Journal – February 21st 2019

Thursday February 14th 2019.

Once again I have found my pen and write. My cell is on the second floor, what we call “two-row” and I am directly over the day room. This building is constructed of solid cement. The walls, floor, ceiling. And sound bounces, carries echoes off the walls. Most of the time I intentionally create “white noise” with my fan to block out all the noise that invades my personal space. I also have my radio all the time to help blur the sound of madness that sometimes threatens to to take my sanity. There are times when I am trying to focus on its being quieter than normal and I turn off my noise machine in my cell. It’s times like these that I am reminded of how precious silence is. How special peace and quiet are. Like the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Like being able to lose the crowd and find some silence. Or staying at home alone with nothing to interrupt you peace and silence. This is why I love early mornings when all the noise makers are asleep. Or the weekends when they try to sleep off their sentences or write a letter: whatever, as long as they are quiet for a while. My homeboy G says “an empty wagon rattles and makes the loudest noise”. And what is the rattling? Conversations about what’s new on commissary, who was given a disciplinary case, which guard quit or which guard after quitting has come back, the playing of dominoes or games of chess. All insanity to me. Others run from their destiny in this manner while I run to mine. And I prepare for the ultimate success when I get there. My eyes stay on the prize.

Sunday February 17th 2019

In the middle of a 3 days weekend, because tomorrow is Presidents day. I dare not comment he might be listening! Whatever the reason, I have made good use of the weekend. There are times when I sleep 6/8 hours and still feel tired with no energy. Today was that kind of day, and I went back to sleep after shower. Three hours later I woke up refreshed and sat down and wrote my essay for the week. Sometimes the blank page can be intimidating and I avoid facing it. Some might think writing is easy. But it’s not. When I am not at my best but force myself to write anyway, it feels like using my own blood to write with. Maybe I make it look too easy and should sometimes share when it’s not!

Today the blank page got filled and I was pleased with the result. Life grows more stressful and difficult as I go and I become better at coping with it. That feels good and I’m grateful for being able to say that.

In the end, what is going to happen happens and there is not much we can do about it. Not you there, nor me here, but we can choose how we respond and that’s why I am focused on. My response, the way I cope and not only survive this death row madness but thrive in the midst of insanity. I am back on top and I am determined to stay there. Recent events concerning my mother helped me refocus and remember that in the end the only thing that truly matters in my life is my fight for freedom to care for her. Nothing or no one will stop me from reaching that goal. NOTHING!

Wednesday February 20th 2019.

Yesterday at Noon I was listening to the news when it was announced that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas death row prisoner Bobby Moore was intellectually disabled and not eligible to be executed. This was the first case that the Supreme Court ruled on thereby changing the way intellectual disability was determined and now with this new/latest ruling, this helps the men who have this issue in their appeal. For many, the only thing that stands between them and the death house it this issue. So this was a great ruling and it will help many here.

Today is commissary day and I am glad to have been able to get one more shot to get what I need to make it through the extended lockdown we will have in the next couple of weeks. This lockdown will apply to the general population as well and will last 3 weeks at least. Then we have to wait our turn to go to commissary again. If you run out of things you need like writing supplies, soap, toothpaste, coffee, etc, then you’re in trouble. I’m ready and I feel good about that. It’s been a long day in which I washed some and wrote a long letter and now at 9 pm I’m waiting for my turn for shower. Nowadays, we go to recreation in the morning and get our shower at 10 pm. Then mail is passed out at midnight. I keep telling myself to be grateful that the mail arrives. Period. But some days that’s hard. Just another day on Texas death row.

Thursday February 21st 2019.

Evening time and I sit down with my pen to record these thoughts. At the end of last year, a United States Supreme Court (the highest court in this country) ruling titled “Mc Coy vs Louisiana” established a number of things to which a defendant in a criminal proceeding has an absolute right.

One, for example is whether to plead guilty or innocent. It does not matter how huge the mountain of evidence against the defendant might be. It is HIS decision only, to plead guilty or not guilty. No one else has the right to make that critical life or death decision. Not his family, nor friends or even attorney. The person who faces the said charges is the one to make this decision. It is telling that the highest court in this country would reverse a death penalty conviction on this right in Mc Coy. That is how absolute this right is in the eyes of the highest appeal court in the USA and this right continues through all aspects of a death row prisoner’s life and appeal process. It is also an absolute right to someone in my position who is fighting tooth and nail for his life day and night. Anyone who presumes to take this decision from me and not to work with me within the confines of my defense campaign is crossing the line and standing against me. I was once blind but now I see and will act accordingly and I declare now that nothing will stand in the way of me making the decisions needed in my life and reaching my goals. If there are delays in my writings being posted_ mutiny aboard the ship_ I shall yet prevail.