Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DeathWatch Journal for Lee Taylor – 79 days to live

Entry #2


As you take time out of your day to read my words, these last thoughts of a condemned man, please read with an open mind. Bare in mind that I have a limited education, as I dropped out of school after the 8th grade. However, despite my failures in this regard, I am a thoughtful man. I don’t yet understand why I’ve decided to write this forum. Maybe I feel the need to somehow leave a little of myself behind, in the likely event that the state does murder me. I don't really care about what people think about me personally, so that is not why I write. I don’t expect to say something that would sway a hate filled person from thinking me a monster. And those who "care" about me, simply because I am human, regardless of my past ... well, I suspect they would care about me regardless of what I say here.

Are you reading my words because you are a compassionate person? Do you read these thoughts because you care about the spiritual, physical, or mental well being of a human about to die? Maybe you are a spiteful, hateful, or angry person reading so you can find some twisted reason for why you hate? Maybe you’ve been hurt emotionally by the untimely death of someone you love, by the hands of a murderer. In this case, you may seek an avenue to forgiveness, so you can move on with your life. Somehow, to find a way to put it all into perspective. Could be you just stumbled upon these words, and have no real opinion - yet you will, as "we" take in information and inevitably form our opinions. Whatever the reasoning behind why you are reading this, thank you for your time.

On June 16th of this year the state of Texas will put a needle into my arm, puncturing my artery in order to inject a drug that will effectively induce a heart attack. As spectators watch me breathe my last breath, i will shortly be pronounced dead, dead, dead. What do you think about that, eh? I wonder if I will utter one last word as I slip into the "unknown?" It may seem morbid to you people, but I am curious .... Regardless of what religion you believe in, it’s all based on faith. No living person knows what happens when you die! I am not afraid to die, hell we all have to die! Actually, the state, and all of you voting Texans, are really giving me a way out of spending the remainder of my life behind bars, wasting away in a cage. So, thank you for that.

I’ve been in prison since 1995. I was 16 years old when I was "certified" as an adult and sentenced to spend the rest of my life in prison. I am 32 now, so do the math. Once you have done that much time and are looking to spend the rest of your natural life in this hellhole, well, death seems a sort of escape. Better than going slowly insane ...

The state of Texas has a huge number of men serving long aggravated or life sentences, a ton of men that will never be free again. They realized that they would have men doing so much time in these walls that they would not think twice about murdering each other if disrespected. Prison is indeed a concrete jungle. (Song of the moment: "Concrete Jungle," by Black Label Society.) Respect in this world is a must, a matter of survival. So these lawmakers decided they had to find a way to curb prison murders. As of 1994 in Texas, if a person serving an aggravated life sentence commits murder, this act meets the requirement for the "aggravating factor" to constitute capital murder, and therefore brings the possibility of a death sentence. In theory it would seem this law would curb prison killings. But in actuality it creates an escape. Once a man has done 20 or 30 years and knows he'll never see light at the other end of the tunnel, what is death? I didn’t look at it that way eleven years ago when this case happened. But now? Well, to be honest with you people, I feel a sense of relief! I feel as though my execution on June 16th will just be an early release from a life in a prison cage. Most men who spend their lives in prison end up either institutionally insane or they commit suicide. So these legislators, they actually facilitated my escape.

Admin note: This section of the entry has been removed.

The entire process here is flawed. Do a survey of Texans in Dallas, Houston, or Austin. I bet most of them would say that there is less than 100 men on Death Row, and that they were all serial killing pedophiles. When most people think of death row, they think of some rabid monsters. Trust me when I was in the regular prison system, I was around some real killers. A lot of these guys on the Row are circumstantial killers. They did not go out to kill anyone, or they exploded from years of pressure. Many were either drugged up or crazy and found themselves in some really messed up, atypical situation. Don’t get me wrong, there are some sick dudes here, too. But the system has lost sight of what the voters originally desired in this process, to kill only the worst of the worst. It was not to "put down" guys who accidentally killed a shop clerk in a robbery gone bad. I am not trying to say that such things are ok at all. But this is out of control. In eleven years I’ve watched close to 300 human beings put to death ... until they were indeed dead, dead, dead. We teach our children: two wrongs don’t make a right ... unless - it would seem - we are talking about killing someone.

Until next time, feel free to send me an email using

Lee Taylor

Note: sorry if you don’t like my opinion, but I am writing with complete honesty. I have less than 80 days to live, so ... well, I don’t have no reason to worry about holding back my thoughts.

© Copyright 2011 by Lee Taylor and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.


terry said...

I read the first post and look forward to it being re-posted so I can go back and re-read it. It showed a lot of insight.

snarfo_99 said...

I wrote the governor of Texas asking that Lee Taylor not be executed. I hope anyone reading his last post does the same.