Saturday, September 18, 2010

Letters to a Future Death Row Inmate, Part 10

by Big Rob

Part 9 can be seen here

Dear Young Man,

After being here for only 6 1/2 years I was given an execution date and on this day a new guy came in he was put in the cage next to me and to my surprise he was only 18. You look to be about the same age. Though everyone looks young to me now. When I saw you, I thought to myself how can a life so young end this way? What type of person would sentence someone so young to be murdered? You have your whole life ahead of you and for some reason it can now be cut short. As I continued to think reality hit in a matter of days I will meet my maker so what could I do with the precious time I have left? I decided to write you, just as I did that other young man, and then I got my things in order. I will be buried a few lots away from my lovely mother. Easy to think about at my age, but almost impossible for someone so young. What could be going through your mind at a time like this?

Whatever it is, it can’t be easy for someone so young, when life just seems different. Maybe some people are adults at 18, but I wasn’t and I don’t think many here were either. Some of us take a really long time to mature. I remember when I got here a few guys talked to me "the ropes" and I want to do some of that with you. I could sense that other young man was afraid, way back in ‘03, and I bet you are too. I told him that we must live in order to die its the process of life. As I talked to him, I told him being here is not all about him, and it’s not all about you neither. You got family and friends and supporters and it’s your job to let them know that you are alright and to give them strength. You have to explain to them the appeal process through each stage, so it don’t seem like voodoo, even if it is. Make sure everyone understands that you now have to try to live life to the fullest with what you got. You are going to need help or you will live worse than a mangy dog. Most important, you need to grow closer to the Lord and always know with God all things are possible.

Stay close to your lawyers and ask questions and keep copies of all your letters. They may be fighting for you, but they ain’t always on your side, dig? No matter how small your questions is, ask them. Learn as much of the law as you can and don’t depend totally on others. Most lawyers are in this for the money but you got to be in this for your life.

Don’t let the stress of this place get the better of you. If you are not careful it will suck you in and you will become an animal, totally split apart. Being apart means that you will think the most important things are commissary, recreation, jack books etc. You become lost so stay on top of yourself mentally and physically with these few words of wisdom I hope that you will be able to maintain. But most importantly I pray that you get some action and will get the chance to earn your redemption in this life and to pass on the wisdom that each day of living has to offer.

With Respect,
Big Rob

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved

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