Friday, September 24, 2010

Letters to a Future Death Row Inmate, Part 11

by Juan Martin Garcia #999360

Hello New Boot,

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Juan. I am from Houston, Texas and have been locked up on this case since I was 18 years old. I am now 30, an old man by the standards of this place. How time flies, I wasn’t going to send you anything at first, but I talked to the vato that is organizing this, so I am hoping and praying that you will take a minute to listen to me and understand what I am writing to you.

You are going to learn about pain here, the kind you never knew existed. I am a Daddy of three monsters, some of the biggest monsters ever born, so I am glad that I am locked up. J I am just pulling your leg, of course. I have been away from them for so long. I can’t lie, it really does hurt to be apart from them but all make our choices and our mistakes when we are young, and now I have to see my daughters and my son call some other mother-&#$*#$#er Daddy. It’s not just us that pays. Everyone pays with you, and the fact that you see this is proof that you aren’t the cold-blooded killer that the outside world says of you. People can sentence another to die only if they think he isn’t human, so the only thing a prosecutor ever has to do is make you a dog.
No, dogs get national campaigns to save them from the pound. They just have to make you into something that can be killed free of guilt. That’s all.

They don’t want to hear about the hells of your childhood, the rough life you had and it makes me so mad that I never tried to get help, maybe I would still be out there, who knows. Well friend I don’t have any right to tell you exactly how to live, but maybe I can help you from making some of the same foolish mistakes that I did. Maybe you can then tell them to someone out there in the world. Some people here are going to tell you lies just to see how you act. First, trust your own. Then you can watch and see which people are respected by all the races. There aren’t many, but they do exist. I remember when I got here a homeboy from the world helped me out "Johnnie Bernal" he sent me five soups that day which was Wednesday June 21st, 2000 and I was told very few things about how to act. I just sat back and looked at how each day was and just made each day go the way I wanted it to go because yeah we do have a choice on how each day goes here. It’s just you and that cell, all day. Nobody to tell you shit really but you got to fill in the blanks you know what I’m saying? You are going to have to deal with the officials mess a lot of the time but that is prison. Some of them will test you to see if you are what the courts say you are. They think they tough and they want to see who is tougher. You have to think about whether you care what these people think about you or do I care about what my kids think. Sometimes I get mad at them treating me like this and I just want to fix the problem myself but then I put myself to think why should I give them what they want, they get to go home at the end of the day, that’s if nothing happens to them, but you see this place is all I will ever know so I got to make it mine somehow. You can’t do that if you are fighting all the time . It will always be theirs.

So I just try to keep to myself so I don’t make any mistakes that I will have to pay for but I do make known that I am not someone to mess with because if you don’t these animals will always take kindness for weakness and you will get hurt. If you do something all they will say is that you are a killer and can never change but they never explain the ten things that lead up to what you did. They just want to show that you should be in here even if you is innocent of the crime you were convicted for. It doesn’t matter to some of these people. They have parties when some of us get killed at bars and at apartments. When you leave to go to Huntsville to get killed, they line up out back by the loading dock and smile at you as you take your last walk like it’s a parade.

These people give you food that would make your dog talk back to you but when people come here to check upon things we eat ok with real meat and sometimes cake. Many of us don’t get no money from no one so we have to eat just what they give us. You just have to try to make do ok, I didn’t always have to eat this way but used to have a lady I called my "Baby Blue Eyes" that took care of me until she died. Most people will write for a few and then burn off but you see it hurts them too much to see anyone like this. Then again there are also people here who don’t give a fuck and just want to take all they can from people so they mess up our reputations for everyone. It only takes one or two to paint us all with a single brush you know?

So use your head and don’t sleep walk because if you do they will take all you got. If you don’t try to change you wasted your chance at this new life. Take the time to see how much more life can be if you just be your own man and don’t listen to others that just want to see you pulled down to their level. They think that they are better than you but believe me I know it’s that they are not sure with their selves and because they have never taken a look at who they really are.

You have to find some reason to be good. I use the Good Lord for this but yeah I sometimes think that he has left me to die and to put up with the games in this world but it’s because I’m not listening to my heart because the one that walks with the Lord knows that he does not use voices to talk to us but the heart. I am not trying to make myself seem like one of the guys that tries to preach in the dayroom they are trying to convince God to save them and maybe get one of the guards to write a letter of clemency. I do have a really bad mouth at times :) and really watch what I say. So the bible is a tool to help us learn how to use Gods love and advice and not to misunderstand. So I have tried to use it all of my life to get my mother and may he rest my dad to love me for who I am and not for the person that they wish I would have became but it seems like all I ever did was just waste my time and get hurt, and if you know and really understand what I am saying you will know that maybe we just have to keep trying even when it seems like there’s no point.

Well I hope that you were able to understand what l was trying to say, yeah I may have made you laugh by what I said or how I said it but this letter is to show you that I am human and I do make mistakes in life some that I will have to die with for the rest of my life. Some I hope never to relive.

You may think about ending your appeals and that is up to you. I did try to do this in 2008 and still want to but I can’t take seeing women cry which my sisters did. I will never cry again but that doesn’t mean that I don’t hurt or feel pain but it is not right for me to make others feel pain for my decisions. So think about them for a change.

So take care and keep in mind that life is what you make of it and it will only work if you never give up on making it work.

Take care,

Bear & Heart on Fabric by Juan Garcia

Juan has a web page HERE

Juan can be written to:

Juan Garcia #999360
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77350

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved


Richard Robertson said...

Hello Juan!

I do not know what your crime was and I don't really care to know.

I am against the death penalty and find it ludicrous that the US, the world's supposed great democracy, still undertakes this barbaric act.

Writing from the UK I want you to know that there are many people like me who feel that a murderer can be rehabilitated. Perhaps life in prison is the correct alternative, as I believe that ALL life is sacred.

Your days are now numbered and I do not know whether you have any final appeals left, but I want you to know that I am hoping above hope, as are many, that you will receive a stay.

Regardless of what happens in the next week, I am sending you my very best wishes of peace and love and I hope above all that you will make the most of your remaining time and that you leave your children with a sense of peace.

I will be thinking of you! Take care an be strong!


kellyrenee said...

Hello Juan,

I used to believe in the death penalty but that was back when I thought about things more emotionally rather than rationally concerning the issue. Now, I know that things are not always what they they seem and things can happen in a moment. Moments that we cannot take back, but I know that you are not that moment. I am so sorry that our society has not fully come around. I can only imagine what life experiences led you down the path you found yourself on. I am sorry that there are many things about our society that in a way, set people up to fail and I forgive you for that moment.

My thoughts are with you and your precious family. You are not alone and there are many people who will remember your name. I know that peace can be hard to find, but I truly wish that you are able to find some. Praying for a stay for you. Much love to you and your family.

Kelly in Austin, TX

Doctor Eric's Blog said...

Hello Juan
I hope you able to read this, because if you don't then the State of Texas will have killed you. That thought is so disturbing, I believe that an act can be just one bad moment in ones life, and that this world would be a better place if only we could forgive. What is the point of ending your life, what is gained from it. Your punishment is with you, the State gains nothing,except vengeance. If I was the governor, I would commute your sentence. I hope and pray that you read this. Then in that moment you will still be alive.

I am writing this from Australia, where we have no death sentences, we are a Nation that has realized that State sanctioned homicide is so wrong. Juan I pray that God is with you and your family, and you survive .

I stand by you in life Juan....Be strong.... Eric.

Richard Robertson said...

I listened with sadness to the Execution Watch Show on my drive out of London this evening, then had to park for an hour to soak in what really happened to this man.

Juan was no angel, but he is survived by four children, a wife and family. These people became victims this evening thanks to Texas and it's seemingly unstoppable killing machine.

Listening to his interview, Juan spoke about his life and circumstances prior to this murder. Like I said, he was no angel, but hearing his story I can't help but feel that he would never have progressed to becoming a murderer had Child Services intervened in his life when they should have.

He was a victim of battery as a child by his father, experienced poverty all his life, and was supporting his mother from the age of ten by stealing and pawning the goods. According to the panel of Execution Watch, he was a poor candidate for adoption because of his race and this is why he was left by the government to fend for himself.

Juan never stood a chance!

To the victim's family, I am so sorry for your loss and I hope this brings you some closure. For most, however, it does not.

Be sure to watch his interview on the Texas Media Source Youtube Channel in a couple of days after it has been uploaded.

Thanks you to the fine ladies and gentlemen at Execution Watch for keeping this issue alive and to all those who fight against the death penalty.

To the voters in the US, if you do not believe that the Death Penalty is fair, proportionate or that it is in line with modern democratic values then please consider voting for representatives who believe as you do and say always, 'NOT IN MY NAME!'

Rest In Peace Juan!

Unknown said...

Don't worry have faith that the judge will let you out.