Thursday, February 11, 2010

Death Watch Journal for Kevin Varga – 87 Days to Go

15th February 2010

(This morning at a little past 7am, I received a kite from my friend Kevin informing me that he had been given an execution date. He learned this fatal fact in the typical fashion: from a guard. Turns out both he and his fall-partner Billy are to be executed on May 12th and 13th, back to back. Ah, Texas does love to play their little games. They don’t even know which is to die first, as of this moment.

There is very little that anyone back here can offer in the way of consolation. Getting a date is, to my mind, like being told by a doctor that one has exactly three months left to live, save Texas has a far better batting average than cancer. I asked if he felt like writing about it, and he agreed that the process might prove to be cathartic. I will continue writing my normal posts, but for the next few months Kevin’s Death Watch Journal will have primacy of place.

When a man is strapped down on the gurney in Huntsville, he is given a few seconds to make any last statements which come to mind. I have always felt that this was hardly sufficient. Will 90 days be enough for a man to say goodbye to the world? I guess we will find out together.

T.B. Whitaker)

Hello, my name is Kevin Varga. Many of you reading this may remember that I wrote for this site once before. To those of you that not only read what I had to say but actually sent supporting letters to the governor of Texas asking for clemency on my behalf allow me to personally thank you.

Now for those of you what have not read my previous submission to this site I will introduce myself. I am a Death Row inmate who has been on DR since November 21, 2000. Two days before Thanksgiving I arrived to the Polunsky unit to start a nine almost ten year journey that has led me to write this for you. I wont go into depth about the specifics of my crime. I will however tell you that I took no active roles in the murders what has brought me to Death Row. You see Texas, maybe other states as well, has a law that allows them to convict you of a crime as long as you are present during the commission of that crime. This is how I have ended up upon Death Row with never taking another persons life.

Now as I previously stated to you I was sentenced to die by lethal injection on November 20th 2000. I had lived in county jail awaiting trial for over two years. IN all that time I never thought I would be found guilty, I mean if you are not the killer in the movies then you are not convicted in court. Well please allow me to dispel that notion right now. In the real world they can convict someone even in the face of conflicting evidence. But alas that is not why I am asking for your time today, no I wont rant about the injustice of my conviction. My purpose today is to leave something behind. Every human seeks that immortality. We have children to have a legacy, those that can create art or literature do so not only because of the pleasures that it brings to them but also so that future generations will remember them in some way. So in that sense this is my legacy of sorts. For you see I have just found out today that I have been scheduled an execution date. I wish to chronicle these last days of my life with you. I am not sure if many people will read these words, but they bring me solace by having an outlet for the emotions that are clashing within me at this time.

DAY ONE: Today started as many here on the row, the officers banging the metal tray carriers to bring us our cold meal of eggs, congealed grits, mushy apple pieces and a half pint of 1% milk the only thing on the tray that isn’t cold. I wake and step to my door to receive my meal to have the officer ask me if I knew that I had a date. Shocked, I told him “No.” Although I have been expecting this news for over a month now I cannot tell you how it was to know the day when you are to be strapped to a table and injected with a poison until your heart stops beating, but I will try to explain how it felt.

I felt as if the world had fallen away and I floated above it without ties to reality. My stomach clenched and I looked down at the tray that only a moment before I had actually wanted to eat and the mere thought of food made my stomach churn and feel greasy. The officer smiles and moved on to the next man waiting for his tray. I could hear the inmate in the next cell complain about the tray being cold, I wanted to scream at him that a cold tray was not the worst thing that could happen here! I, like most people here on the Row become complacent about our future. I have held out the hope that some how some way I would not have to die here for murders that I didn’t commit. But today has shown me that error. So I began to think about those people on the outside that live their lives with never a thought to leaving anything of themselves behind. I asked my friend Thomas Whitaker of I could use his site once more to not only share with you how a man goes through his daily life knowing that in 87 days I will be legally murdered by the state of Texas, I am still in shock over this, but I hope that my writings will give me some peace.

In the days to come I will submit my daily writings. I cannot promise that they will be wonderful, not full of cheers as I am sure that there will be many times that I will be low and wish that I were released from the great burden. 87 days in the life of a man sentenced to die. But if I continue to write and you continue to read am I truly dead?

Kevin Varga

Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
General Counsel’s Office
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd
Austin, TX 78757

Phone (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 467-0945

Chair: Rissie Owens
Jose Aliseda, Jr.
Charles Aycock
Conrith Davis
Jackie DeNoyelles
Linda Garcia
Juanita M. Gonzalez

LINK to the earlier entry Kevin refers to

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker and Kevin Varga. All rights reserved.

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