Excerpts from Warrior Within:
After placing the stun belt on me, they would then put a belly chain around my waist and through a rain on this chain they would handcuff me. In this way they would effectively tie my hands in front of me. Then they would place shackles on my ankles, forcing me to shuffle my feel when I walked. My walking stride was cut in half due to the short chain on the shackles…
When I was at last dressed and these restrainst on me, I would then shuffle the half mile trek that would take me to the court house…
I sat on the far end of the defense table, with my two attorneys at one side, wishing I could wake up from this nightmare. I was forced to sit with by back bowed at all times because of stun belt box being affixed to the small of my back. This was very painful, and I endured it everyday. The guard in control of the remote, hand held transmitter sat directly behind me. He’d tell me many times a day, “You’re making me nervous, and when I get nervous I’m going to end up shocking you.”
I’d talk to the other guys about how the prosecutors in my case had railroaded me to the death house. To my surprise EVERYBODY I talked to had experienced some part of my life and trial. I was stunned. I could not believe the state of Texas’ normal practice was to lie, steal and cheat in order to send men and women to death row. It horrified me to learn that our supposed legal rights and the presumption of innocence came only to those who were from affluent families. If a person can afford to hire attorneys to insure the whole due process of law, only then will his legal rights be protected. To this day I have never met a “rich” on death row. I’ve never heard of someone coming from an affluent family being sent to death row. That fact causes me nightmares. That means that capital punishment exists only for the poor in the United States of America. I’ve yet to see a rich man die in a death chamber in Huntsville.
When I look back at that time in my life, I think of how it felt to arrive on Texas death row, and I don’t think I could ever find any words to describe such an experience. Once has to live through it to truly comprehend it. I felt like I was case away in a deep, dark, frigid sea, in the dead of night, with no help in sight. Those feelings are worse than dying. Death would be fast and painful only for a few moments. I was dying a thousand deaths. The system was killing me slowly, torturing me with small cuts, bleeding me of my strength. I felt like I had hit the bottom of that cold frigid sea. I instinctively knew, I had two choices, stay at the bottom and die or force myself to move to the top. when a man hits the bottom he understands how a person can take his own life. I’ve leaned that one of the worst things is to get ti know despair intimately.
Sitting there, I could hear my father’s voice. I remember him telling me that my situation was bigger than anything man could control. it was bigger than the prosecutor’s office, bigger than the judge, bigger than all of that. It was something that only God had control of, and these men who had this total and complete power over me were nothing compared to God and his mighty power. “Trust in God son, Leave it in his hands. Pray every day and night and never lose your hope. We love you and are always here for you.” My dad had spoken these inspiring words to me the last time I had spoken to him. I’m thankful to have such a wise and loving father.