that is the 2nd suicide within the last 3 months. Both people were on Level and the other dude said something about ‘I’m tired of being treated like a canine in a cage’. They called that dude ‘Spotlight’. Now I don’t know his real name or number, but I bet Shy-Town does.
What all that means, I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.
Dach, if you buy me a roll of tape, I’ll let you keep ½!!! I love you man.
Christopher Chad Britton 999422
AKA Psycho Bob
Dach, I hop you can read this poem for you, wherever you are. I know you liked it. It is called ‘The Most Important Question.’
‘The Most Important Question’
this must be an illusion,
It can’t be happening to me.
Why can’t you people see?
What’s blinding you?
This legal system is not true.
It’s extremely manipulative,
whatever happened to the people who used to care and give?
Why don’t you
practice what you preach?
Remember it is the little ones who we must teach.
Everyday you gripe and complain ‘to take life is wrong’
yet we lead in execution all year long.
What about the innocent?
Or the wrongfully convicted?
A voice in the crowd once said
‘It wasn’t a knife in the stomach, or a gun shot to the head.
It was a needle that cause this person to be dead.’
And you put them
On purpose just to do that!
Don’t anyone of you give a crap?
Shouldn’t we stand up and fight?
No! Just sentence them to Death tonight!!!
Oh, my bad, as long as it’s not you, right?
One last though
before I’m off and trot away.
For this one single answer, I hope and pray,
Because it is the most important question of all,
Because God only knows, and heaven forbid.
So let me ask you people.
‘What are we teaching our kids?’’
I’ll see you in the Spirit World, Dach!!!.
It's a bit long. If you want me to shorten it up, I can. It's your call.
The whole point of Uncensored is to try and let you people out there become more personalized with Death Row in general and please feel free to share any and all your thoughts with me, good or bad, happy or sad!
Suzanne, hey there!! A few people have asked one again to send in some articles for death row Uncensored. They really appreciate the opportunity to have a place to be heard. Thank you once again for 1st, your friendship and 2nd for caring enough to start up a web-page for the underdogs.
Note to all who read Uncensored. Suzanne and her husband, James do all this for any and all prisoners in Texas and elsewhere; setting up pen-pal request web-sites to just letting you write and vent to the world. They do this for FREE!!
They both work and truely have an Army of Kids. They take free time, what little they have and set up sites and rewrite articles. Very time consuming to say the least.
Suzanne always sends copies of finished articles to those who write them.
I say all this to ask this. Any donations to Suzanne or James Cookston would be greatly appreciated. Money, stamps, ink for the computer printer…envelopes, whatever you feel like sending.
Suzanne nor James asked me to write this, but I wanted to try and help them out some.
Suzanne, I don’t have much but I’m enclosing 1 – $0.80 stamp and 5 - $0.37 stamps to help out with what you send to me. I’m sorry it is not more.
Oh, yeah, Suzanne, Good Luck trying to read this article Lizard wrote! I though my handwriting was bad.
Words from Clinton Young, #999447:
“Clinton Young # 999447
I have been here at the Texas Death Row, now about 22 months. After my first week here, I began to wonder how or why someone would or could stay for years in these boxed we call home.
I know men who have spent years in these cages of oppression that we are housed in. Some are never the same after they were released.
You see, the single man cell that we are housed in on the row along with the program we live under was designed solely for the purpose for the dehumanization and psychological oppression of the prisoner in order to bread down resistance, so that the offender can become dependant on the officer AKA turn us from a man to obedient dog. It was developed to be used from an average of 6 months, which is what the officials believed would take to modify the negative behavior of violent prisoners housed in general population.
Now because of politics, money and fake stereotypes, Death Row inmates are forced to live in these cells. The sensory deprivation , inadequate food and thought of dying become too much for some.
As it did for Deon Tumblin AKA Spotlight and Christopher Britton AKA Psycho Bob! Both of these human beings killed themselves by hanging. I knew both of them.
I knew Spotlight a little better than Psycho Bob.
They killed themselves within 3 months of each other. 3 months before Spotlight killed himself, another guy tried his damnedest to kill himself.
I want to discuss Spotlight for a shore period. He had certain traits that I didn’t like about him, though we had mutual respect for each other.
Two of the traits bout Spotlight that stands out in my mind are his humor and overall willingness to help others.
He lived 2 cells down from me when he died. I have lived on the same section and Pod on 6 different occasions with him, which is not a common thing. Anytime I needed anything, he would give it to me.
On November 2, 2004, he hung himself. We had been laughing and joking amongst ourselves and with Tiny and another neighbor the night before. We were mostly picking on Spotlight because he got fake case. A sorry ass, piece of trash, loud mouth female officer wrote him up.
It really wasn’t a funny matter, because the case was going to prevent him from getting a long awaited special visit from his mother.
Now several ranks told him that they would throw the case away and let him go from Level 2 to Level 1 so he could get his visit. Well on November 2, 2004, I was in the dayroom and 2 officers brought Spotlight back on the pd from Court on the cast that was supposed to be thrown away!
I asked him ‘Spotlight, what the hells up with that case, homie?’ He just shook his head and said ‘Everything will be alright.’
After about 30 minutes or so, I went back to my cell and started to talk to my neighbor. I called Spotlight a few times. When he didn’t answer, I yelled ‘Oh, hell, Spotlight done killed himself’. I was 100% liking. I had no idea that at around that same time, he was actually killing himself! I assumed that he was just asleep or mad. I went back to talking to my neighbor.
Well, they came by with the food and when they got to Spotlight’s cell, I heard the guards calling his name, ‘Tumblin, look out Tumblin, you’re gonna eat?’
He had is towel over his door screen so that the officers couldn’t see in his cell.
They then said ‘Tumblin’ and began beating on his door. ‘Tumblin, take the towl down if you’re gonna eat. Alright, Tumblin, I am about to knock the towel down’.
The female officer did this and realized that his light was off.
She then instructed the Control Picket to turn on all cell lights. As soon as the light came on, both officers screamed and on dropped the pitcher of juice she was holding. (It was two female officers.)
Now from that point ‘til they finally cut him down was almost 10 minutes. About 15 or 20 officers came running to the section.
Instead of opening his door and cutting him down, they violated all procedure and sprayed him with pepper spray. HE WAS HANGING!
I then lost all self control and began yelling ‘You f***king cowards, cut him down!’
They, being the guards, started choking, so I took a deep breath and yelled ‘That gas ain’t shit, get the f*** in there and cut him down, the dude is hanging you stupid ass pigs!’
They looked at me like I was crazy.
They had to wait ‘til another officer brought gas masks for five of the officers to go into his cell. No shield, no armor, just gas masks. They didn’t have the common sense to get the masks before they violated procedure and gassed spotlight!
They finally cut him down.
Then the nurse decided to shop up. I heard her tell them, ‘There is nothing I can do for him’.
I saw them pick him up and put him on the gurney. I looked right at his face and saw his tongue sticking out and nose bleeding. Every night I go to sleep, this sight creeps into my mind.
When they were wheeling him out, I yelled out ‘Y’all some cowards’ and ‘Long live the Spotlight’.
I went to my bunk and crawled up into a ball in the corner and didn’t talk for awhile. It just seamed so unreal that a man I had just taled to killed himself because of this plcase and program became to much for him.,
I did not sleep for two days! Nor have I been the same since.
The very next day a female officer came by my cell and said ‘Hey, Young, you okay?’ I said ‘yeah’. She then said ‘hang in there’ and after a pause said ‘I know Tumblin did’ and gave a stupid little grin.
I could only reply ‘You stupid swine, get away from my cell’.
I head several guards make jokes about it though out that week.
Some may wonder how they could do such a thing. It is this program. It causes them to believe that we are less than human. This is a fact! A man will resist. A dog will submit!
Now I learned that Psycho Bob killed himself. I can only wonder when or better yet how many have to kill themselves before the prison official and government stops the torture. They know that these cells drive people crazy. That is why they send a psychologist around every 90 days.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. James Porter who was a close associate of mine killed himself on January 4, 2005 by canceling his appeals and getting a lethal injection. He did so because he couldn’t take this place.
I can’t believe I forgot about his suicide. That is 3 in the last 3 ½ months! I think that is a record.
Now it isn’t normal for me to know all these people. There are like 450 guys in here. I don’t even know ½ of them. I know or have met like only a quarter of the death row population. So far all three of the suicide to be people I know has had a major impact on me.
Another guy I know tried to kill himself with pills and then a month later stabbed himself through the neck with a slender piece of metal. He did this about a month before Spotlight killed himself.
I actually just remembered about him as well. It is a damn shame that the more I write, the more I remember people who killed themselves or tried to. There are a few others, but I do not know them and I believe their effort was more for attention, as they were the ones who informed the guards of this attempt.
The sad part is that it seems that no one on the outside cares. The newspapers aren’t printing these facts and there has been no public outcry.
But not many care about low life death row inmates! Hell, most believe we need to die anyway. Some scream ‘an eye for an eye’, others yell out ‘It’s Murder.’
I believe Mahatma Ghandi said it best ‘An eye for an eye leave everyone blind.’
There is a quote by Shakespeare that I would like to share with you. It goes, ‘The quality of mercy is not strained, it dragseth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed; it blesseth him that give and him that takes’.
I would like to add that by having the mercy to join a struggle to make right, a wrong benefits all involved. You can make a difference. Together, we can create a change. All it take is a little mercy and compassion.
Long live the
& all the Rest!
Clint Young #999447”
Words from Donald Keith Newbury, #999403:
“Hello you all! I do believe you got a bit of information already on this! But it seems to be an ongoing deal.
On 01/19/2005, we were allowed to make hygiene and stamp spend. This is allowed every 14 days for Level II and Level III.
$10.00 of writing stuff: stamps – 37 cents ea., 60 cents ea., 80 cents ea., 1 cent ea.; envelopes #10 – 5 cents ea., 9X12 legal envelopes – 50 cents for two packs; pen – 25 cents ea.; pencils – 15 cents ea.; erasers – 25 cents ea.; paper $1.10 per package of 100 sheets; carbon paper - $2.20 for 12 sheets; pencil sharpener – 35 cents ea.
Hygiene: 1 toothpaste - $1.55 or $2.00; 5 hotel size bars of soap – 15 cents ea.; 1 shampoo generic – 85 cents for a 12 oz. bottle; 1 stick deodorant - $1.05.
That’s the approved list of items. No lotion or hair grease for our negro population or baby oil, etc.
Okay, now on 01/19/2005, we put our list in and were only sent stamps. I, myself, rejected my stamps V.R. so I could try to get hygiene the following week.
We are allowed every 2 weeks, but it’s run every week for the people who came different times!
Chi-Town took his stamps by being on restriction from commissary for over 30 days. He was in Dior Straights for postage.
Now mind you, they said no hygiene on this Unit which has two commissaries. I asked the commissary guard why none was DI from A side or an emergency truck was not ordered.
He said okay, I’ll take the stamps and credit your account $9.99 for 27 stamps.
Later he brought the stamps back and said the assistant manager Lt. Blunk refused to allow this. That I could take my stamps or they would be truck mailed to me. ‘Great chance of being lost in doing so’, so I took the stamps.
The following day the Warden Jones over DR stated ‘That’s bull. No hygiene? I’ll check on it!’
Chi-town seen the Captain who said he would too! Now mind you from a Captain up on rank can order commissary to make special arrangements for any reason to their digression.
Sgt. Pool comes to my door as well as everyone’s on the 21st giving out slips SO-7 to by commissary ‘order forms’.
They never bring the store.
Then on the 25th, they day before our regular store day ‘would’ be, the Captain comes to pick up new lists that were passed out by the officers.
Again we got nothing on the 26th so now Chi-Town and Rick Rhodes Jack the Slot at lunch and have them come again with new lists.
Sure enough, we are allowed this time to make a special spend to cover the loss of hygiene!
I have got some ahead though. Lt. Blunk was the one on the 26th who passed out commissary. I asked why I was refused to return ‘credit my stamps’ so I could make store. He gave me some lame story over the computer!
Then when Chi-town asked the same sort of question, he was told ‘you should have VR’d last week, then you could have gone this week, which is what I tried!
Anyway on the 27th, we made store, finally, to get hygiene! ‘Special spend’ is not supposed to count against our 14 days.
So on the 2nd of February, we should have been allowed again spending that was written on for the 19th, but were denied again!
Not to borrow trouble, but with years of prison, I see the next step on the 9th, our next store day, we will be denied again for it’s only 13 days from the written spend which will be like 3 weeks again to make store on the 16th.
This stuff is basic, not luxuries, we could get, but rogue commissary feels it can do anything, too!
See, I know the computer issue ‘story’ is wrong or a lie. I’ve made store 3 weeks in a row when new commissary workers were training. I’d send a list every week not as an attempt to make store, but to check my balance. We don’t get deposit forms as we once did, so we only know from store spend or get the price and month’s deposits to which day of said month usually in the middle of the next month.
Also, the reason I’m on F-Pod, is they took money off another inmates account for my store and after 6 hours of trying to get rank, I had to Jack a slot! They fixed that by crediting his account, removing it from mine and he was allowed to make store.
So the credit didn’t count as spend as they say. One more form of mostly giving distress and anguish!
Funny though, it was attempted to be fixed several times ‘til two decide enough is enough and jack slots and get put on 7 days of food loaf for their efforts and get our spend supposedly fixed. ‘Til commissary found a way to deprive us yet, again.
Thank you very
for reading this.
Donald Keith Newbury 999403”
Paroled at last!!! Kinda!!! I found out on February 9th that I have been scheduled to be executed on May 19, 2005!
This has thrown a slight glitch in this weeks Uncensored articles.
I have been moved off F-Pod to Death Watch.
I had a visit on February 11th, my 35th birthday, with my mother, daughter and fiance and had the displeasure to look into the eyes of the 3 people I love most in this world and tell them the news. The single most painful thing I ever had to do.
Hell, personally, I'm ready to leave this shit-hole cage and existence, but as I watched those eyes on the other side of the glass well-up with tears and the frequent bathroom trips taken to cry...it broke my heart.
So revenge, not justice, is complete. The circle of innocent victims is complete!!
For those who would not call this revenge, you've never had to look into a loved ones eyes and tell them you are going to die!
The circle is surely complete.
Well, I have my letters to write to family and friends.
Those against the Death Penalty, please stay strong and keep on fighting. Too many innocent victims, far to many!
Still Standing Tall in StruggleRich Cartwright
Hello, again! I apologize for letting my circumstances keep me quiet for so long. I know y'all love to read my articles and can't live without me. Yeah, right!!
Anyway, as I stated earlier, I now have an execution date for May 19, 2005 (I may be repeating myself here so please bare with me.). I was called down to Maj. Nelson's office on Feb. 9, 2005 to be informed of my date with death.
My response to the news was stoically calm. To be honest, my first recalled emotion was relief. No shit, I could not believe it myself. I feel relief because I will finally be free from the extremely inhumane tortuous conditions that we are forced to exist in here at the Polunsky Unit Concentration Camp!
I prefer death over my mere existence in here.
Do not get me wrong, I will not lay down like a whooped puppy! I will explore every legal avenue open to me with vigor!!
You may be asking yourselves “why fight if you're so miserable, just let go!”
Well, 2 days after I was informed of my murder date I had a visit with the 3 people I love most in this world. My mother, Melissa (my fiance) and my absolutely beautiful lil Angel Ricki Marie who is 8 years old.
So I thought not to tell them at visit and write it in a letter. Of course, I owed it to them to let them hear it from my lips.
It broke my heart into little pieces.
Of course I've yet to tell Ricki, but Melissa was on one phone and my Mom on the other. I could see the tears well-up in their eyes; of course neither let a tear drop fall; it is against my rules at visit. No crying!!
Of course the frequent trips to the bathroom and coming back red-eyed said it all.
My mom has been with me through all of this. Over 8 years and never ever wavering from my side. My wonderful Christian mother bearing the weight of all my mistakes and mess-ups on her shoulders. The absolute pain and incredible devastation I saw in her otherwise bright humor filled eyes. Eyes usually filled with a mother's understanding and unconditional love.
Next comes Melissa, a woman who has refused to let my situation be a barrier against, at first, a powerful and loving hand of friendship. A woman who's compassion is made of fire. Through letters and trials and tribulations, helping me fight with the powers-to-be on the outside while I fought on the inside, we fell in love with each other. Madly, deeply, unconditional love. A love so wonderful, I draw so much peace from...I can go on forever, but I will save it for my next letter to her :).
We are getting married this month. We had planned this before I received a date and of course Melissa will not let even that stop our plans.
A lesser woman would take this opportunity to duck'n'run.
It does not seem fair to find my soul-mate so close to the end, but I'd rather our time together be cut short than to have never experienced such a boundless, selfless love that we share.
I love you, Sugar.
Now to my lovely 8 year old daughter, Ricki, who I've yet to tell. How do I look into those innocent brown eyes and say your daddy has to die pretty soon? How do I say this without taking some of that innocence out of her!?
Maybe I should write to one of those “Victim Rights Movements” who cry out for my murder in the name of justice! Self-righteous bunch of prigs!! All their justice does is complete the circle of blameless victims! How can they deny that? Do they dare try??
I've said it before, I'm no angel!! Don't pretend to be!! Punish me, I can handle it and a lot of it is well-deserved, but why hurt my loved ones? In the name of justice? No, it is in the name of REVENGE!!!!
I saw the overwhelming hurt and pain in their eyes. It broke my heart, yes it did, no doubt about it, but when May 19th comes, my pain, hurt and suffering is ended. Their's will be at it's strongest...for how long?
When you lose a loved one, yes even on on death row, you mourn, a piece of you is lost along with that loved one.
Can anyone deny that?
So how is this justice? Hell, I'm outta here, I'm done, I'm done being treated like a dog, fed like a dog, fighting battles I never had any hope of winning, but fighting to stay sane. If it was not for my family, I would laugh at Texas' Blood Justice and embrace it fully in my arms, my freedom, my peace...no more fighting.
I believe in God, I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified for my sins, I believe he rose from the dead on the 3rd day and sits in judgment on the right-hand side of the Father. I'm a Christian, not a very good one (wink), but I am. I'm going to Heaven when I leave this hell.
It amazes me that these Bible-belt Christian demand the death penalty for justice! It is a reward not a punishment, not for me, but a severe punishment for my loved ones!!!
Once again I apologize for my week of silence. Uncensored is not supposed to be about me!! It is about death row as a whole and I've let the “whole down by putting my personal problems in front of the whole.
Since being given a date, I've been moved off of F-Pod to A-Pod, F-Section AKA DEATH WATCH! It is like a whole nother world. Everything is freshly painted and extremely clean! It has to look good, for this is the section they show for public tours.
Or maybe the clean and fresh look is to hide the fact that A-Po, F-Section is the heart of death row! The Black Insidious Heart of Death Row pumping out it's blood justice to all; young or old, black, white, brown, yellow, hell green and purple, too, no one is safe from Texas Blood Justice.
I'm going to do my best to take you along for the ride these next 3 months and hopefully get some of the others over here to write their feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. There is a lot of “Macho Fronting” going on down here so it may be heard to get people to open up!
Dennis Bagwell, 999209, has an execution date for tomorrow!
Dennis and I have...well...let's call 'em a few “altercations” first at Ellis Unit and again here at Polunsky Unit. We do not like each other and never have. It the doors rolled today we'd most definitely have another “altercation”.
With that said, I've talked civilized to Dennis and asked him if he had any words for the masses and he said no.
There are 12 of us presently on Death Watch, which will be down to 11 by 6 pm. tomorrow. Life goes on as usual over here. Men trying to run from their destiny, or come to terms with it, to stare it down. Above all else they try to stay strong for their loved ones.
Can you believe that, yes that is #1 on their minds, these men, the State of Texas calls heartless cold-blooded killers, void of emotions!!
Most will go to their execution quietly. You may ask why, but ask why not? The battle is over, right?
I don't know about me. I truly look forward to being done with this place. I've been fighting for the last 5 years on and off.
Hell, I've been fighting for longer than that, but I've been doing the warrior thing pretty hard these last 5! When I have not been fighting the system, officers, insanity...I've been fighting my own demons inside myself.
I'm hanging up my sword now! It is no longer about being a warrior. I have nothing left to prove to myself or anybody else in that aspect.
Now I have to be the son for my mom, the father for my daughter and the husband to Melissa.
On Level III and II my visits are near non-existent. Major Nelson and Warden Alford, yes the same Warden Alford I bumped head with a few weeks ago, have really gone the extra mile to work with me. When they informed me of my date with death they also made me Level II. It was a show of compassion I've not yet experienced from the “system” in my 8 years and I was very grateful for it!!
Also, Warden Alford and Major Nelson found out my mom was coming all the way from Chicago; they let her come back the following day for another visit.
know I'm first to open my “mouth” and raise hell when I feel these people
do us wrong...so in light of fair play, I say now:
Warden Bisco, Warden Alford and Major Nelson, thank you all for going out of your way to make this as easy as possible on my family, as well as myself.
I know I've been a thorn in y'all's side and you rose up above that and made the first step out of kindness and compassion.
Thank you very much!
Boy, that wasn't so hard, after all (smile).
I've mentioned Melissa, Mom and Ricki so very often, but there are quite a few more people who have stood by my side through these past troubling years and I would like to thank them.
Missy Mouse, my smart-ass Minnesota friend. Your friendship has been absolutely priceless to me. I've never read one of your letters without laughing, usually with you, but often time at you! (BIG CHICAGO BEAR-STYLE HUG AND SWIFT KICK IN YOU ASS) Even faud with your own personal struggles, you've always been there for me. Stay strong Mouse and please stop the insanity of thinking the Minnesota Vikings will ever win another Super Bowl! Pray for me and my family.
Diane, my hard headed sister. Your dark sense of humor always has me smiling. I've enjoyed watching my nephews grow up through your many photos and extremely funny and often troublesome stories of Andrew and Matthew. Now with the birth of Hannah, my photo collection grows once again. Diane, thank you for your support. I know it would have been easier to turn and leave me in the dust. We have hardly ever seen eye to eye on anything, but regardless of all our differences, you chose to stick by me when it counted. Keep the pictures coming, sis, ain't shit changed. I love you. Make sure to tell those troublesome boys and that hopefully “Angelic” lil girl that Uncle Ricky loves them very much.
Sandy, a great friend from a much better past. Sandy, you started writing me a little over a year ago. A blessing from my past. Telling me how you remember me walking you home from school everyday. 7th Grade, eh? You brought with your letters a flood of wonderful memories and better times. Priceless is your friendship and the memories that I've long forgotten, you've give me back. Now go take Adam out to dinner, you know you want to. Pray for me and my family.
Suzanne, thank you for your friendship and so much more. I know you are extremely busy with work and all those kids, yet you never complain about rewriting all my Uncensored articles. You are a very sweet and generous person. Every holiday you bombard me with cards and funny joke never letting my spirits slide down. You and your husband have opened up you lives and give much of your free time to, not only me, but to any prisoner in any state who is looking for a pen-pal or just a place to vent. You two are terrifically politically-not-correct! Raising your middle finger to salute the system. Never lose heart or hope and keep the good fight alive. Pray for me and my family.
Paula...my bridge to my Ace!! ~smile~ Wife to my Ace, Partner to my Ace. A woman strong enough and with enough love to walk with Paul through the good and bad times. Yes, far more bad times than good, lately, but you have never wavered, God knows you face obstacle after obstacle but always by his side. His Italian Princess!!! All your letters and motorcycle pictures...always make me smile. Thank you. Pray for me and my family.
Paul, My Brother!! I know your over there tripping but you need to chill Ace! Like I've always said “It ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun.” Man we had some good times, Bro, hell even our bad times shared were good, eh? Bro, my fight is gone, I'm ready if not quite willing to go on to the next life. This shit ain't 'bout nutting, eh? I won't lay it down, you know better, I will explore every legal avenue I can and maybe make a few new ones, but if all fails, no need to trip, no need at all Bro. When you get out you make damn sure you do 2 things. You look up Ricki Marie and make sure all is good and tell you her daddy loved her so much. She gave me so much, so much love and strength. Then go give my mom a great big hug from me.
Meanwhile Mama Mary and I will be waiting for y'all, patiently of course, to join us in our Eternal Chicken Dance!
Now I must thank a woman I do not even really know. I received a letter from her yesterday. It came form Australia and was sent off Feb. 8, 2005. It is actually what caused me to get out of my blue-funk and pick up this pen and write more Uncensored!! Her name is Karen M. (I will not include her last name for privacy matters) Karen, thank you!! Thank you very much. Karen wrote me and told me “she was on of those people who viewed us on death row as “monsters.” She no longer believes in the death penalty! Wow!! She even stated that she started writing another man here on the row. Karen, unfortunately, due to my present dilemma, I won't be answering your letter other than with this message to you. I do hope you understand. Know that your letter is what inspired me to get back on the horse instead of sit by and say and do nothing. Thank you so very much.
I would now like to thank those who wrote for only a short time before abandoning the ship for whatever reasons! No sarcasm either. Every letter received has brightened up that day somewhat. I dwell no on the negatives, but the positive. I understand life often catches you up and keeps you busy.
Jack and Irene Wilcox, last but surely by no means, least. Jack is 80+ and Irene in her late 70's, yet they are at Polunsky Unit everyday they can be visiting with the men on death row. They preach the word of God and offer their hands and hearts in friendship. I've been visiting with Jack for almost, what, about 3 years now. Ne never pushes the word on me and sometimes we talk sports, life in general, even his younger days as a minor league baseball star. He is patient in his teaching and bring people closer to God. He is a kind and compassionate man who has dedicated hid life to bringing God into the hearts of the condemned men here on the row. Men who most would rather spit on than say a kind word. I will spend my last few hours on earth with this man. He is my spiritual advisor and will accompany me over to the Wall's Unit for my murder like he has for over 100 other people. Can you imagine the toll that has taken on him and his wife? Yet, they never complain, they walk strong and tall in the Lord!!
Ok, well, that about covers it for now. Thank you all for listening, whether, you agree or disagree, I always look forward to your comments, thoughts....
I've been on death row wince March 17, 1997 and since that day, 206 men and women have been put to death in the name of Texas Blood Justice! 206!! Who are they calling heartless and cold blooded?? 206!!! That is a tremendous amount of life taken, would you not agree?
Has the crime
rate in Texas gone down any since 1997? The answer is
NO IT HAS NOT!!! It has gone up!!!!
So much for the argument that the death penalty is a deterrent!! It never has been and never will be. The death penalty is no more than a Politician's pawn! A political stand to be tough on crime. I guess life without parole is not tough enough!
What about cost you ask? It is cheaper for the state and it's tax payers to house a prisoner for 80 years than it is to try a death penalty case and all the appeals that go along with it!
These are facts people, facts any Joe or Jane Public can get a hold of!!!
The death penalty is a powerful, very powerful political tool!! President Bush has watched over 100 executions and as Governor of Texas. Each pawn (body) one step close to the White House, slaughter house, whatever it may be.
I am not anti-American, please don't get me wrong. I love my country! I might not agree totally with this war, or what started it, but I stand by our troops 110%!!! Our Government, Big Brother, is way out of control and it is up to the “little people” to come together and stand up! We elect these jokers into office.
See what you got started Karen? Ha!Ha! Anyway, it's time for this jail-bird to fly. God Bless!!
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
P.S. It is 6:15 pm. and I have some great new to shared with y'all. Willie Pondexter, Jr., 999111, was scheduled to be murdered on 03/02/2005 and was informed to “pack-it-up” which means he is moving, moving off death watch. He has received a stay of execution!
Also, Pablo Melendez, Jr., 999192, was packed off on a bench warrant today. His date is scheduled for 03/16/2005. He informed me earlier today that his Texas appointed (Good-Ole-Boy) sold him out, but the Texas Defenders Group, pretty much a last minute come save me group that actually gives a damn jumped on his case. So please keep him in your prayers and hop he gets some type of action.
See it is never hopeless. With each breath drawn, hope is alive! Standing Tall and Fading ALL!!*************************************
February 17, 2005
It is Feb. 17, 2005, 11:35 a.m. and I'm standing on my rolled up mattress looking out my window waiting to see the Death Van show up Yes it is right here for all in Deathwatch to see.
How many times will I view this until my turn? Will anyone care enough to write about it?
I will watch Mr. Bagwell get loaded in the Death Van, handcuffed, shackled and chained.
On you execution day your visits end at 12 noon. A couple strip searches later you're loaded like the human sacrifice you are into the Death Van to go to the Walls' Unit and wait 'til 6 p.m. to be killed.
Oh, my bad, executed in the name of Justice! Yes, that sounds more flowery. I would not wish to offend the Politically Correct!!
My past “altercations” with Bagwell now come to haunt me. Before he left this morning for his last visit, he left me a bag full of commissary knowing I'm on Level II and starving (We were put on lock down yesterday; breakfast this morning was 1 peanut butter sandwich and a small piece of coffee cake; lunch, 1 corn dog and 1 peanut butter sandwich). Bagwell's last act of kindness to me has me feeling very small and shallow, as I should!!
Goes to show what we all already know. Life is too short, let go, forgive, move on. As my friend an extremely devoted Christian, George Andy Hopper, always says “Hey Chi-Town, what would Jesus do?” Think before you speak and act. Some words or actions you say and do hurt, no matter how many times you say you're sorry. You can't undo the hurt.
Still no sign of the Death Van!! I do not know if this is normal or not. I know Bagwell's visit is over at 12 noon. I would think 20 minutes later he would be stripped, chained and shipped out!!
My cell has both the view of the walkway to visitation and the Death Van Pick-up!!
Wow, 12:02 p.m. Here comes the Van! Modern-day Version of Death. Not a Horse with a sickle, but a van and some AK 47s!
It is now 12:06 p.m. and here comes Bagwell surrounded by Warden Bisco, Major Nelson, Lt. Bryant, Sgt. Poole! They escorted him into 12 Building to be strip searched.
Death Row Warden Jones and about nine others are all standing by the back of the Death Van shaking hands and laughing and smiling like this is a happy social event!!
Warden Bisco is back out there and all the others who have Metal on their collars (i.e. Maj, Capt. Sgt...).
Here comes 3 more. Maj. Miller, Lt. Griffith and 1 more I don't know.
The Death Van Windows are tinted jet black. Even in direct sunlight, you cannot see in.
Here comes Bagwell being loaded into the van. There has to be 20 ranking officers out there...all, what, to take a hand in the hand-off.
The van leaves so clean, so efficient, too clean, too efficient.
I'm blacking out my window and laying down. Holla at y'all later.
February 18, 2005
Good morning to the masses!! Another day n paradise is gone and another man killed in the name of justice.
Dennis Bagwell was executed last night. I offer my sincere condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones.
I would like to comment on something I witnessed yesterday that has been on my mind ever since, well a few things, y'all know I can get “windy” with it!
Bagwell was brought out of his cage at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning.
Now at 9:15 a.m., Property Room Officer Hill, C.O. Mrs. Miller and some other officer, I do not know, came to get Bagwell's property that he left behind for his family to pick up.
Well, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Malicious Miller comes out of his cell dragging a 1/2 bag of property behind her like she is taking out the trash or something. She continued to drag his property behind her as she descended the 12+ steel steps down to one row.
Down right malicious, ignorant and hateful!!
I just cannot understand that! It ran me hot, very hot, but I said nothing. I bit my tongue and it has caused a nasty taste in my mouth ever since.
Just plain spiteful and ignorant.
The other thing sticking into my head was the 20 or so Wardens, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, COs, 3, 4, 5's standing around gawking at Dennis being loaded into the Death Van; shaking hands and pats on the backs once the van leaves! “Congrats Jim-Bob, we gotta us another one off down yonder way with no problem!” It should not be so clean, so efficient.
I wish they could show this all on national TV!!! From 8 a.m. the day of the execution throughout the day until the execution takes place. At least make an attempt to make the death penalty the deterrent they claim it to be.
Hell, are we not extremely quick to show the Taliban's Public Executions to show the sick deadly monsters they are? Let's show Americans the American way of execution.
After all, it is so Humane! Humane Murder? Only in America!!!
Here is a fun fact about Texas! Humane Murders...did you know the 3 chemicals they inject in us used to be used nationwide to put suffering animals to sleep!! Yet many states have now stopped using the procedure because they say it causes intense pain and agony.
The reason no one can tell is this. One of the Chemicals used deadens your muscles, so as the other chemicals are eating your internal organs, attacking your lungs, heart...you lay in this intense pain but cannot express it!! Ha!Ha!Ha! What a cruel joke.
Though many states have decided this method is not humane enough to put the family dog asleep, it is just fine for Texas' Death Row Prisoners.
Alright, enough food for thought. I have a ton of mail to try and get out by Monday! The fight has just begun and I'm coming out swinging. I don't want to be put to “sleep” anytime soon and God Bless you all and Give you Peace!In Struggle,
February 25, 2005
12 more days until the execution of George “Andy” Hopper!! He will be the 208th execution since my arrival here on the row.
Andy-Pandy, God, I love this guy. He is a great and close friend of mine. I've known Andy for about 7 years and he has always remained the same. Quiet, soft spoken, a sports nut and a dedicated Christian. Always quick to lend anybody a hand at anytime.
Andy has been on the row since 1992 and he says he is ready to go. He is at peace with God and has had enough. He even wrote his attorney and told him not to file any last minute attempts to save his life!!
Wow!!! The power of “Polunsky Concentration Camp”. He is ready and at peace, but I'm not ready for him to die! Selfish? Hell yeah!!
I've asked Andy to write about how he feels and he keeps putting me off, but I'm not done trying.
Y'all, please pray for Andy and his family.
14 more days from today Alexander Martinez, 999438, who dropped his appeals, will be executed. State assisted suicide is all it really is.
This cage we live in was designed to break a man!! That was the purpose for Super-Seg-Prisons! To break down prisoners who were always causing trouble; assaulting officers, offenders, sexual assaults on both men and women, constant rule breakers.
What do you say or can you say to Mr Martinez?? This ain't so bad?
Shit, I can't tell him that lie. Really, I do not know the guy well enough to say anything.
Mark my words, you will all see A LOT MORE APPEALS BEING DROPPED as time goes on in this Hell-Hole!!! Take that to the bank.
It's sad that death row is housed like this. I mean statistically death row has a lot less disciplinary incidents than the same amount of population prisoners have. What I'm trying to say is there is approx., What? 450 D.R. Prisoners. If you take any group of 450 population prisoners and compare disciplinary write-ups, death-row would have a whole lot less!!
Once again though, every dropped appeal saves the State of Texas hundreds of thousands of dollars! Not a bad trade off at all.
In his Feb. 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush stated:
“Because one of the main sources of our national unity is our belief in equal justice, we need to make sure Americans of all races and backgrounds have confidence in the system that provides justice.
In America we must make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit---so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction.
Soon I will send to Congress a proposal to fund special training for defense counsel in capitol cases because people on trial for their lives must have competent lawyers by their side.”
I say this “President Bush has enough pretty words do make shit smell like roses!!” Ok, sorry about that, not really :(.
I would like to now focus on the 3rd quote I have listed. Now here, down yonder way, Texas does not quite see things this way. The right to effective counsel....almost an oxymoron to an indigent defendant in Texas. In the State of Texas a Defendant in a Capitol Case is only entitled to effective counsel at their initial trial and on direct appeal. After that, we are entitled do counsel, but is HAS BEEN UP UPHELD IN COURT (this was and is a ruling) THAT COUNSEL DOES NOT HAVE TO BE EFFECTIVE!!! What kind of backwater crap is that?
Yes, you get your appeals, but like President Bush's words, it's just so much fluff, no substance.
Why even give us the appeals process in the 1st place? I mean save everybody's time and money...if you are found guilty, just grab a rope, the accused and hang 'em high? I mean let's call a spade a spade and stop the charade that this magalomaniacal system has been putting on for far too long.
My frustration is almost enough to make me lose my mind. It is all out there, up front, for all to see, yet no one sees it! The system of Capitol Punishment in Texas is designed to fail. There are no rich people on Texas Death row, that's fact!!!! So justice is for the rich and wealthy and always has been I suppose.
I mean even if one does believe in capitol punishment, how can they put their support behind a system so utterly riddled with flaws and inconsistency?
I guess it would hurt too much to take too close a look at the Capital Punishment System in Texas. It would be an utter embarrassment to say the least. Too many lives and lies have been swept under the carpet or into the corners. Too many skeletons in to many politicians' closets, I'm sure. Life has become so cheap herein Texas. I will say this though, even with all the frustration, aggravation, the bouts of self pity and watching man after man be executed, each on making my May 19th reality that much more clearer to me.
I have been awestruck with y'all's overwhelming love and support out there. Wow!! Thank you all for your kind word and caring hearts. They have meant so much to me. I keep wanting to trip and fall, but every time that happens another hand is there to help me up.
I have received stacks of e-mails and so many supportive cards, notes and letters and every last one of them has touched me deeply, not only me, but my family and love ones, also.
There was an e-mail that hurt me very much, but at the same time lifted me up and touched my heart. It was an e-mail from 2 sisters who were very close friends to Nick Moraida's (the man I stand accused of murdering) son, who was 13 at the time. They explained how they watched as Mr. Moriada's murder tore up that family and especially Nick's son. He was forced due to circumstances, or fall-out, I don't know the proper words, but he left out of Corpus Christi with a family member and once again had to say goodbye to loved ones and trusted friends.
There is more, but you can get a glimpse of the whole picture and all the pain and suffering that the entire Moraida family has suffered.
Out of curiosity, these 2 sisters got on the “net” and have been reading up on the situation and all the twists and turns and are now praying for me, but more importantly, for Ricki Marie and the rest of my family.
I want to say a special thank you to the 2 of you and thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts and feelings with me. they came across true and strong. I'm sorry that y'all were effected by Nick's murder.
It is amazing the extent in which death reaches out with it's cold hands and all the lives it effects.
I'm sorry that the 2 of you went through the pain and suffering that you did, just as I am truly sorry for all the pain and suffering of the entire Moraida family and friends. This is a sincere apology. If I only knew....then what I know now.
To all the wonderful people who have written me in these past few weeks, thank you so very much. I wish I could write you all back and will do my best to at least send thank-you notes. I owe you that much. Please be patient with me. It seems my impending date with death has really lit a fire under a lot of peoples butts to get up and speak out on my behalf. Please keep on sending your letters and please to the powers-to-be, maybe, just maybe it will fall in the right pair of ears. Y'all are really keeping my hope alive and with hope and faith all things are possible.
Now on the other side of that coin, innocent people have been executed in Texas before and no doubt will again. If May 19th takes my life, please, please remember this; there are 450 plus men and women on death row. How many more innocent and guilty have fallen prey to this ludicrous judicial system? How many??
Again there are good and bad on death row, as there are good and bad anywhere, right? There are many, oh very many fights left to fight after me. Please keep the zealous spirit you have now. That is the only way change will come about.
Even if someone reading this is pro-death penalty, can you say you feel secure that no innocent men have been executed in Texas?
The system is designed to fail. The safeguards (appeals) are a mockery to anyone with common sense. WE ARE NOT, BE COURT RULING, GUARANTEED COMPETENT COUNSEL!!!! The question is, why, with our lives on the line, are we not guaranteed competent counsel? How unfathomable a thought!!!
Let me move on!
We are all still on lock-down, today, Feb. 25, 2005, makes 10 days. 10 days of peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast and dinner. The last week we have been given 1 hot meal a day, either at lunch or dinner time.
I feel bad for all those warriors on Level II and III on F-Pod! I know they are starving to death down there. They drink so much water to curve the hunger pains and than cannot sleep though the night because every time they doze off, they wake up to pee!
I know, I've been on F-Pod during shake-down before.
Loki, Lizerd, Tool, Chili, Hank, SouJa, Freddi, K-Loc and all the rest down there, hang in there, lock down is only a day or 2 away from being over.
Being Level II, as I am, has a few advantages being on death watch, well on advantage. My dawgs on Level I have been feeding my hungry ass with their commissary :). Truth be told, though, I'd much rather be starving on F-Pod without an execution date, OBVIOUSLY :(.
Oh, Capt. Wickersham is up to his old tricks, again. He has now decided death row prisoners are no longer allowed to wear the gym shoes, $39.95, nor the Rhino boots, $25, that they buy with their own money off commissary, to their visits any longer, but must wear some slip-on state supplied ass bullshit. Why? Just to be a jerk, I suppose.
I really do not think the Captain likes the fact that a woman, Major Nelson, is above him in the Chain-of-Command. He is truely lost in the dark-ages obviously. It is a power struggle, he cannot win, but keeps pursuing.
First he tried to say we can no longer even buy boots. Now we can buy them, but can't wear them to visit??
This man is a buffoon, a laughable excuse for a man for sure. So insecure in his own manhood, he cannot take orders from a woman without feeling upset or demeaned.
Hey Capt.!!! Wake up fella, it is 2005 and we will have a female President by 2010 if the right candidate runs. Hey, Layne, yes you Marino, do you remember telling me you were gonna be the 1st female president when you were just knee-high to a grasshopper? Come-on, cousin, you remember!!!) Anyway, now I'm babbling.
Oh, yes, my “Giddly Mate” from down under wrote me again with very encouraging and fiery words to keep my spirits blazing right along. No you don't have to ever worry about me giving up or giving in. Of course I will stand tall, with the help of people like you, Karen. I cannot fall down. I can stumble as we all know by now, but y'all support picks me right back up.
Phil, my Brother in Ireland! Man, great to hear from you, finally! I understand about the screwed up post so don't sweat it. Thanks for all the photos, especially, the one of Shaun. What a little trooper. I'll write you within the next few week, bro!!
Another week in paradise gone. Another week closer to death for not only me, but for every man on death row, EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! Uncensored From Texas Death Row is opened to any prisoner here on death row wanting to speak out about anything. If any of y'all out there have pen-pals, encourage them to speak out. [Note from Suzanne: Please be prepared to type said articles from your pen-pals Rich mentioned then e mail them to me. Thanks.] If we on death row are to disconcerned to help ourselves, how can we expect y'all to put forth the effort! Freedom of speech, TDCJ has not YET taken that right away form us, I repeat not yet!!!
Thank you, every last on of you for tuning in and hopefully talking out. Please keep my family, friends and myself and the rest of the men and their families on the row in your thoughts and prayers. Sincere thanks once again to all of you!!Keeping the Fight Alive
March 1, 2005
Never has flipping over a month on my wall calendar held such a significant meaning to me. Reality is a kick, eh?
Well, once again, Good morning to you and thank you for once again checking in to read my ramblings.
I would like to, for once, start this off with some terrific news. At a little after 4 a.m. this morning, I was listening to my radio when I heard that the courts ruled that : “It is no longer considered constitutional to give the death penalty to juvenile offenders!” That means 28 men on death row will be headed out to general population.
What a kick to the teeth of Texas injustice, eh?
Of course those hard-core death penalty believers will cry foul.....Like someone having to spend the rest of their entire life in this shit-hole-system until they rot and die is not enough.
Think about that mentality for a minute.
Too bad TDCJ does not have my birthday down as 02/11/1980, eh? I believe they have it as 02/11/1976! Ha! Ha! It really is 02/11/1970!! Damn, if they want to mess it up, lets go with the 80's version, eh? Can't get that lucky, I suppose.
The other day, I got a very disturbing kite from Ghost. I know y'all remember Ghost, right? He is the youngster who handcuffed himself to his cell door on F-Pod! The “Sorry, Sir” and Yes, Sir”, “No, Sir” guy. Always extremely polite.
Well, it seems that Ghost finally decided to fade-the-team. (I always told him not to; he is only about 140 lbs.) Seems that the goon-squad fractured hid cheekbone, bruised his eyeball!! There is absolutely no reason 5 men in body armor had to go to that extreme level of violence to subdue a man who weights 140 lbs! No Way, No How! Never!!!
Now this all took place on F-Pod, I would guess, about 10 days or so ago. Ghost did say he was going to write a detailed account of all that lead up to the run-in and the run-in itself.
Ghost also mentioned about how Paul Colella, through his Uncensored, organized for protester to meet out in front of the prison with pick sings about trying to stop the abusive treatment of DR prisoners. It truly was an affective tool against the administration.
At first the TDCJ tried to have the protesters ARRESTED!!! Ha! Ha! Yes, TDCJ thought it owned the PUBLIC STREET, also!!!
Something to keep in mind to organize for the future??
Ghost also asked “if they get you” what happens to “Uncensored from Texas Death Row”???
Wow!! I would hope someone who is honest and has integrity enough to “keep it real” would take over.
“Uncensored from Texas Death Row” was silent for far too long after Paul Colella went to population.
Truth is I was somewhat intimidated to get out here like this. I figured the man reason Uncensored was so successful was because Paul was so articulate. Truth is people are curious and people care.
It is hard to sometime remember that the whole world does not share the attitude that TDCJ has towards us as the heartless cold blooded killers. I mean, I've been treated like less than a man for so long, it starts to take hold.
Just like a bad parent who always calls their kid “stupid”. After a while the kid will believe he is stupid.
I really do try my best to not be too bias in what I write. Of course what I write, I write my perspective. How I see something, or how I may feel might not be the “right way” or “correct way”, but “my way”.
I want what I report to have substance. I try my best to express my feelings to where y'all can hopefully relate someone, what to our plight here on the row. It is just that our world is so very different than anything y'all have ever experienced and hopefully never will have to experience anything like this.
Now I have a letter to share with y'all written by Alexander Martinez, 999438, who dropped his appeals and will be executed on 03/10/2005!
By Alexander Rey Martinez, 999438:
“' THE COUNT DOWN'
I know that a lot of people probably don't know who I am, yet. Many people know my name simply because of allowing the State to proceed with my execution without a fight. This has compelled me to write this article for anyone who has the interest in knowing why a man would allow his own execution to proceed.
My name is Alexender Rey Martinez. I'm 28 years old and have less than 10 days 'til my execution day.
Lately I have been getting a lot of mail form people wondering why I have waived my appeals, some offering friendship, some just sending a warm thought letting me know that they are praying for me......
So, I hope that what I share with you all here, that you may understand a little of what is going on in my mind and the way I see things. But one thing I hope you don't have to do is come to the decision I have come to where you feel you are backed into a corner, that you would prefer to end everything.
A lot of the men on the row plea innocence and hide behind a mask disguising their true identity. I am not one of them. I have accepted full responsibility for my actions. The only thing I can say honestly about what was done to me at my trial that was illegal was that a DA lied to convict me on a Capitol Murder charge. I could get into that, but will only say that an inmate was offered a sweet deal to testify for the DA saying that I confided in him that I intentionally assaulted and robbed the said victim when in fact I did no such thing. I never disputed that I was guilty, because from the beginning, I admitted to what I dod. The DA wasn't happy that the only punishment I would get under a murder charge was life sentence.
So now that I have been convicted and sentenced to die, I started to wonder is there any truth in the Justice System where your rights will be protected full? I know that in Texas it's not all about fair justice, but how much money you have to buy your way out of you predicament.
I was 17 years old when I was first introduced to the system. I was sentenced to 7 years for an Attempted Murder charge. I was guilty for that crime. I did 6 1/2 years on that sentence and so I can say that I have enough experience to speak on how life in prison is.
The system is being designed in such a way that little by little they are striping you dignity away. Rules designed and implemented to where you breath wrong and that is a major infraction, making it harder for parole to be granted. Any little thing and you are breaking rules. You are restricted wholly! You are not living a life, but simply existing!
That is one of the reasons, here, the other one is that I know myself and I know that I have may flaw characteristics as we all know that we are not perfect. I am deeply ashamed for the things I have done in the past, putting my family through a lot, and hurting people emotionally and physically.
I really don't consider myself a violent individual, yet I'm not opposed to it when I feel that it's the last result.
I don't claim to be a religious man nor do I claim to be a changed man. I do claim to be refining myself to be a better man.
I know that if I am in this environment, I don't think that I can get very far in bettering myself because of the constant harassment, the unnecessary rules and the inmates who contribute to the cause of these confinements.
I am not making excuses because it could be that I am not strong enough to better myself under these conditions, maybe deep inside I don't want to change.
I really don't know, but I know that right now as I write these word down, I don't want to be what I have come to be in this life. I don't want to simply exist in this life. I want to live a life where I have free will and choices to make for myself. I know that the only life I can look forward to in life is either a life sentence or be executed somewhere down the line instead of now.
Those are the two choices I have, or the possibilities that can happen. I have nothing to live for. I do not have any kids and family hasn't been there very often only when the spot light is shined upon me for something and then they all come out of the woodwork.
All my life I have been controlled by pressure from others or by my own desires. I don't want to be the victim of other, nor the victim of my own inactions because of allowing myself be a part of oppression from the State.
Death is very much appealing to me that I can not let it pass me up if I can help it. I now take control of my present reality, after all, we all must die someday, the question is when. The difference is that I know the exact day and time I will die.
And so since I received my date and 'the count down' had begun, I have had a lot of time to think about everything I have done to others and basically about what to expect to see after I die, wondering what to expect when I get to The Walls. I have asked questions to those who have made it over there and returned back, almost like coming back from the dead, because everyone who usually goes over there don't normally come back.
I search for truth and answers in everything I encounter. I yearn for that knowledge.
I have come to the conclusion that in order to find the truth in anything you seed is to simply be a part of the situation, because everyone is different in seeing the way things are, in their own eyes, they may not see things as they are.
I know on the 10th day, I will have my visits and visit with whom has stayed by my side through all this, who has supported me in my decision I have made. I will be escorted out of the visiting room at about 12:00 p.m. and strip searched and be given new clothes to wear to the Walls Unit.
I have seen how a lot of rank stand by the gate waiting for you to come out hand-cuffed and shackled down and placed into the van.
Once I get to the Walls I will be processed in, and after all is done, I have my last meal. At 6:00 p.m. I will walk to the Death Chamber and be strapped down awaiting for the witnesses to come into the viewing room.
I can't say what my thoughts or feelings will be like, because after all this is the first time I have experienced something like this. But I would think my thoughts will be something like wondering what will I feel, what will I see the moment I am ceasing to exist?
As the witnesses come into the viewing room and everything is ready to start, I know that I will look at the victims family and to my friends. I will get ready to say what I want to say which will be something like this:
'There was no justification for what I did. I am ashamed for what I did and I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words.'
I will look at my friends and 'thank' them 'for being by my side through all this, and who throughout my life I have hurt my family and friends with actions. I wish not to do that any more...........'
I will then let the warden know that I'm ready and as he lets them know to begin with the lethal dow of SODIUM THIOPENTAL, PANCURONIUM BROMIDE & POTASSIUM CHLORIDE.
I know that I will be thinking about everyone I have encountered throughout my life and everything I have done in life. I hope that I have enough strength to look at my friends s the seconds count down and I begin to lose consciousness.
I will reach for God's hand. I will reach for the heavens, 'til I feel God's perfected presence and when he takes a-hold of my soul, I will then know for sure that there is no more pain and suffering I will have to endure and most of all......
AT LAST, AT LAST!!
'I AM FREE!!!'”
I can't say I agree with Alex's reasoning, but I do respect it. Good luck Alex!
Good luck?? Yeah, I know, but what can I say? What words?? State Assisted Suicide!!! That's all I can call it!! That is how I see it!! I don't like it and I don't agree with it!!!
At about 10:15 a.m. this morning I had a visit from Warden Alford. It seems that he read what I wrote about what I saw out my window the day they loaded Bagwell into the death van (02/17/2005, 12:06 p.m.). As you may recall I thought the hand shaking and back clapping was kind of a celebration.
Warden Alford told me that he cannot imagine what it looks like from my window. He also stated that yes, they shake hands....he said the guys out there , he has know for up to 20 years, working his way through the system, college....to become Warden. He also said “yes, we crack jokes and try to lighten up the otherwise heard situation.” He also stated cracking of jokes is NOT about what is happening either.
We live in 2 different world, Warden Alford and I, but at the same time we live in the same world.
His words seemed sincere enough to me. Than again he has been in the game a long time so who knows.
I wrote what he told me as a way for y'all to see it from another perspective, to try and balance the view points out. I just can't help but think and feel the process is too neat and clean!! I often wonder why every single execution in Texas does not get the Abolish Movement support Karla Tucker or Gary Graham received. Why do some executions merit the outrage and others don't? Is on man/woman's life more important than the next? Will my execution merit a crowd? Should it? How about Andy Hopper on th 8th of March? Alexander Martinez on the 10th of March?
Hell, I would love them to make my execution a television special, eh? I mean it is such a “humane murdering process”. I think it should be televised! You want deterrent, that would be a good dose of reality to all up and coming criminals, eh?
I'm serious, why not! It is American Justice. Clean and efficient!! Just show me the release form to sign and I will sign it.
As you can tell I have not much faith in justice prevailing. I keep hope alive, but I'm a realist! I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
If they don't want a televised murder, how about using me for an organ harvest. Seriously, I'm extremely healthy and my organs could be used to give life to someone dying!! It would make my death count for something and not be a waste.
They say I took a life....now let me give back a life or 2 or 3 or 4!
Than again if they agreed to that would that not show the world that I'm not this heartless cold blooded killer, but a man who feels and a man who cares!!! I would seriously agree to either of the above options if it comes down to that.
These are not just empty words. This is how I feel I guess I'm just scared to slip away clean and efficient-like if I'm to be honest with you.
Have I mae a good difference in peoples' lives? How many? Other than family, how many will be glad when I'm gone? 35 years of life!! What difference did I make in this world? Good or bad?
Okay, now I'm just rambling on. Let me get this in the mail.
Speaking of mail...this mail-room is very out of control! I got letters post marked 10 days apart from the same place at the same time. I received a letter from my mom written on Feb. 25 saying she has not heard from me since our visit on the 12th of February. I wrote her Feb. 14th, 17th, 21st and the 28th, so how come she has not heard from me?
I guess I will have to start to carbon copy all my letters and keep my own record through legal mail with my attorney.
I would thing being on death watch the mail-room would stop playing their usual , par for the course, games they have been playing for the past 5 years. It is absolutely outrageous the about of B.S. one goes through just to get their mail on time.
Thanks once again for all you caring enough to tune in.
3872 F.M. 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
The following is a special addition from William Berkley, 999224 AKA Ghost for "Shy-Town":
What's up Shy-Town! This is Ghost (William Berkley #999422) here everybody. Thanks for having me on your Uncensored site again dearest buddy old pal!!! HaHa!
I got another fucked up article for y'all. This time it's about me getting run in on and sent to the hospital.
So here goes my story fold. On 02/16/2005, we were on lock-down, a routine lock-down. And they inappropriately confiscated my books, magazines, mirror and deodorant and soap.
Now I was and still am on Level III for threatening an officer which I did do because he made a racial comment about my friend who hung himself the day before. (I wrote an article about that too.)
Now I've been told by someone who wishes to remain anonymous that the reason they took my stuff was because of the previous article I wrote about my friend hanging himself.
Now I don't know if that is true or not so don't hold me to it. All I know is this, they took my stuff and everyone else I talked to says they still have their's. Ain't that interesting???!!!
Well, I tried talking to Sgt. Smith and Lt. Griffin and these two Mother Fuckers flat out lied to me, try and tell me policy changed.
So I asked for the I.O.C.? They are supposed to inform us of all changes in policy and give us proper time to get in compliance. He tells me we didn't have time to print them out so I know he's full of shit.
Now it is possible that a rule change could happen regarding the books.
Now this Sgt. Smith tells me you can't have your hygiene? No. I know that rule ain't and never will change.
So I try talking to them for 2 days.
Then on Friday, 02/18/2005, I jacked the cuffs. (That's when they undo one cuff and before they take the other off, you jerk your arm in you cell so they can't get it.)Well, I ended up getting the cuffs and the handcuff key!
And Officer D. White said “Give me the key. Give me the keys! Keep the cuffs just give me the keys back.”
So I say “Okay, but only because I'm trying to work with you and meet y'all in the middle”.
So, I unlock the cuffs and set them on the sink and give the key back.
I tell White my beef about the property and tell him it's nothing personal against him. He says “I feel you”.
Well, Sgt. Pool came down and I explained to him the problem and tell him I'm not giving up the cuffs until I get my property, or at least my hygiene. I've got nothing to shower with.
He says “No, you give me the cuffs. I'll look into your stuff.”
Well, now Sgt. Poole has lied to me once. He kept his word once and he lied once. Now folks, to my experience, here on the row, every time an officer says “I'll look into it”, nothing ever happens. You always end up stuck out weeks later.
So I tell Sgt. “I cannot give you the cuffs.”
So he starts telling me I cannot hold guards hostage. I say “I ain't hold guards hostage. I'm holding handcuffs hostage.”
So he burns off and about 10 minutes later Lt. Bryant comes to talk to me and asks what the problem is. So I explain it to him all over again.
Now by this time I'm mad. I already got it set in my head I will not give the cuffs back until I at least get hygiene. I ain't spending 4 days in the cell again without my shit again.
Last time I jacked the cuffs and handcuffed myself to the door, then jacked the run. So I blow Bryant off. I tell him I ain't giving up the cuffs.
Now here is where I fucked up. I fucked up because I ain't never dealt with Lt. Bryan before. So I didn't even give him a chance to keep his word. But does that justify a trip to the hospital for 5 days? I think not!!!
At least I'm willing to admit I fucked up, but wait until you hear the rest of this run-in.
Now where was I. Oh, yes.
Shy-Town, my friend. He's this old man, but he's a good dude. OH WAIT! Wrong story! The run-in!
So I blow Lt. Bryant off and they go and get the team. Now I've gotten my legal and clothes pre-packed the night before.
While the team is getting ready, I grab my mat and set it on my bunk so it is in an upside down “L” shape, then I put my pillow and blankets in the corner to make a big cushion on the side opposite the desk and self.
Now people, you have to understand I am no a big dude at all. I am 5'11” and around 150 lbs., when I am on Level I. On Level II, we cannot buy food, so you end up losing weight. After this UOF (Use of Force), I found out at the time, I was 136 lbs. So you out there reading this can clearly see I am not a big dude at all. All the people here on the row that know me can back my word on that, too! I'm a little dude!
I figured when the lead man hits me with that shield I'm a go flying!
I figured point man on the team is at least 220-250 lbs., maybe more. Every other dude is between 180 and 220 lbs. at my guess.
The team is the following guards: White, Daniels, D. White, Puttman, and Carr and Mrs. Stanley on the video camera. Every UOF is video taped.
The team gets here and I'm ready for my very first run-in. I got a state-issued jumper and state-issued shoes. No boxer, nothing else that's it. I did that in case they cut my clothing off, this way, they cut the state-issued stuff and not my commissary bought stuff. I've been told by others who have faded the team that every now and then, TDCJ likes to strip an inmate butt-naked and put him in an empty cell like that after a UOF. I've also seen it done to my friend Lizerd (his spelling, not mine).
Well, the team gets here and Sgt. Poole will be doing the gassing.
Now I turn my back to the cell door and turn my upper body facing the door so I could see them. I did this that way so when they spray the gas, I could turn quickly and get hit by the gas in the back and not the face.
So I got my little homemade gas mask (a wet folded-up state-issued sock) so I can at least half-ass breath.
Well, Sgt. Poole, then gives the following direct order:
“Offender Berkley, you are hereby ordered to relinquish the hand-restraints and submit to a strip search or the Use of Force of a 5 man team and chemical agents will be utilized.”
How sweet! They sound all professional for the camera!!!
Well, folks, I disobeyed this order and he gassed th fuck out of me!!! As soon as he opened the slot, I seen the can and I turned all the way around and the gas came rushing in and that spray can was loud as fuck.
Now let me say a few things about this gas, people. It is an orange pepper stray type called L510 that burns the fuck out of your skin.
Now while I'm burning up, this gas does not stop coming. I squinted my eyes and I could literally see it going by and feel it burning my back, 1/2 of my body.
This took forever to quit and I'll tell you why. I've been told by various people, guards and inmates that only a 2 or 3 second burst of gas is to be used at a time. Well, another inmate named Young (Clinton Young, 999447) told me he counted seconds to that first burst of gas and it was 6 to 7 seconds. Double what policy states.
Let me ask you people, is that excessive use of force???
Now back to the run-in.
After that spray finally stops, I peek over my shoulder with my eyes squinted shut to see the door and the Sgt. shuts the slot and we wait 5 minutes. During these 5 minutes, my back is burning like a mother fucker and I still got my gas mask up to my face.
Well, Sgt. Poole gives the 2nd order to give up the cuffs. I just stood there.
Then the slot opens and I turn my upper-half away again and I'm waiting for the gas and it's real quiet like spray that went on for a long time also.
Well, I'm thinking, why was that spray so quiet? I know he didn't use a whole can? What gives?
Well, the spray finally stops (again, I was told by Young it was another 6-7 second burst) and I hear the slot close so I turn to peek over my shoulder and I got my eyes squinted like earlier and OH MY FUCKING GOD! My eyes started burning like a mother fucker and I immediately snapped to what my friend Lizerd told me, “The loud one is L510, the quiet one is CS587!”
I can't see shit and I'm trying to feel around to know which way I'm facing.
Now I hit my right knee on the toilet so I know I was at least facing the right way.
Okay, hold on, let me tell you people about this gas CS587. To my understanding, it's fairly new. TDCJ has only used it a small handful of times. Only a Captain or above can authorize use, and it sucks the oxygen out of the room. That's why you can't open your eyes. Your eyes have a certain amount of moisture which requires oxygen to stay open. I read that in Discover Science Almanac. Without that moisture, your eyes shut and blink trying to get your tear glands going to create that moisture.
We are trying to find out as much about this gas as we can. So anyone out there with any knowledge of it, please let us know.
Ok, back to the run-in.
I hit my right knee on the toilet trying to get oriented and somehow I fucked up and turned all the way around so my back was to the door again.
Now I was waving my left arm around trying to feel the wall or something so I would know which way I was facing.
Then my hand hit the shelf and I froze to figure out which way I was facing.
As I started to feel for what was the shelf, then another inmate yelled “they're coming in, get ready!” (Now this other inmate did give me permission to use his name, but he ain't here to read this so I don't feel it right to use his name without letting him read it first.)
Now, I snapped and immediately know I was facing the wrong way because I only have 30% hearing in my right ear so when they yell my name it sounds muffled, but when he yelled, it was crystal clear!
Now mind you this is all happening in seconds.
Right when he yelled, I immediately turned to the right and got hit by the shield and went flying into all my cushions! I tried to get up, but they half-assed dog piled me. They way I landed was face down, but my knees were on the grounds and I was bent over the bunk on top of my cushions.
Now the officer on my right got my are hooked elbow to elbow. I tried to elbow him and flip around. Yes, I elbowed him! I got five 200 pound mother fuckers in full riot gear and gas masks run-in swinging, you can bet I'm swinging back, or at least trying too.
Well, since he got my elbow hooked now and got my right arm behind my back, the dude on my left is punching all over my back, ribs and arm. And he got my arm behind my back and I got cuffed.
Now, they done yelled “stop resisting” twice. I'm cuffed, so I'm thinking, it's over. Well, I thought wrong.
Remember, how I landed on my knees bent over the bunk? Well, they got me cuffed and pulled me all the way down to the floor and I had my chin on the floor so my eyes wouldn't get anymore gas from the floor.
I felt 2 hands grab my head and turn it so my left side of my face was on the floor and the hands were on top and on the back of my head. The one on back never left but the top on left and I could still open my eyes only for brief seconds because of the gas and BAM BAM BAM! I was punched 3 times in the face.
Then the hand on top of my head was there again and BAM, I got kneed'd in the face and the hand on top of my head disappeared and BAM! I got punched in the nose and I felt the hand on my head again and BAM! Knee'd again and BAM, punched in the right eye while I was handcuffed.
Now I was quiet until those first 3 punches hit and at that point, I started screaming “I am not resisting! I am not resisting!” over and over.
Then, all of a sudden I was standing up. I was dizzy and I felt like I was going to have a seizure (I do have epilepsy and ADHD) and blood was coming out both my nostrils but mainly my right side.
Then we started moving and I could tell I was staggering but the officers at my sides were guiding me.
I could only open my left eye briefly before the gas would start burning again and everything was pitch black on the right side.
I was blinking my left eye sort of. I kept opening it but I was missing pieces. I remember seeing the outside Rec. yard door and hearing a male voice on my right say “gate” then I heard a female voice say “oh, my God”.
The next time I was able to open my left eye there was a tile floor. Then it went black again.
At the time, I remember asking whoever was on my right side why I can't see, but got no response.
Then in the distance behind us, I believe it was Sgt. Poole say “put him in the cage” and a female voice, I assume was the nurse say “Oh, now, he's going to have to go to the hospital. He's bleeding bad.”
And Poole said “Take him to 10 Building”.
Then we walked for a long long long time. Well, it seemed that way. I remember there was a tile floor, then black, then a tile floor, then black, a tile floor, then it got cold as fuck all of the sudden and there was a red carpet, then a cement floor then black, then a cement floor, then it was warm and there was a tile floor again. And a couple of times after that there was a tile floor then they told me to sit on something but it was too high up and they picked me up and set me on it. I assume it was the little doctor bed at the clinic.
The nurse asked me to open my right eye. I said “It is open, but I can't see.” (It was actually swelled shut.) She then said again, “He's going to have go to to the hospital.”
Now due to the length of this story I have decided to cut it short here and make this a tow part article. The damage done by the team was a fractured right cheekbone and my eyeball was bruised. The whit part of my eye was literally black.
I will finish the rest of the story in a part two article. I decided to cut it short because I am already on the 10th page and I don't want to take too much space of my good friend Mr. Cartwright's web-page, because unfortunately, he has an execution date and he has priority because of that.
So to all you people out there reading, save it, print it out or memorize it, so you can read it and part 2 together so you can get the whole story.
But before I go, I do have something to get off my chest Shy-Town. That something is to you, my friend.
We met on 01/06/2005. I remember, I saw you in the day room and you were talking to Lizerd. Then a day or so later, Lizerd hollered down to you and said “Ghost is a good little dude” and you said “Oh, ya? I don't know. I don't know him, but I'll get to know him. We'll definitely do that.”
Now, there is a difference between being cool and being friends. I believe in order for tow people to become friend, they must both make a sacrifice and one must take that first step from being cool into the friendship zone.
Now, in my eyes, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you took that first step. You took it on Monday, January 10, 2005. Lizerd was going hard and you were suppose to go the next day but us 3 were joking how we stole your thunder.
Do you remember 01/10/2005? That was the day you told me “Handcuff yourself to the door and don't worry. They won't gas you!”
Well, just after I was gassed and stuck to the door and couldn't avoid it, my good friend here hollered through the vent, “Jesus, I'm sorry Ghost. They weren't suppose to do that.”
Well, as he put is, people, “It was a slight miscalculation on my part”.
Well, how did you cross that line? You went hard for me. That night on 2nd shift you faded the team.
When, I came back to F-Pod, your exact words, “I got ran in on because I felt bad for what they did to you”. You did it. You took the first step. You made the sacrifice.
All I can say to you now is that if you need me, you call me. I don't care what pod or level I'm on.
I don't believe for one second that you deserve this bullshit “justifiable homicide” that has been forced upon you. Since I found out you got a date. I pray everyday that you get a stay. You DESERVE A STAY!
You need me, you call. I'll be there.
I'm out homeboy,
I'll get part 2 of this article to you A.S.A.P.
Today is March 16, 2005 at 11:30 a.m. and I'm finally back in the saldle again. Andy's murder really hit me heard. Like I've said a few times before, it just does not get any easier.
Actually it gets harder and harder as the murders pile up and continue to grow with no end in site. I would say no hope, but most have hope, the ones that have lost that end up crazy or committing suicide.
Speaking of suicide, we had another prisoner hang himself on the 10th of this month. Now, this was not a death row prisoner, but it was and Ad-Seg prisoner from population.
Now this prisoner, although, he is from population, was housed on 12 building with death row. (Let me explain the lay-out before I go on. Death row is housed in 12 building. 12 building has six pods, A through F pod. Now each pod has six sections with 14 cells in each section. 7 on 2 row and 7 on one row. For instance, A pod A section has 14 cells, A pod B section has 14 cells, A pod C section, the same, d,e,f sections the same. Now on F pod, a,b,c and d sections are for the Ad-Seg prisoners from population and e and f sections are for death row.) See this 12 building was built as PUNISHMENT HOUSING for the trouble making type of prisoners from population. The ones who had repeated assaults against staff and other prisoners. Just violent disciplinary offenders.
How they justify putting death row in this type of housing is completely beyond me. Per capita death row has far and I mean far less assaultive cases than any population group with the same numbers.
Anyway, back to the John Doe who offed himself last week. I do not know his name nor do I know his reason why. I can guess but it is not my place to do so.
It saddens me that another man has decided to kill himself instead of being locked in a cage 23 yours a day. This is a man who was not sentenced to die, there was light at the end of his proverbial tunnel.
I find it ironic as I sit here and fight for my life with tooth and nail against the odds trying to just survive and others just let it go and give it up.
Time for another quote I would think.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” -Norman Cousins-
A lot of men get over here to death watch and start living waiting to die. That, to me, is it's own form of death. Tomorrow is promised to NO ONE!!!
I do not want nothing to die inside me while I am still living. I have too many happy and loving memories in my life to comfort me when times get rough. I have too many loving and caring people in MY LIFE!!
I apologize if I sound a tad bit melodramatic in my writings today. It must be the gray and gloomy skies combined with the memory of Andy and the newest suicide here on 12 building and together is a little hard for me to swallow.
3 more days is all I can see to now. Three more days and I can look into my Lil Ricki's beautiful and innocent eyes and hear that laughter and see the crooked teeth smile of hers and all is better for a time. She has the uncanny ability to chase away all of Daddy's boggy-men and she does not even know it.
Someday she will, someone will tell her, someone will show her my letters, my drawing. Probably the same women who will be bringing her to see me. That, of course, would be my wonderful and loving mother. Everyone's rock to lean on. She will be full of love, hugs and tickle bugs for her granddaughter as she fights back the tears that I'm not supposed to see.
We will also have another special person with us this visit. That's right, Suzanne, the wonderfully dedicated woman who retypes all my ranting and ravings for y'all to read. This will be the first time I meet Suzanne face to face even tho' I already feel like I've known her for years. She sure knows me along with the rest of you who read the Uncensored articles.
Her help with Uncensored is just one of many ways that Susi has supported me. She has offered me her personal friendship and has invited me into her home to share with me all her funny stories about her army of kids and loving husband.
Suzanne, you really have been a great big help in so many different ways. Thank you so much.
Another person I should have thanked LONG before now is Sabine Hauer. Sabine has been running my original web-site and so much more for the past, what...4 years.
Sabine, I was looking through my Uncensored articles the other day and was extremely ashamed of myself for not telling you Thank You. Thank you first and foremost for all you did for my brother, Paul, and the others you wrote and write here on the row.
Also, thank you for way back when when you offered to help me start my first web-site when I did not even really understand the “internet” and it's power.
Please, send me your home address so I can write you personally once again. It has been far too long my friend. You've really been burning both ends of the candle once again for me lately and giving my family much needed encouragement and support.
Now to the Thunder Down Under!! Hey, I kinda like that one there. I give you the “green light” on what you asked me about. Thank you once again for all your encouraging words. I will write you later on this week or first thing next week.
I would also like to thank my investigator. Of course I do not know if I'm supposed to keep you identity secret so for now I will.
This person has on their own free will and free of charge offered their help out of kindness and the zeal to find the truth and get justice done.
I do not know what you are doing right now, but I know you are doing your best and for that, I thank you very much. Please feel free to ask me anything you need to when you need to.
The good news is that Pablo Melendez, Jr. will NOT be murdered tonight as was the States plans. He has received a stay of execution for the time being anyway.
Wow, that is 3 stays for the month of March so far. Congrats Pablo and to the Texas Defenders Service for stepping up to the plate, free of charge and bringing up issues that his paid lawyer failed to do to get Pablo this stay. If it we not for organizations such as these, there would be far more men executed monthly.
It is very, very scary to say the least. It amazes me that the ones being paid are always the ones that drop the ball. It makes sense thou'. The lawyers given to us by the State get paid the same amount of money if their writs fail or succeed. The thing is if they write successful writs, they have more work to follow up on and get paid a big fat ) for their extra efforts. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that an unsuccessful writ is in there own benefit and that is just the way the system here in the State of Texas likes it, I'm sure! You get paid to fail! No wonder the lady of justice is blindfolded. Jeesshh, she'd have to be blind to miss all the backwood ways of Texas' good ole boy system of injustice.
I also want to say another thank you to Major Nelson here on the row. She has once again let me off my level 2 status earlier than police states in order to allow me more visits with my family and friends. She did not have to do this, nor was she obligated to do this, but none-the-less, she did it, anyway.
Now, if she would just help me talk these people into letting me make parole, I'd really be happy. Hell, if I'm gonna dream, I'm gonna dream big! HA!HA!HA!BOO_HOOBOO_HOO!!!
I also want to thank everyone who has signed the online petition for me. It gives me great encouragement to see all the names piling up in that area.
Also, thank you very much Mouse for the extra work you put into the intro for the petition. You really are awesome ACE!!
Go Vikings! There, I said it!! Happy?
I always said if I have to go, I did not want to go quietly. I always meant that I would physically fight to the end. I feel really blessed to have so many supporting me and listening to what I write and really listening not just hearing, or reading, y'all know what I mean. I feel like I'm fighting now. I feel like my writings are getting to far more people than if I would fight the system physically.
I'm not being quiet, I'm making noise and a difference. Maybe not a great big difference, but a difference none-the-less. I would not know this if not for all the wonderful letters and e-mails and signing of the petition.....I just wanted to say thank you to all you out there who give a damn.
I've had a few letters even stating that before reading what I wrote, they were for the death penalty and are now against it. That makes all the time and effort I put into the writing worth every last minute. Not to take away from all y'all who have been fighting against the death machine for far more years than even me. It is an uphill battle but then again, any battle worth fighting usually is.
It has been 36 days since I found out I had an execution date. It seems like just a week ago. Damn, time is really flying by this past month. It is overwhelming at times.
I just looked at my calendar and realized that my 8 year anniversary is tomorrow! I was brought to the Texas death row on March 17, 1997 St. Patrick's Day! I guess I have no luck of the Irish in my blood, eh?.....
I know I'm kinda jumping around here but my mind likes to wonder now and again. The next date scheduled is for March 23, 2005. His names is Steven Staley and I'm pretty sure he will also receive a stay. He has been gone on a bench warrant for the past 2 weeks and I've heard nothing but I know him well enough to believe that he has a tremendous chance of getting the Penry issue. That is the mental retardation issue. I poke no fun at this man by saying this, it is just, well, it is just fact. I wish him all the luck in getting the stay.
Alright, I can see my head really not into this right now, so I will end this one here with thanks to all of you out there who care enough to read this.
May God Bless you all and your families and friends.In Struggle and Solidarity,
It is right now 11:18 a.m. and in about 45 minutes the death van shall be here to pick up the next sacrifice in the name of Texas infamous justice!!
I hate the way I feel right now, how I feel is absolutely 110% useless and helpless, almost even hopeless. One of the worst things about the death penalty, or at least my death penalty is all the innocent people that have been here for me while on the row and all the innocent people that will be hurt if they kill me in 58 days.
I digress tho’, let’s get back to the “man of the hour”! Steven Staley….it is hard to say what I have to say without seeming like I’m poking fun at him, which I am NOT!! Steven is a good 9 cents short of a dime. He is not retarded but he is damn near crazy as can be.
Most people who have dates and get executed spend their last three days on earth out at visitation with their loved ones. Steven Staley has not had one single visit this past week and will not receive any visits.
Off to the Walls Unit he will go. Who cares? Who will miss him? Who will mourn for him? Does he have family that even knows he has a date? Do they just not care? Are they maybe too poor to afford the trip?
Steven Staley will go to his death quieter than most and it is very sad. He has no one.
I’ve tried to talk to him a few times when I went to the dayroom, asking if he needs some coffee or food. “Do you believe in God?” “You want to talk?”
He just looked at me like I was the crazy one and maybe I am. Fuck sometimes it is hard to tell.
Steven has not said much to anyone these last few days.
The rank has been going to his cell about every 15 minutes to make sure he does not kill himself! How ignorant is that? They come and ask him “how ya doing today, guy? Ya doing alright?”
He does not respond and that makes them even more nervous.
I’ve hollered over the run a few times to tell them to leave him alone, “why are you all of a sudden worried about him killing himself. Do you feel that will cheat y’alls injustice out of some blood? Dead is dead, no? Oh, my bad, he must be murdered by the State or it just don’t count? M.F.’ers!!”
I don’t mean to cuss and I know I show my ass when I do, but I cuss when I’m pissed and I’m pissed so….Not really pissed, just frustrated, frustrated about all the Steven Staley’s on the row. Suffering from mental illness, no way to reach out and ask for help, a friendship, all the things I have deeply depended on throughout my miserable trip through TDCJ!!!
Staley is by far not the only man on the row with similar circumstances.
I’m guilty too. Hell, he has been here ever since I drove up and this is the first time I’ve taken the time to pay him any mind at all. I cannot even recall ever once hearing his name until I got to deathwatch.
I was sure he would get a stay, but than again I ain’t running nothing!!!
Nothing but my mouth. I’m good at that, eh? Do not answer that anybody, it was a rhetorical question.
Yes, Mouse, that means you smart-ass!! Yeah, I know you well.
How alone do you think that man feels right now? Man I cannot even imagine, no one to say “hey, I love you…..I will keep your memory alive in my heart. You’ll be missed. You made a difference……”
It is 11:48 a.m. and they are here to strip search and humiliated Mr. Staley one last time.
I’ll be back…..let me go to my door and listen and watch…..
They escort Steven to the legal cage in the hall to await the death van.
At noon high the “gang” gathers around outside to await the arrival of the condemned man and the van.
At 12:05 p.m. the van arrives and they have Steven standing by waiting for the van to back up to load the “cargo”!! Steven is loaded up handcuffed and shackled into a cage in the back of the death van.
The men in the van and the 16 or so men from Polunsky Unit stand around shaking hands, some hugs and good game pats all around as the condemned man sites in his new cage and awaits the journey, as I stand in my window and watch it all once again.
The van finally leaves at 12:09 p.m. off to the Walls Unit they go.
Now once the van is outside the prison perimeter, all the guys in the van get their AK-47’s and whatever pistols they need. There will be a lead car and a chase care that will also be loaded up with some gun-toting hillbillies just incase someone is fool enough to do a last minute prison break!
I think too many Westerns have been watched by all. I mean the whole high noon pick up alone is kinda ridiculous in my eyes. The men going to the Walls Unit does not die until at least 6 p.m…
Once again, I know I am way too close to this whole situation to write an unbiased account of all I see. It is too personal, way too damn personal, so you must read this and keep in mind this is through the eyes of a man who is awaiting this same fate to befall him in 58 days.
Now all we can do is wait ‘til the new is broadcasted on the a.m. radio to see what fate has in store for Steven Staley.
I would like to share a poem that a British prisoner wrote. His name is Danny Mansell.
They say that
justice is not a privilege but a right.
How am I to believe this, when I’m locked up day and night?
Away from my loved ones, my family and friends,
The pain, the heartache never ends.
But if you only listen, like they used to do.
Now you’re just a number, no one believes in you.
But if you listen, listen carefully and hear,
I’m sure you should believe I really shouldn’t be here.
Send away this innocent man, keep him under lock and key.
Send him off to prison to protect the likes of you and me.
We’re all too quick to judge and condemn,
Especially if it’s not happening to us, but only happening to them.
These miscarriages of justice keep happening every year.
Everybody listens, but how many really hear?
Years of fighting to right the wrongs,
The guilty one walks free, instead of where he belongs.
Think of all the other ones, who have fought this terrifying fight.
Yet still nothing is done to make the system right.
We could all site back and do nothing and think the system is fine.
Nest time the pain and heartache, could be yours instead of mine.”
I’m out of here for the day, people. Please stay strong and keep on fighting the good fight.
In Struggle and
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351
STEVEN STALEY GOT A STAY!!! :)`
Well flipping the calendar over this morning brought me back to my cruel reality too quickly!
Man this crap is nerve-racking to say the least. It is just not normal to know the exact date of your own murder, or Justifiable Homicide, as what the State of Texas writes on one’s death certificate.
There are two fellas that have a date coming up here on April 20th!! A double-header no less. Douglas Roberts, TDCJ # 999218 and Milton Mathis, TDCJ # 999337.
It amazes me how quickly the State of Texas Appeals process is working; it scares me too. Think about this for a minute…the few men who were lucky enough to prove their innocence and escape the slaughter house have an average of 10 to 20 plus years in order to prove the cover-ups and conspiracies….10 to 20 years.
Now Texas has this new Anti-Terrorist Bill that allows the process to be sped up. WHY??? Damn, it really does not seem all that hard to figure out. What is the hurry all of a sudden.
Since this law came out almost 9 years ago, the average stay on the row is anywhere from 5 to 8 years.
Hell, look at Milton’s TDCJ #!!#999337!!! He came to the row in December of 1999! A double header. Man on man that is real sick there.
On top of this reality, we also have to deal with a plethora of ignorant officers. Not too long ago my neighbor, Lonnie Pursley, who has a date with death on May 3, 2005, had on of the 2 steel screen slots in his cell door covered. The officers can still see in his cell with no problem.
Usually a prisoner will do this to let everyone who comes to the dayroom know that he does not wish to be bothered. Maybe he is writing letters, daydreaming, private time when they need it, and on death watch we seem to need it a lot more than usual.
Anyway, this older female officer comes by to pick up trays and after she gets to Lonnie’s tray, she says “Take that out of you screen” real snotty ass tone in her voice.
Lonnie obviously in a bad mood to begin with says “You just couldn’t stop yourself from saying something, just couldn’t.”
She says something smart, I could not hear, at this time I was the prisoner in the dayroom cage.
Anyway, Lonnie says “you’re a sorry bitch!!”
This woman turns around and says “Your exactly where you belong, you jerk!”
This man is sitting in a death watch cell waiting to die and she says that shit to him.
He called her a bitch, so that justifies death! Come on, even for the people out there who believe in the death penalty, this is a little extreme, no.
This kind of thing happens on a DAILY basis.
I promise you I will learn this officer’s name and publish it on the next Uncensored. Hell, she will most likely be proud of it and share it with her grandkids!
I keep thinking of the Steven Staley’s of the row with no break from the madness.
I mean I had 2 awesome visits the last 2 weeks of last month. I got to see my mom, Rickie, and Suzie on the 19th which was a real treat.
Lil’ Ricki wearing her “LIL MISS ATTITUDE” outfit that Grandma bought her. She does got a spunky lil attitoot to !HA!HA!HA! I always tell her this and hence the outfit. Grandma helping us bond in whatever ways she can.
Suzanne, the lady who runs this website, was also there for the first time and got to watch all this take place. She wrote about it and I read what she had to say and it was right on the money.
Ricki was very quiet and distracted Saturday. Smiling her little crooked freak-faced smile! I always like to watch the playing between Ricki and her Grandma Irene, it touches my heart deeply to see how close they are and how much love they have for each other. Grandma spoils her and feeds her tons of sugary treats from the vending machines and than gets to drop her back off with her mother to deal with the Wired up version of Lil Miss Attitoot!HA!HAH!AH!HA! Go Ricki!! GIRLPOWER!!!!
On the next Saturday, my wife brought Ricki to see me which was also a great treat. They act like they are sisters more than anything else.
Ricki loves how Melissa does up her hair and dresses her up…and all those other girlie type things. To see those two interact so well together really give me a lot of peace and happiness. One more person in Ricki’s life who loves her and it is obvious Mel loves Rick.
It amazes me how many people have come into my life and my family’s life due to my circumstances.
Which brings me back to the Steven Staleys of the row with no one or nothing. Some say that is the better way to do time, with no worries, no heartbreaks. I say F*&$ that! I cannot imagine going though this alone. I might be being selfish, but I’m also being honest.
I’ve been receiving so many letters, just stacks and stacks of letters. It is amazing how many people care enough to take time out to write to me.
I feel bad that I cannot afford to write y’all back. No, I am not asking for money. I have enough to buy the 30 stamps I can buy every two weeks, but we are limited to only buying 30!
People have been trying to send me paper, envelopes, stamps…but I am not allowed to receive those things through the mail. NOTHING but letters, cards and photos.
The real bad things is I cannot afford to send these things back to the kind-hearted people who send them to me, so TDCJ gets to keep them…so please stop trying to send me writing supplies…I do appreciate the efforts, though.
Those of you reading this who are waiting for my reply, now you know why you are waiting. Please do not think it is from lack of wanting to write you. I need to write you and want to thank every last one of the people who have written me, e-mailed me, signed my petition, wrote mom and other loved ones on my behalf.
Thank you all so much for making such a great big difference in my life. With every letter I read my happiness and hope grows stronger and stronger.
I hope my lack of ability to write back does not alienate or hurt anybodies feelings because it is not personal. I will write when I can, I promise you that.
I would like to talk about some other troublesome issues here on the row. First and the biggest by far is the sad and declining fast state of the food they try and feed us. Rotten beans and mush. They have this habit of taking a small piece of corn bread and putting some corn and saucy stuff over it and that is you main course. This is like two or three bites at the most.
The food is always cold. ALWAYS!!
No, we have been through this problem before and raised a big enough fuss that it got to the point that the rank was randomly taking pictures of the food trays and sending them to Huntsville. Now it seems no one wants to get out there and stand up for better food.
Crying about it to the officers or over the internet just don’t get it and that is what all we want to do. I mean we can write grievances but not too many bother because they know they are useless, nothing ever gets done but what they fail to realize is you have to justify your actions by laying the groundwork in writing trying to do the right thing.
This food is not fit for animal consumption and that is no lie.
The proof of this is all the men on F-POD who no longer are allowed to go to commissary because they are “bad”! I was down there for what, 2 ½ months and lost 18 pounds! The time I spent a year down there I went from 225 pounds down to 167 pounds!! I’m 6’2” tall so 225 is not fat, it is average if I’m not mistaken.
This is an ongoing issue that resurfaces every few months, but if we stand idly by and except it, it will not get better just worse.
I hate to talk about it, because truthfully, I’m not willing to get out there with these people and lose my visits with my family and friends so close to my date. I feel almost like I’m crying wolf, but I’ve been hearing so much bitching and complaining about this shitty food that I feel I gotta say something.
Here is another issue that many people who visit death row prisoners can concede to. Sometimes visitors wait 2 or 3 hours for their prisoner to be brought out to visit them. Often times, they get cheated out of the visitation time because the officers take so long to get the prisoners out to their visit.
Now the stander line or lie is we are short handed! BULLCORN! (THINKING OF YOU, ANDY)
It is because the escort officers drop someone off and than they sit their asses around gossiping with each other, or walking slow because they do not like the next prisoner they have to get, or are just plain lazy.
Escort officers are often the Ranking officers favorite or pet officers who do not have to work on the pods. They get away with what they want to which really is fine by me, until it starts to affect MY visits with my family!!! Short handed my ass! LAZY!!!
Hell, I had my last visit on March 29th with Mel and after she left I sat out there for 2 hours waiting to go back.
That is not so bad as having to wait 2 hours to get out there tho’, but still, it is ridiculous.
If they are that far behind, maybe the rank should get off their asses and help the escort teams catch up! That make too much sense tho’!
Our visits are just not a priority to these people and that much is more than obvious. Little do they know those visits are the main reason so many guys back here stay cool and in control of their frustrations.
They are never short handed or lacking ranking officers when they are getting ready to gas or beat up someone, NEVER!!!! Gungho then, all about I wanta I wanta!! Then there are always the 4 or 5 officers just standing around to watch the show while they could be escorting people to visit!
Let me move on because I know I can go on forever on this subject. I cannot tolerate it when these people mess with my family and friends. I’m one thing, but they are off limits, period!!!
I want to touch on something else that I find kinda funny. 90% of the people out who are for the death penalty have a real cowardly way going about their beliefs. Not all but most.
I sat here the other day reading all the names and messages on my petition and EVERY SINGLE NEGATIVE message was comments like “fry the bastards”, “Is the guy dead yet?”, “People who stickup for murders are the lowest kind!” Yet not one of these people choose to leave a real e-mail address or anything else. How cowardly is that?
Okay, you want me dead. I would think you could find a more civil way to express your feelings. What would be wrong with “I believe that you are guilty and deserve to be executed”?
“Fry the bastard???” I mean that is cruel not only to me, but my family. Would you say that to my mother…my wife, my daughter? NO, you would not, because you are a coward.
I have very mixed feelings about this. Don’t get me wrong. I think about someone hurting my baby and I see red for real. I can respect someone who believes in the death penalty, this is America and it is everyone’s free choice to believe what they will.
I am more than willing to discuss the death penalty with anyone out there. Let’s try and do it in a civilized manner, tho’. Besides, when you get out there with those ignorant comments, it is hard to convince people who are already against the death penalty.
Argue your points across. I will say out of the 300 plus signatures, only about 5 were negative and not one of those five left an answering e-mail address.
So thank you all for you support.
Alright, I will end this one here. Please stay in strength and keep fighting the good fight. No fight worth fighting is ever easy.
The Death Penalty in America will end someday, just stay strong and believe you are the one who can make the difference to tip the scales of justice and end this mass slaughtering!
God Bless you all and keep you safe.
and Fading All
Richard Michael Cartwright
The following are words from Patrick Bryan Knight, #999072:
“The following comments are the cranial discharge of an illiterate genius and social extrovert. Should these comments offend any person employed by or married and/or related to any person employed by the Texas Department of Criminally unjust….I mean Criminal Justice, please understand, I DON’T CARE! Refer any comments or complaints to Mr. Patrick Bryan Knight, #999072, if it is a complaint, include you address, so I can have my baby sister beat you up!
Oh, what a wonderful place we do reside in! If you have not heard about the November suicide of young Mr. Tumblin or if you have please listen to a first hand account of what truly happened.
I cannot say what Tumblin’s mindset was. Who could other than he. He was already sent to Jester 4 Unit the week before, after he ingested large amounts of medication in his initial suicide attempt.
I don’t know how other people would interpret this action, but to me it says he’s…um, well let’s see…SUICIDAL.
I won’t argue with a man’s belief or desire to kill himself when they are living in the conditions we do. Suicide can save you family prolonged pain and suffering while we sit in here. Plus, it robs the State of a victim for their Chamber of Death and steals away the prosecutor’s media circus before, during and immediately after our executions.
So a week after the first attempt, Mr. Tumblin came back from disciplinary court facing yet another bogus case against Mr. Tumblin in a long standing campaign of harassment against him by these people in gray.
Now, understand Tumblin received plenty of cases he was guilty of but he did his time and only wanted to go to Level on and see his mother on a special visit. This is when the people in gray decided to put their foot on his neck.
Mr. Tumblin was put in cage number 58 at around 4:00 p.m.
I was placed in the recreation cage at around 4:30 p.m.
At 5:38 p.m., Officers Grey and Trailer came to E Section to feed us our evening slop. After repeated calling Tumblin to the door and banging on the door with the steel slot bar, Mrs. Grey asked for the cell lights to be turned on.
When the lights illuminated Tumblin’s body, both officers screamed and became panicked.
CO Grey called for rank. She yelled for the picked officer to call for rank, because her brief visual of Tumblin gave her the impression he had not only hung himself, but also cut his throat.
Note, up to this point, no medical staff had been called for.
At 5:43 p.m., nearly 35 officers including several Lieutenants and four or six Sergeants arrived. Lt. King told Sgt. Putnam to spray pepper gas on Tumblin. Sgt. Putnam followed these orders twice, possibly three times. The crowded bodies blocked my view for the moment.
At 5:46 p.m. everyone around 58 cage were coughing and sneezing because the idiots forgot to get gas masks, so they sent for some.
Note, at this time no medical staff had been called for.
At 5:48-49 p.m., officer (CO III) Bennett returned with the appropriate masks.
At 5:51 p.m., Tumblin’s door was opened and he was cut down.
At 5:54 p.m., after many of the officers present had paraded in and out of 58 cage to see the body, Lt. Duff, finally, called for medical personnel.
At 5:58, two nurses came in to E-Section. I could only see Mr. Tumblin’s feet at this time. One Nurse stepped into the cell and immediately stood back up and shook her head.
The other nurse stepped in and only stood over the body then stepped out to allow the officers to lift Mr. Tumblin’s body to a waiting gurney at which point the second nurse check Mr. Tumblin’s pulse in his neck. Again, she shook her head and they slowly walked him by me out and of the section.
They waited by the door for a few moments speaking to each other then they took his body off the pod. It was now 6:10 p.m. when he was removed for the pod.
Let me add a few things to this.
1. At no time
were any of us convicts quiet. We were yelling for medical staff from the
moment we realized the guards were not.
2. Though procedure does require staff to use pepper spray to keep individual from faking death only to assault officers as they come in, the slow reactions and excessive use of spray could cost a person their life.
3. The complete unprofessionalsm of the use of the staff that day is not a singular incident. That is everyday.
Now of course TDCJ reported to the press and to Mr. Tumblin’s family that they took and performed every ‘heroic’ effort to revive Mr. Tumblin. That is the way of TDCJ.
I can back my account of this tragic incident with statements from other men who were on E Pod E Section at the time and, believe it or not, by a few officers who were sickened my what happened.
One who I’ll not name, except to say said officer was traumatized and actually shed tears as Mr. Tumblin was pushed past. I thank you for you show of humanity and compassion.
Let us not venture too deep towards the Darkside. Nay, let’s not. In fact, we’ll stay off the subject of Maj. Nelson’s ass.
But speaking of Capt. Wickersham, let me please relate why I was on Level 2 to begin with. I was snitched on by Mr. Brazil and given a case of Drunk Driving. That’s ‘Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage’ to you on the outside.
Anyway, as I entered the office of Capt. Wichersham, I voiced my protest to him being the Death Row Capt. and being the Disciplinary Capt. For Death Row. He can’t do that.
It’s the same as a D.A. being a judge, too.
He shrugged off my protest and proceeded to convict me, however, I have 14 years under my belt therefore, I’m only marginally stupid which is twice as smarter ‘dan ‘dem.
After requesting proof that there was alcohol present in the bottle, they presented as evidence and them failing to do so and Sgt. Pool admitting that it didn’t smell like alcohol, Capt. Wickersham dismissed the confounded Sgt. And puzzled quietly over how to punish someone who proved their innocence.
I gloated too early, because he started the tape and stated “at this time, I’m altering the charge to ‘possession of contraband’ i.e. ‘candy in juice’ to which I politely yelled, “That’s bullshit, you can’t do that!”
He informed me of my right to appeal his decision through the grievance system, which everyone here knows replies are handled by a trained monkey in a cage somewhere with a rubber stamp.
I grievanced it. Sure enough, my grievance was denied.
However, when I spoke to Warden Jones face to face and explained what went down, to his credit, he check into it and gave my level back 37 days early, because
1. Capt. Wickersham
was not supposed to be over Disciplinary.
2. Capt. Wickersham could not alter a charge to find me guilty because I proved I was innocent of the initial charge.
3. Candy in juice is no contraband.
May I please state some facts here about the now and the then? A tour group came to catch a visual of Death Row and the infamous Death Watch cells. I noted there were around 10 or 11 women and 1 man. Now I could be wrong. That 1 man could have been an ugly bald headed woman, if so I do apologize.
Some Lieutenant was giving some prewritten script extolling the virtues of these ‘heroic’ guards and those bestial inmates. He explained how – in this fantasy version – our days were conducted and how fairly and humanly we were treated.
What was funny was that whoever this Lieutenant was in all my years on Death Row, I’ve never seen that dud before. What the heel would he know about somewhere he’s never been? Only what he’s heard, only what he’s read. Hell, I’ve read Kung-Fu books and seen Jackie Chan movies, that doesn’t mean I can tell you about China. That fool would probably tell you Ted Bundy was on C-Pod.
FACT: On this unit no man can leave his assigned cage, dayroom or recreation hole unless he is handcuffed with tow officers armed with pepper gas to escort him wherever he may go.
FACT: On Ellis 1 Unit, 60 men were released from their assigned cages, uncuffed, unbound, all at the same moment, with only one officer to oversee them.
FACT: On Polunsky Unit Officers threatened to quit if Death Row were given a work program allowing us to move around as porters to clean and painters. Even the big male officers who workout and talk all that B.S. threatened to quit.
FACT: On Ellis, that one guard who was overseeing those 60 men who were uncuffed and moving about freely. That guard was usually a female and most times she was in later stages of pregnancy.
FACT: Since Death Row was put on the Polunsky Unit, the incidence of assaults towards officers and convicts have quadrupled. Yet, it still does not amount to 15% of what happens in population.
FACT: There are 20 times the amount of men in population that have even more heinous crimes than on Death Row. Murderer, Rapists, Child Molester, Serial Killers.
FACT: There are men on Death Row who are first time offenders, never had trouble with the laws and didn’t even commit the actual act of murder. They’re partner did. Yet Gary Ridgeway, one of the notorious Serial Killers in history, confessed to killing over 48 women and showing where most of the unfound bodies were is where? In Population with a life sentence because why? He’d helped police solve the cases. That is the American Justice System.
FACT: There is a man on Death Row here whose partner/friend confessed to killing a woman, confessed he was alone when he did it, wrote a note to his friend apologizing because the cops would take his truck ‘cause it was used in the crime. The judge in the trial during trial stated to the DA ‘So basically you have no real proof against this man’, yet he still got the Death Sentence. He’s a 21-year Army Veteran who served in BOTH Iraq wars and was in other Combat Hot Countries in between those wars. He was going to sin back up after spending the summer with his son. Don’t believe me? His name is Cleve Foster SFC, Retired out of Ft. Worth. Look on the internet and see for yourself. That is the Texas Justice System.
Let us now spin away from those dark thoughts to enjoy some poetry inspired by the years spent watching brother after brother and a few sisters get murdered.
I thank you for your time and understanding. Please enjoy my musings written normally during a bout of inebriation….oh…of the spiritual sense that is :). I’ve been called Schizophrenic (a Psychotic Disorder) and labeled as having Multiple Personality Disorder. They are actually quite fun and we are never alone.
In Multiple Unity with myself and anyone who wants to join me/us in a blissful reprieve of a psychotic episode.
‘DO IT FOR JOHNNY MAN, FOR JOHNNY!!’
Patrick Bryan Knight
and friends!! LSU #1”
The following is from Clint Young, #999447
“I wrote an article for ‘Uncensored’ back in February on the 6th. It was about recent suicides.
One of the points that I made in my last article was how everyone who has killed themselves, I know them. Well, I will be damned if it didn’t happened again.
On March 10th and ad-seg inmate hum himself.
Richard has already written about this event, though he didn’t know any of the details. They guy who hung himself only had 6 months ‘til it was time for him to go home (so I was told).
The officers did attempt to save his life. He died in route to the hospital. His death was a matter of minutes and seconds.
I did not know his name, but I did speak to him once. He was not really all with us upstairs. I got the impression that he was burnt out from drugs.
Many might wonder why someone who was going home in 6 months would and it all. Well, maybe he was going to be homeless in 6 months.
When an average offender’s time is up, they get a hundred dollars and a bus ticket. Wherever the offender goes is up to him. Some have nowhere to go, so they hit the streets, then the cycle repeats itself. Drugs, crime and back to prison!
I do not know who I have pissed of in my life. But I am tried of my neighbors killing themselves!
Since I am on Death Row and he was in seg., we were housed on different sections. Though we can still communicate. It is all a sad situation.
Now to switch topics, I want to talk about Richard and his situation. I talked to him at visit on the 26th of March. He was two booths down from me, visiting his wife and daughter.
I was visiting my wife.
I looked down and when I looked back up, his daughter was standing behind my wife smiling and waving at me.
I smiled and waved back.
Now I do not have any kids, so I cannot even begin to attempt to try to guess what Richard is going through. (My wife has a five year old daughter who I have grown close to.)
I could see in the reflection of a glass window, as he visited his family, has well as hear him. I saw and heard a very proud man.
I laughed as him and his daughter danced a little dance they have :). After all it is not everyday I see a guy dancing like a chicken :) Ha-Ha!
When the visitors left, I looked at the glass and saw him holding his head as the emotional weight took its toll. I knew he would have enough time to think when he got back to his cell.
So I hollered at him. I wanted to tell him it will be all right, but I respect the man too much to be to him. Many people rely on hope to carry them through this struggle.
-Friedrich Nietzsche wrote ‘Hope is the worst of evils for it prolongs the torment of man.’-
The truthfulness of his words is up for debate. Though my experiences in life cause me to agree with him. The reality is we are all here to be murdered by the State. After we die our families will then be ‘family members of a murder victim’.
So the cycle goes on. The pain doesn’t stop. No one wins.
True some will get pleasure from having so called Revenge! In the Nichomacheon Ethics of Aristotle, he wrote about revenge as ‘men regard it as their right to return evil for evil – and, if they cannot, feel they have lost this liberty.’
This stands true in the American Society. ‘He done this, so I got to do this’, way of thinking. Keep the cycle going!
Well, I am drifting from the point.
When I was talking to Richard, he informed me of all the people who are fighting for him. I could tell that he really appreciates it all!
Now I was housed in the death watch section for two weeks. I did not have a date. I was housed in a management cell for security reasons. Basically, a management cell is a secured cell. It has plexi glass on the door and the sides are welded up. Like a Level III cell in F-Pod.
Well, I had an associate on Death Watch with a date to die. All I could think about was getting moved before they killed him. I jacked dayrooms, got gassed and the whole nine yards. They still kept putting me back in the same cell. Though after 2 weeks they finally moved me.
While over there, I got to talk to several of the guys waiting to die. There were 12. A few expressed a lot of hope. One eve said ‘they are not going to kill me’. All 12 were executed!
A few talked about how a lot of people have joined their team to fight for them. I could only wonder ‘is it too late?’
It is not that I have a negative attitude. I face reality.
I do not think that many in the outside world fully grasp how the cards are actually stacked against us. I mean we are dealing with a court system that has ruled that ‘Innocence does not matter so long as the defendant got a fair trial.’ Fairness is judged by who’s holding the gun.
I am drifting again!
I have not known Richard for that long. He is on of those people who when you first meet him, you automatically like him.
After getting back to my cell from visit, I though about his daughter, my stepdaughter and both of our situations.
As the tears stung my eyes, I could only think ‘Is it too late?’
No matter what, the fight must go on. A lot of people get involved in the death penalty struggle by becoming friends with a convict on the row. When he gets executed, they loose interest a lot of times. Just too much pain!
There is a story about a little girl who was walking along a beach. She saw dozens of starfish stranded on the beach, so she began to run and throw them back in the water as fast as she could. An old man was watching her the whole time.
He called out ‘little girl, what are you doing?’
She replied ‘trying to save the starfish’ and the man said ‘but you can not possibly save them all!’
The girl then said ‘I know, but as long as I save just one, then I have made a difference’.
No matter what happens, you can’t give up. If you give up, the system wins.
My point is this. To all who are fighting for Richard, I as well as everyone else, that have love and respect for him, really appreciate it.
If the worst-case scenario occurs, don’t loose focus. Use what you learned from him and his experience to guide you through the next battle.
Many battles will be lost before the war is won. If you give up, then every battle fought was in vain.
In a speech by Winston Churchill in 1940, he said ‘Victory at all costs, Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.’
Use the pain to fuel the fire.
In my 21 years on this earth, I have been through a lot of pain and faced death more times than a man ever should. (‘It is the price you pay, for the game you play’) In my 21 years no one has ever broke me down more than that eight-year-old baby girl waving and smiling. For her sake and all the others out there like her, don’t give up!
I am including a piece of my writings that Richard wanted. It is titled:
As I sit in my anger, staring out at the glazed finish of happiness, I feel somewhat dazed by the danger of the misconception that I experience from hope. How can I place faith in an event that has yet to transpire?
It is all really an illusion used to deceive ourselves? How much of our happiness is true? To smile while crying seems far too easy. We lock away unwanted feelings and build up mental walls in order to block out emotion.
It seems that in this day in time, everyone has the potion of happiness.
What is true and what is false?
What is simple for one is so very complicated for the next. All near and far repeat ‘Oh, if I had only one wish!’
So many smiles, yet so many tears. All are happy, yet all complain.
What is it about the shiny surface of happiness that causes so many to hurt? So many kill, rape, robe, deal to get it. The harder they try, the further they fall from it.
As I sit in my anger staring out at the glazed finish of happiness, I decide that I am contempt right where I am at.
Clint Young #999447
Polunsky Unit – Death Row
P.S. Chi-Town, I heard all the ‘Calvin Klein Model’ comments that you have been making about me. We do not need all that jealousy. :)
By the way, I heard they are about to start selling Rogaine on commissary. Seeing how you are the ‘before treatment’ model for Rogaine, I figured you could hook Rick up with a few bottles :) Ha-Ha!
Stand tall, fade all, NEVER fall!
Polunsky Unit – Death Row