Voices from California's Death Row


Yes, I would like to see “The Justice that Works Act” passed. I arrived on San Quentin’s death row in January of 1982. It wasn’t, and is not, a pleasant place to be. I saw men live out their last five days, before execution. The expressions on their faces, during those five days, I would not wish on anyone. If there is another rehabilitator, other than execution, it’s seeing men go for the last time.

The worst part is the waiting, the uncertainly. Year, after year, after year of sitting under Democle’s sword. I was granted penalty phase reversal in 2000, and have been waiting for a new trial ever since. Which is also unnerving because if I’m sentenced to death again, I’ll be sitting here another 20 or 30 years, on appeal! And, I may not live that long!

LWOP at least ends that uncertainty, and the isolation, and the idleness, and the expenditure! I will still die of old age! Paying 60% of wages toward restitution is moot to me, I have no restitution orders in my case. Besides, I may not be fit to do any work. 

Whether one act passes, or both, it does not matter ow people will vote. Their minds are set, in one way, or another. It is a matter of getting them to vote. 

What is the reason why I am in this place? Why does a man do that which is contrary to society? A moment of weakness, perhaps, for aggression is a moment of weakness! When a man cannot control his emotions, there is no control. An act against the laws of society is not the same as against the laws of human nature. Still, such an act can never be retracted or corrected, and guilt is the greatest punisher of all.  Guilt builds stronger and harsher walls, than any prison.