Looking Forward – Forever Friends

By: Charles D Flores #999299

June 4, 2017

I began this epic saga/journey/nightmare, whatever name fits best, in 1999. Over 19 years ago I was sent to Texas Death Row for a crime I did not commit and I’ve been fighting for my life ever since. To put it mildly, this 19 year experience in my life has not been easy. More often that I would care to admit I as not sure I was going to make it. But when I would find myself on my knees having been knocked down by a savage blow that life had give me, what would always give me strength to get back on my feet again was the love and compassion that my friends would give me. I think back to the summer of 1999, and my first friend that I met via correspondence was a young guy named Antonie. He was a law student in Switzerland and he was a very good friend. He was with me when I first began my confinement on Texas death row and I was in contact with him for several years. They next friend was a lovely lady from England named Debbie. She was such a positive influence in my life, helping me mature, learn to grow, and become a better human being. While we no longer exchange letters like we used to, we’re still in contact and close friends.

I can’t begin to count the friends that have come into my life since then. Some stay for a season maybe two, and others are friends for life and I call these amazing people forever friends. Each friend that comes into my life plays a critical part and I believe has been connected with me by the Universe for a specific reason. Maybe I’m feeling less than 100% and so are they, and together by helping each other with love, compassion, and support we can heal each other. Others might even be able to visit me and get to know me in person! That’s as good as it gets on Texas death row. Visits are the best thing we get here and mail/correspondence is a close second. Everyone plays a part in life and I know there is no chance or coincidence about it.

Without a doubt the best friends that I have ever had in my life I’ve met as a result of being on Texas death row. Friends who have blown me away with their love and compassion, friends who have made me want to be a better person because they are such wonderful people and I can’t stand the thought of disappointing them. It’s amazing to say that and I feel so blessed to have these kinds of true friendships by my side through thick and thin.

19 years is a long time. I think back to the beginning when I was first sent to Texas death row and I would not allow myself to dare think about what it would be like to leave this place on day. I had severely incompetent trial attorneys and as soon as I got to death row I was saddled with 2 more state level court appointed attorneys who were worse! These were the lawyers who were supposed to help me get out of this place? With guys like them representing me I didn’t need enemies! So I was not thinking about freedom because I knew the consequences of having ineffective assistance of counsel on state level appeals by my attorneys. It usually meant you were DEAD! So much so that I got to within 6 days of being DEAD which was a direct result of these original state level attorneys’ incompetence. But that’s a story for another day. My point is that for a long time I’ve been engaged in the fight of my life, trying to stay alive because where there is life there is hope! And when I’d find myself on the ground beaten and bruised, the love, compassion and support that my friends had for me was the well from which I drew the strength required to get back up and continue the fight. For this I am forever grateful.

In January of 2017, I met a new friend. From the first letter I knew she was special and that w’d be the best of friends and she would help me and more importantly I’d be able to help her. Call it intuition, call it whatever, I just knew! Since January I’ve gotten to know my friend quite well and she just amazes me and makes me want to be a better person. She’s my teacher and is currently teaching me about feminism, which I think rocks! She’s teaching me about websites and hashtags and all kinds of super cool stuff which I love! And this month I will meet my friend  at visit! I’m so excited about that and looking forward to it. And we’ve even talked about the things we’d like to do together when I’m free which is amazing and so thrilling that it gives me chills because I KNOW this is going to happen. I know something else too. I know my friend Abby who I met in January is also a forever friend and that realization brings me joy like you wouldn’t believe! I’m a blessed man to have friends like mine and to everyone I say thank you for being who you are, for caring about me, and for allowing me to care for you!

LOVE PEACE HOPE & FREEDOM!

Charles D Flores

Chance of a Lifetime – Evidentiary Hearing

By: Charles D Flores, #999299

Monday, May 29, 2017

I have a brother here named Big G and not too long after I won the stay of execution and evidentiary hearing I was blessed to be moved to a cell near Big G which gave me a confidant I could talk to. Now G is a special guy he is on his own spiritual journey which has a Buddhist flavor and is very mature, insightful, and I value his option and advice. One day we had an opportunity to have outside rec together and this means we’re put outside on the 2 recreation yards that are side by side and can have a private conversation. While enjoying this rec time together I expressed to my brother that it seemed like an unusual number of small things in my life were going wrong. Nothing big or life altering, just a bunch of small annoying stuff that makes life a little harder (and sometimes a lot harder) than it should be. Big G’s immediate response was, “That’s because you’re getting ready to go home! When a miracle like that is happening in your life all kinds of small stuff goes wrong and that’s the enemy trying to knock you off course.” My brother told me this about 8-9 months ago and when he said it I heard the ring of absolute truth in his words. He was correct in every way and I’ve kept that truth with me since then.

I’m about 90 days away from the chance of a lifetime that is my evidentiary hearing. For the past month my life has been completely centered around this event because I must give my absolute best effort in making this opportunity count. I’m not going to get 10-15 evidentiary hearings. No, I’m getting one and in this evidentiary hearing I must lay it all on the line and make sure I give my 100% best effort, then trust The Universe to see to manifesting part II of the miracle that is winning my freedom. During this intense period of my life my mantra has been, “let nothing or no one distract you from your purpose and goal!” This is what I keep telling myself but it’s not easy!!

In the past 30 days I’ve experienced more than a few unpleasant surprises in my life. Nothing that spells the end of me (I don’t think!), but still a bunch of drama that I do not want or need. And during those occurrences I keep telling myself to let nothing or no one distract you from your true purpose and goal in life!

I know that when thins get like this in life I must go within myself and once again find my balance and center and I do this with my spiritual practice. When I tend to my spiritual practice (Prayer Meditation Visualization) I find absolute truths that I forget when I allow myself to be caught up in the drama, distractions, and unpleasant surprises that come my way.

I am one with the infinite Source and the Source is one with me. This morning I once again found this truth that I am connected to the Source and the Source connects me to all living things. I was so grateful to be able to find this absolute truth once more and be remembered of it when I needed it the most. This was an “Aaaaah” moment for me and when I allowed myself to merge back with the Source I felt my balance and center lock back in place.

When I’m dealing with these annoying issues that have gone wrong I all too often see myself as separate from the Source because it is second nature to me and a very bad habit to take such things personally and in the process allow ego to hijack my person. Ego is always waiting for me to falter and when I’m under stress it makes its move, whispering in my ear, “They did that to you? Who in the hell do they think they are?!!!” And with this great like makes me believe that I’m separate from the Source. Because no one knows us better than our ego, it has been with us since the day we became conscious of right from wrong.

This morning I remembered this great truth that we all come from the same Source and to be clear the Source has more than one name. It’s also knows as God, Universe, the Word, the Holy Spirit, etc. The key is setting ourselves connected to all living things, people, trees, and animals. If I can see myself in everyone than I am connected.

Of course this is much easier said than done. When I find myself facing others who have declared themselves my enemies and wish ill will, even execution, upon me, it’s very difficult. But that’s my goal and living life in gratitude gets me closer to it. As does “thinking from the end, ” which is through visualization seeing myself surrounded by the people and things I need in my life as a free man; and meditation and prayer.

For me that is the antidote to my ego’s evil plans. More meditation means less wgo and that’s something I could really use.

These many attaches from the enemy are proof that I’m close. He is concerned that I will reach my ultimate goal, and he ought to be! Nothing will stop me from pushing into freedom and part II of my life forever free and far away from here.

Love, Peace, Hope & Freedom

Charles D Flores

I MUST…

WHERE AS I, CHARLES DON FLORES, being an American of Mexican descent on death row for a crime I did not commit;

I MUST–Live my life in gratitude and give my love and forgiveness to those who stand with me and also those who do not;

I MUST–Learn all the lesson’s life continues to teach me & in turn share what I experience with others, to listen and learn, love, forgive, and live each day to the fullest

WHERE AS I, CHARLES DON FLORES, being an American of Mexican descent on death row for a crime I did not commit;

I MUST–Live my life in gratitude and give my love and forgiveness to those who stand with me and also those who do not;

I MUST–Learn all the lesson’s life continues to teach me & in turn share what I experience with others, to listen and learn, love, forgive, and live each day to the fullest;

I MUST–Always remember my brothers and sisters whose lives have been taken in the name on (in)justice; always be their voice, a voice for those who have none;

I MUST–Always strive to be a man of honor and respect whose lives his life with integrity; being the man my mother and father are proud of;

I MUST–Continue to fight for justice and freedom and never accept anything less; give my all to the fight for my life, and when at last free fight to abolish the death penalty until it is gone forever;

I MUST–On my worst day be my best, never growing discouraged or indulging in doubt or self pity; always keeping my head held high, spring in my step and my eyes on the prize;

I MUST–Stand against all injustices, be a protector of the weak, infirm, and unable; to always be there for others and help those in need;

I MUST–Protect the Earth and the mountains and the trees, the flowers and all that is green; protect Her water which is the source of life for all living things;

I MUST– Each day be a patient, loving and kind human being as I can; affirming the fact that the twelve who judged me incapable of this were wrong!

BECAUSE I AM AN INNOCENT MAN who has been condemned to death I am becoming the man I am destined to be; and for this miracle I thank you!

By Charles D. Flores

April 2, 2017

 

 

The Life and Death Consequences of a New Scalia-Like US Supreme Court Justice on Death Row Prisoners in Texas and Across the USA

By: Charles Flores #999299, Texas Death Row

February 2017

When Donald J. Trump was elected president of the USA, out best hope of a progressive US Supreme Court bring created by the appointment of a liberal and progressive Justice went up in flames. To a Texas Death Row prisoner, this is the most important issue that resulted from the presidential election because it has life and death consequences for every prisoner who is sentenced to death in the USA.

In the months leading up to the presidential election, I was convinced that if Hillary Clinton was elected president, she would have promptly appointed a liberal and progressive US Supreme Court justice, who would have been the critical piece in the Supreme Court revisiting the issue of capital punishment and abolishing it for good. But, when Mrs. Clinton was not elected the best opportunity to have the Death Penalty abolished by the Supreme Court in 30 years was lost for good. Now, we must deal with the fact that a conservative, right-wing US Supreme Court Justice will be installed by Trump. And, soon.

On January 31, 2017, we learned that Trump had indeed made his choice by nominating Neil Gorsuch to fill the void in the US Supreme Court. Gorsuch as been described as a “Scalia acolyte,” a judge who writes with a “Scalia-like flair,” so I believe it is safe to say Trump has found a “Scalia clone” to fill the seat that was vacated by his death in 2016. The bottom line is, I do not think the Democrats can do anything to stop Gorsuch from being put into the Supreme Court. Because the Republicans have a majority in the US Senate, they have the ability to employ the “nuclear option,” in which Republicans change Senate rules, eliminating the 60-vote threshold needed to bring Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor. This is the critical step in having Gorsuch confirmed as the next US Supreme Court Justice. Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already declared that “Gorsuch will be confirmed!” And, Trump has also endorsed the use of the nuclear option to finish the deal, if necessary.

This means any hope of the US Supreme Court revisiting the issue of Capital Punishment and abolishing it has disappeared. It also means that it’s back to business as usual in the vast majority of Death Row prisoners’ appeals being refused to be heard by the US Supreme Court, meaning the appeal is denied. Keep in mind the US Supreme Court is, in most cases, the last hope for a Death Row Prisoner’s appeal before he is murdered in the “name of justice.” Before Scalia’s death he was the Justice assigned to hear all of Texas Death Row Prisoner’s appeals before execution. Is there any wonder why so many prisoners are executed in Texas?

I think it’s safe to say Gorsuch will assume these duties as well and all final appeals filed on behalf of prisoners on Texas Death Row will be heard by him, a “Scalia clone.” Thus, I say, having a conservative right-wing justice like Gorsuch installed in the Supreme Court has life and death consequences to all Death Row prisoners across the USA, and especially in Texas. If Hillary Clinton had been able to appoint a liberal justice to the Supreme Court, we could now be thinking of the Abolition of Capital Punishment across the land; however, now that possibility is gone for good.

I know what it is like to have a final last minute appeal filed in the US Supreme Court, while living under an execution date. About a year ago, I had a Writ of Certiorari filed in the US Supreme Court, and was living on Death Watch, with an execution date of June 2, 2016. I know what it felt like to have this appeal put before the highest Court in the Country and have no chance of it being heard because of Scalia and the other conservative right-wing Justices in the Supreme Court. And, I was correct in this belief because the Supreme Court refused, with no comment, to hear my case.

It was through a miracle that I was able to obtain a new appeal attorney to help in the last 90 days of my life. An appeal was filed, which challenged my conviction under junk science (the only witness being hypnotized manufactured the false identification) and, thus, I was granted a stay of execution through an evidentiary hearing on this issue.

But, what about Death Row prisoners with no such hope? What about cases where the guilt is not in question? What should they do? Where should they place their hope of any last minute stay or reprieve? With the new US Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch? I don’t think so.

The fact of the matter is that most Death Penalty cases which have gone before the Supreme Court for the past 30 years have had virtually no hope of any relief being granted, and, with Neil Gorsuch being installed as the new Supreme Court Justice, it may be more than another 30 years before there is any glimmer of hope, relief, or Abolishing the Death Penalty in this Country.

There are hard realities which we must come to terms with and understand. If you are a Death Row prisoner, it’s a sad that that, should your case make it before the Highest Court in the land, you are likely to end up dead!

Dedicated to the Struggle!

Charles Flores #999299

Polunsky Unit

3872 FM 350 South

Livingston TX 77351