What He Said, and What it Says About Us

By BitcoDavid

Texas – the state that’s turning execution into a pastime - publishes the last words of death row inmates. We got this story from an excellent piece in the Gray Lady. If you read it, pay particular attention to the comments section. We tend to forget that in America, most people view inmates with a mix of fear and hatred. I was really disturbed by the lack of empathy, sympathy or even basic compassion towards the condemned, in many of  those comments.

Texas' new and improved execution chamber - I guess it beats ol' Gruesome Gerty. Image Credit NYT

Texas’ new and improved execution chamber – I guess it beats ol’ Gruesome Gerty.
Image Credit NYT

Anyway, here’s the link to Texas’ page:

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/death_row/dr_executed_offenders.html

They publish the race of each offender on the main page, and if you click the individual links, they cite the gender as well as the race and gender of the victim. It provides a fascinating insight into the Texas judicial system. This site is well worth bookmarking and studying thoroughly.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

The Things We Take for Granted

By Pat Bliss

I Need a Doctor

I Need a Doctor Photo: Wikipedia

 

I get many letters from prisoners that just say they had to go to see a doctor or to medical for some reason. But in this one instance, a deaf prisoner in one of Florida’s prisons gave me an in-depth look as to what a prisoner goes through just to be there for a doctor appointment. These are his words:

I have been on call-out so much with medical with test after test. Seriously I am told to get up at 2:00 A.M. for a blood test, I come back [to my dorm] around 3:00 A.M. Am given a call-out to the main unit for 7:00 A.M. I get on a bus to go the main unit. Sit there to around 1:00 P.M. or 2:00 P.M. to see the Doctor. And do not get on a bus to come back to my dorm until 9:30 P.M. to 1:30 A.M. Any time between 9:00 P.M. to 1:30 A.M.  is when I am put on the bus to come back to my dorm. Several days in a row I have had this process repeat itself with these same time frames. So I have not hardly any sleep at all let alone had time to do anything like read a book. I catch pure hell just trying to get a shower and a hour or two of sleep here and there.

I would say we have nothing to complain about, out here in society when we have to wait a couple hours, if that. It struck me how frustrating it is to be a prisoner. No books, magazines or TV provided to help wile away the time while waiting your turn to see the doctor. Couple that with being deaf – and all that that involves.

– Pat Bliss

Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events.

HEARD’s Writing Campaign

Want to help write sorely needed letters to Deaf inmates in prisons throughout America? Here’s your chance to help alleviate someone’s insufferable solitude.

Hello Fellow HEARD Supporters:
Its that time again, writing time. HEARD Board members and volunteers we will be gathering for a few hours to write to some of our Deaf inmates that are in prisons across the country. This month our focus will be our Deaf women and Deaf blind inmates. Please let us know if you would like to join us.
Please send HEARD an inbox message, or an email at info@behearddc.org. Please put Writing Campaign in the subject line.

Here’s the link to the FaceBook events page. It’s a public event – everyone can sign up.

http://www.facebook.com/events/227125900747195/

English: Supermax prison, Florence Colorado Es...

Supermax prison, Florence Colorado. Another town in Colorado, notorious for its overwhelming number of prisons, is Caňon City. It goes by the appellation – Jail-town USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A Letter From Felix Garcia to HEARD

Image courtesy Pat Bliss

This is a letter I received from HEARD. It is Felix’s most plaintive communication yet. We really need to help this innocent man gain his freedom.

Here’s the PDF link to his latest letter.

Felix – HEARD letter

As I work on these videos, I come to see Felix as an intelligent, compassionate, ethical and witty individual who would make a wonderful contribution to society. He deserves his chance.

Inmate Letter from Montana – 2nd in HEARD series

Here’s the link to the PDF of this second inmate letter, courtesy of HEARD.

HEARD Montana Inmate Letter

Related Stories

Montana State Prison: Female Guards Fired for Sexual Misconduct

 

An Inmate Letter from Utah – Courtesy of HEARD

This is one of four Inmate Letters I received from HEARD, in my inbox last night. I will be posting them today, as I get them converted and redacted. We need to redact all inmate letters to protect the safety of these brave individuals who speak out against an unfair and unjust system.

Although I get them as PDF files, and reconvert them back into PDF files to post, you lose the ability to see the sticky notes placed on the originals by HEARD. In a way, this is good, because these are internal notations that are not intended for the eyes of the public. On the other hand however, I regret that you can’t see them because they provide insight into just how much great work the people at HEARD are doing for these individuals.

Here’s the first one:

HEARD Utah PDF

Inmate Responds to One of Our Posts

In May, I did a post on the differences between county jails and prisons from the paralegal perspective. Here’s the link to that post.

County Jails vs. Prisons

I’ve added it here, to help provide some perspective.

A few days ago, I received this response from a former inmate.

As usual, if you have trouble making out the text in this image, simply double click on it to view it in full screen.

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