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Saturday, June 30, 2012

So Much for Decency...

By Thomas Bartlett Whitaker

Several months ago, I had to write a short paper on the 17th century English poet Andrew Marvell for my ENG 319 class. In order to get a more well-rounded perspective on the man's politics, I had a friend send me some of his works not included in the anthology I possess. An Horatian Ode: Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland was amongst them. I certainly enjoyed this selection to a greater degree than his "carpe diem" love poems, which so reek of desperation that I have come to believe that he was actually publishing satirical parodies of the entire genre. At any rate, the last quatrain of the ode has stuck with me, as random and generally useless information is wont to do:

Besides the force it has to fright
The spirits of the shady night,
The same arts that did gain
A power must it maintain.

The last two lines are, I think, an allusion to a maxim written by Machiavelli, which mean that a kingdom won by force must for some time be maintained by force. It is pretty much the same in modern politics: people who lie and cheat their way into office must continue to do so in order to stay in power.

I received a few letters recently from individuals responding to my post explaining my current LAWSUIT AGAINST THE STATE. One common thread running through several of these letters was the opinion that I ought to treat the TDCJ with a bit more decency in general, and in particular I should refrain from labeling officers as "rednecks." Fair enough. A few points in response: firstly, although I do obviously use the term in the pejorative sense, most true rednecks take pride in the term and use it freely amongst themselves. I could call virtually every single one of them here by that term, and they would take it as a compliment. In other words, this is not a term I use in order to deliver a fatal wound; quite the opposite, actually. I certainly have other instruments in my toolbox, should that ever become my intention Still, I will tone it down a bit out of respect for those of you who took the time to reach out to me with advice; you deserve at least that much, it seems to me. In the more general sense, I actually think you would be hard-pressed to find a more respectful inmate than myself, at least when I am dealing with the rank-and-file COS. I have said repeatedly that I respect many of them, and a few of them I actually admire. That said, I feel no moral obligation to be kind to the aggregate organization which intends to one day strap me down to a table and pump lethal chemicals into my veins, a group of people that lies and cheats and steals from you, the tax-paying public, on a daily basis. I have no pity for bureaucratic structures, and I never shall.

I took it as axiomatic that the activist community would understand me on this point. That you did not makes it apparent that I have not been doing my job when it comes to describing the true nature of this place. Despite the fact that virtually no one in this nation presently thinks that government can do much of anything correctly, I find it curious that so many of you are willing to grant the TDCJ (both in the senses of being a government agency and also in the specific cases of actual human officers) the benefit of the doubt. You are deluded in taking this view, but I cannot fault you completely, for they have striven to their upmost to keep you from seeing past the barbed wire. In addition, the embedded media seems to have a very low limit on how many criminal justice reform stories they decide to talk about on a weekly basis, so perhaps many of you are too busy to pay attention. Or maybe you just don't care. Since I can do nothing in response to that last option, and because I am trying very hard to be a bit less cynical these days, I will focus on the first two possibilities and seek to bring your attention to a few recent events, which may have evaded you. This is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of the blogosphere; that it can take facts and opinions from virtually unknown sources and disseminate them to new audiences of incredibly diversity. Every day, important things happen all over this planet that none of us would be aware of otherwise. Consider the following a short list of a few of these, as examples of the true character of the TDCJ and as reasons why I will never for one second consider "decency" as an appropriate response to their activities and behavior.

First, and perhaps most importantly, a 400-page article released by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review has pretty much conclusively proven that Carlos DeLuna was innocent of the crime for which he was executed in 1989. You can read the report HERE It seems like every week there is yet another exoneration in this country, and yet the public still seems to have faith that our system of criminal justice is fundamentally sound. It isn't. These exonerations are not the system self-correcting; on the contrary, they are the results of incredibly rare and costly investigations done by external groups of reporters, lawyers, and students who are impeded and harassed by the authorities at every pass. Only the most serious and competent of convicts can manage to push their cases in front of innocence organizations, and only a tiny percentage of these get the funds necessary to fight the battle to free them. These exonerations reveal systemic flaws, but only a tiny percentage of those that exist. At some point, every American citizen of conscience is going to have to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves why they maintained their silence for so long in the face of one of the greatest human rights violations in modern history. There are innocent men here now. I live in the same section as one of them who is about to blow a certain DA from Houston out of the water with his federal court filing.

If you look at some of the news stories regarding the DeLuna report, you will notice that Governor Perry never insists on DeLuna's guilt, the way he did in regards to Willingham. Instead, he simply reasserts that the death penalty is legal. The legality of a thing doesn't make it moral or even right (or sane), and the careful word-play involved in the Governor's response ought to trouble at least a few of you. The man knows. Everyone knows. They just can't admit that they know.

In this same vein, and since I already mentioned Cameron Todd Willingham, it recently came out that the Texas judge who reviewed his 2004 execution wrote up an official exoneration, but it was never filed because the all-Republican Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and Governor Goodhair blocked the Forensic Science Commission from ruling on the case. Think about that: the judge initially tasked with reviewing the case considered Willingham's innocence "overwhelming," and blasted the judicial system and Perry for ignoring reality and basic science. And then this same system deep-sixed the inquest. If this happened in, say, Russia, you wouldn't be advising continued trust in the system, or for me to treat it decently; you'd be wondering out loud why voters didn't toss the bums out on their bloated backsides. It should be noted as a final point that the guy Perry appointed as chairman of the Willingham Commission is the DA for Williamson County; his name is John Bradley. He happens to have found himself smack dab in the middle of a wrongful conviction case involving his former boss, now a judge. The exoneree's name is Michael Morton, and his case is just starting to make trouble for the state. You can read an article about it HERE . Maybe there is some justice to be found in this state, after all.

As I prepared to send this article out, I heard on the radio that Billy Frederick Allen - yet another exoneree- is going to be receiving a very overdue 2 million dollar check from the state for the 26 years he spent behind bars. This is important because there was no DNA involved in the case, the lack of which had caused the state to attempt to get out of paying him anything. Many of you think that the content on this site does not apply to your life in any way. Who, pray tell, do you think paid for that check? (Or, for that matter, the millions of dollars in tax revenue required by the TDCJ to incarcerate Allen for nearly three decades?) "The same arts that did gain..." etc, etc.

Last month, Texas attempted to execute Steven Staley, by first forcefully administering psychtropic drugs in order to bring him back into the real world long enough for the Nembutol to take effect. Emily Bazelon wrote an excellent article on slate.com (which you can read HERE) on the matter, so I will leave it to her to lay out the facts. It should bother you that A) the state has admitted for more than a decade that Staley is a paranoid schizophrenic totally out of touch with reality and B) thus cannot be legally executed, yet they are still attempting to do exactly that. Again, if this were happening in some foreign land, you'd be denigrating officials in that nation and thanking your lucky stars that you were born in America. Turn your hypocrisy off, people: this is real, and it is happening in the here and now, just up the road. We have to be better than this. I know that we are. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not sleep the night before Staley's date, not having heard that he had been given a stay of execution the day before. I've lived around him twice briefly, and he is completely gone. Men like him should be in a state hospital for the criminally insane, not wasting away in a cell, spending his day talking to himself and banging his head against the wall. Bazelon's story will break your heart, if you have one.

Better living killing through chemistry is a topic much in the news of late. In March, Lundbeck Pharmaceutical signed the Pharmaceutical Hippocratic Oath," which states:

"We dedicate our work to developing and distributing pharmaceuticals to the service of humanity; we will practice our profession with conscience and dignity; the right to health of the patient will be our first consideration; we condemn the use of any of our pharmaceuticals in the execution of human beings."

Lundbeck currently makes the murder cocktail du jour preferred by most states (but not Missouri, notably, which has decided to use Propofol to murder its murders; if that drug sounds familiar it is the chemical that killed Michael Jackson), so this is a significant development. Because similar companies are taking drastic steps to prevent their products from being used in executions, many jurisdictions have been unable to get their fix. I've written about this BEFORE (and BEFORE THAT). Also in March, federal judge Richard Leon condemned the virtually unregulated importation of such chemicals, blasting the FDA for its current protocols which allowed fly-by-the-night companies to export expired drugs to states (the decision, Beaty v FDA, can be read HERE). While most states are having problems finding vendors, Texas has apparently not been so constrained, having spent $50,000 on Nembutol late last year. When the abolitionist group Reprieve filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine the number of doses acquired and the name of the vendor, the TDCJ sent a letter to Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott (potentially our next Governor, come 2014), making the absurd claim that Reprieve's request was in some way equivalent to violent prison gangs. Their words: Reprieve's methods "present classic, hallmark practices comparable to practices by gangs incarcerated in the TDCJ who intimidate and coerce rival gang members and which have erupted into prison riots." They say that Reprieve "crosses the line from social activists dedicated to their cause to authoritarian ideologues who menace and harass private citizens who decline to submit to Reprieve's opinion on the morality of capital punishment by lethal injection." They conclude this attack by ominously claiming that "it is not a question of if but when Reprieve's unrestrained harassment will escalate into violence against a supplier."

Let me see if I have this straight. For insisting that governments are required to disclose information on how it spends public funds, for backing businesses whose products are being bought under false pretense and then used in ways that violate medical ethics, and finally for having the temerity to oppose the state in press releases, Reprieve is acting in the manner of a violent prison gang? Man, I wish the gangs I know acted like this; and here I thought they simply stabbed people. Shows what I know! I find the mental image of a tattooed thug laboriously filing FOIA requests and swearing to uphold the UN's charter on human rights to be rather amusing. In any case, Lundbeck Pharma pretty much destroys the TDCJ's point of view, saying, "We acted because we are a company that wants to help save people's lives, and we are against the misuse of our drugs in prisons. We took our stance long before we were contacted by Reprieve."

Do you ever watch the History Channel? I used to, all of the time. I recall statements made by the governments of Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin that made ridiculous claims similar to this one. I can, in a certain sense, respect a very meticulous and crafty liar, a wordsmith of consummate skill and confidence. But lies like the one lobbed at Reprieve were never meant to be believed by anyone. They were a stalling tactic, plain and simple, to deny a legally approved process of government oversight. Who amongst the left, right or center would possibly have a problem with more clarity in the public realm? You ought to pay attention when government does things like this, for this is a huge milestone on the path to totalitarianism. I'm just saying…

The culture of corruption within the TDCJ has gotten so endemic that the COS are nearly as angry with it as the convicts. I am in no way speaking in hyperbole. Most of the officers here are in total and complete agreement with the stated goals of my lawsuit. That, too, ought to say something. A contact recently sent me an article from a site called THE BACKGATE . This is apparently a news site designed for employees of the TDCJ. I'd like to direct your attention to a story from May 10th, regarding the resignation of the long-time chief propaganda officer for the system, Ms. Michelle Lyons. I am tempted to feel very little sympathy for this woman, as she has freely chosen to act as the chief flak for this place for years, and she pretty much admits herself that she said anything required of her "...9 times out of 10, I'm saying what they tell me to say, so if anything, I'm only a mouthpiece for the real lightning rods .... " Read the ARTICLE (it's short). Ms. Lyons states that the retaliation against her "began as soon as (she) questioned the way TDCJ required employees to track their time and how they appear to be circumventing federal labor laws .... " If they can act this dishonorably with an employee of such a high grade of pay, you think they won't lie or mistreat the rank-and-file? I think what is even more interesting than the article itself is the accumulated response in the comments section. Keep in mind, this is a site for employees. If they are saying things like "TDCJ is the most corrupt agency I have ever dealt with," you can imagine what they are doing to those of us in white. (While there, you might also want to stroll over to the article wherein the policy of requiring employees to freely give up their Facebook passwords is discussed. A state government agency requiring its employees to hand over their federally-protected privacy interests? Maybe some of you will now finally give me a pass for having called them fascists for years, eh?)

I could easily go on. These stories abound, with fresh examples springing up anew every few days. I think that it is fair that you ask me to continue to treat individual officers in the system humanely. But why on earth would I expand that upward to the collective? Does their behavior seem worthy of respect? Of kindness? They lie. They cheat. They steal billions of dollars, and cover this up by filling you with exaggerated fears of the boogieman. And they murder people, and have the gall to claim that their enemies are dangerously close to provoking violence. I am all for dialogue and debate and moderation. But at some point, you have to recognize when an entity has grown so rancid with corruption that repair has ceased to be an option, and that all that is left is to dismantle the entire substructure and start over. We crossed that line a very long time ago. I am confident that you do not have to take my word on any of this. Any honest investigation you undertake will inevitably lead you to the same conclusion. The only choice you have to decide is how many lives are going to be ground into dust before you finally decide to pay attention.

The first two lines of the quatrain I quoted at the start of this article deal with the traditional belief that the spirits of the dead could be frightened away by the raising of metal arms. Well, I am the dead, and your blades do not scare me, System.

You keep acting the way you have been, and the public is eventually going to take them away from you.

To see how the Lone Star state scored on the State Integrity Investigation's Corruption Risk Report card, click HERE

And to see an excellent report on the state of the death penalty by McKinney and Associates, click HERE.


© Copyright 2012 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved

16 comments:

Joe G. said...

Where exactly is Thomas in his appeals process? The federal writ of habeas corpus? 5th circuit? For all the info on this blog there is surprisingly little on the status of his appeals. I know he did lose his state appeals and he did file his federal writ a few months back but that info was not easy to find and I have no idea what the status ofbthe federal appeal is.

I would put stuf related to the appeals process in general and Thomas' in particular in their own section for easy access. That's some pretty important stuff and is also something a lot of people should probably be more familiar with.

Joe G. said...

Part 1:


Thanks for (not) answering. Geesh. Apprently no one here either knows or cares to answer what one would think would be a pretty important question; a lot more important than MWH's crush on 'Rene'.

I figure this is as good a time as any to offer a couple of observations about Thomas.

Given his passion and skill as a writer,  I am somewhat disturbed by the conspicuous lack of entries expressing or exploring remorse for having killed his mother and brother. Nary a peep. He's even had the audacity to declare has never killed anyone (because he wasn't the trigger man in the killings he orchestrated). By this reasoning Hitler never killed a Jew. 

The fact is the 'system' he so eloquently decries is far more removed from the immediate participation in capital puishment than he was in the butchering of his Mom and brother. I don't think he has remorse, and frankly, I don't think he has respect or affection for his father so much as he finds him useful. I certainly don't believe that he shares his Dad's religious convictions (mind you I don't either). I know the spectre of impending doom can make a person succumb to the comforting lies of religion, but in Tom's case I suspect his claims to have 'found God' are really just the price he must pay to keep his Dad on his side (it's another 'mask' id you will).

[to be continued]

Joe G. said...

Part 2:

What follows may sound like an absurd, Monty Python-esque joke, but the truth is, aside from the killing of his family, lying about being on college, and breaking into his high school to steal computers, his behavior isn't all that different from many 'normal people'. It's just thatvwhen he's behaves badly, he REALLY behaves BADLY. He doesn't seem to have a 'conscience' in the same sense most do. He's certainly on the 'sociopath' spectrum of disorders. Sociopathy may be a firm of autism; they both involve lacking the capacity to feel certain emotions and its sufferes often kearn to cope by mimicking what they observe others so. I think perhaps we may all be on the 'sociopath spectrum' to some degree, but Thomas is obviously on the extreme end.

What I don't understand however is why this seen as a bad thing, farvas his culpability is concerned. It seems to me that genuine sociopathy wouod be mitigating, not damning, in a case like this. But for the luck of the neurological draw there go I. 

We can feel high and mighty and stare in shock at how someone like Thomas could be so cold, but if your brain had the same unfortunate wiring you would be capable of such actions as well. 

In the future perhaps, a brain scan or genome test could determine whether someone had, for lack of a better term, a 'sociopathic brain' and treat such people as we would someone with an illness or deformity (which really is what it is); take steps to ensure that such persons do not end up committing abhorent acts. It's really sad; at some time in the not too distant future, someone like Thomas might be diagnosed as sociopathic at a young age and given a medication to compensate for the, for lack of a better term, 'faulty wiring'; be given a 'chemical conscience' as it were. 

[to be continued]

Joe G. said...

Part 3:

Alas we are not there yet, and Thomas did what he did and sits where he sits. It apprars to have taken the threat of a death sentence and being stuck in a concrete box to induce in him some capacity for empathy (and most of tgatvveryblikely feigned empathy). Very ineffecient treatment indeed. Nevertheless, barring speculative future treatments for sociopathy, Thomas has found a place where he can be productive and contribute positivelt to society without hurting anyone. Unfortunately, that place is death row. Untreated (and currently no treatment for sociopathy exists) I thini a free Thomas woukd always be a potentially serious threat. However, in the highly structured environment of prison, I think he would pose no harm to anyone and could be a true asset to society. Hopefully his death sentence will be overturned so he can use his exceptional abilities to contribute positivelybto society. Because his brain isn't just wired for sociopathy, it also happens to be wired for brilliance and various artistic talents. To kill him would be medieval indeed.

In the middle ages they thought sickness was caused by 'evil spirits'. Now we recognize that as ignorant superstition. Likewise, at some point, the notion that people like Thomas are 'evil' will seem similarly backward. He isn't 'evil', he just doesn't have what we call a 'conscience'.

[Done!]

Tracey said...

Joe, I have sent your comments on to Thomas and await his reply however he wrote about the state of his appeal in an entry dated 1 January 2012 called Checkmate in Three which also includes a copy of his federal writ.

My Family said...

Tracey will never answer anything private about Bart, despite the fact that she knows everything about his case. Nonetheless, Joe. His time is running out! He has maybe 1-2 years left, if that.

Joe G. said...

Thanks Tracy. I'm sorry for all the typos (I was using an iPad and in a hurry). I hope what I wrote is nonetheless still largely comprehensible in spite of the numerous typos.

In subsequent posts I'll endeavor to avoid typos.

Thanks again...

Joe G. said...

Can we send Thomas books or is he limited to whatvthe prison library has? I'd love to send him Sam Harris' latest short but great book on free will. I think Thomas would find it interesting. In fact, I'd like to send Thomas ALL of Harris' books because I think he'd love them (assuming he hasn't already read them all).

Also, if we can help pay for his school text books (hopefully he's still pursuing his graduate education) I'd be glad to assist.

In closing, I'd just like to share something I've been thinking about lately, vis a vis the death penalty. I have no faith in the appeals process, especially in Thomas' case and in Texas in general. Towards that end, I was thinking that those of us who oppose the death penalty should consider a more direct course of action.

Specifically, I was thinking about a campaign to pressure the companies that supply the lethal chemicals used in the lethal injection process to stop selling their chemicals for this purpose. Fortunately, there are already many companies abroad who will no longer sell poison to the US for this purpose, but I think a well organized campaign can persuade othersvto follow suit. I'm fairly certain the company's hat provide this poison manufacture other pharmaceuticals as well, and many people would be willing to take their business elsewhere if they knew that the company they buy their [insert name of innocuous chemical here] from was also selling poison to kill people with.

It doesn't have to be a majority or even a HUGE number of people mind you, it just has to be ENOUGH to $POOK them. If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that it doesn't take much to make a corporation squirm if the slightest threat to their bottom line is perceived.

People are dying; we can't wait for appeals or for the death penalty to fallmout of favor. Let's go to the source.

Just my two cents.

I'd like to hear Thomas' thoughts on this, if you would be kind enough to forward it to him.

Tracey said...

I will pass this on to Thomas for you Joe but I can answer about the books. You cannot send any books directly to Thomas, they must be sent from the purchasing house such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble etc. Second hand books are good to send through these channels.

As for his text books, these have been expensive and it is best to deposit the funds into his Paypal for that purpose then the books are purchased as he needs them and we make sure he has the exact ones required. There is a link to the right for this purpose, under LINKS called Defense & Education Fund via Paypal

Kc4th said...

It makes me sad, and frightens me frankly, that someone would dismiss Thomas as being a sociopath. I did not have my family murdered, but I have thought things that some might consider unthinkable. We, as fallible humans, all do and say things we regret. Granted, to different degrees, but who is anyone who judges? Certainly not the current judicial system for anyone well-informed and with regard to how that works.

I encourage anyone who makes snap judgements to not only read further back into this journal where Mr. Whitaker more than expresses true remorse, but genuine pain, and then analyze to whatever degree with which you are capable.

If life is to be respected, no matter how new, no matter how old, now matter how perfect or even how broken, conscience lies within oneself. No person can be a mirror into anyone else's soul.

Joe G. said...

@Kc4th:

This is presumably directed at me. You obviously must've just glanced over my post or stopped to complain once you saw the 'S' word because the whole point of my post was precisely that we ought NOT judge Thomas; that we are all 'sociopathic' to one degree or other and that degree owes more to things beyond our control than anything else (the way our brains are wired; the 'luck' of the 'neurological draw' as it were).

Whether we end up 'normal' law abiding citizens or on 'the row' has more to do with how our luck of the draw brain chemistry enables us to deal with the luck of the draw the situations we encounter in life than anything else; all this talk of 'good' and 'evil' sounds like silly superstition to me.

Another point I made that you apparently missed is that if indeed Thomas is properly construed as a dangerous sociopath, this really shouldn't be seen as damning or shameful but more akin to someone born with a club foot or missing a limb. For someone in Thomas' position I think it should be seen as mitigating, not damning. A true sociopath or psychopath, it seems to me, clealry has diminished responsibility. It's a physical condition, not a moral failure.

Regarding terminology, we need to keep in mind that psychology is a soft science, and terms like 'sociopath' and 'psychopath', like many in psychology, are a tad fuzzy. These aren't things like electrions and protons that have a precise and unambiguous definition. Psychologists themselves often conflate the terms.

Here's a pretty good link that explains the concepts reasonably well:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-psychopath-and-a-sociopath.htm
 

My Family said...

Whitaker is only sorry he got caught. He is not sorry, as he achieved what he wanted to achieve. Joe, you seem like a cool-ish dude, but hey, why don't you donate your money to the poor souls from the Colorado shootings instead? Or for Cancer research? Just a question for Whitaker. (If Tracey adds this comment) Why do you expect us to be disgusted with TDCJ, but not be disgusted with people who are on Death Row? You are both doing the exact, let me repeat that. The exact same thing. You kill, they kill! What should the punishment be for the guy who killed 12 innocent people in the movie theatre? If he got the DP, everyone on here would be sad. All your readers would be crushed. They would hate the jury who sentenced him to death. If you don't want to be executed. It's simple, real simple. Don't kill, or plan to kill anyone. Most people could not even kill a racoon, let alone their whole family. Best wishes with your studies, but I don't see the point in people wasting their hard earned money on books for you. Will your certificate be buried with you? You can't rock up to God with it, and expect him to say "Well done boy". Please for the love of God, give up Mr Whitaker. Be brave for once, and face your punishment. It's time!

Joe G. said...

@Tracy: To what address should books I buy for Thomas at Amazon or B&N be sent? How can I know he got them? I hear stuff gets 'lost' in the mail there.

Some say you need to send stuff via certified mail to make sure it's not 'lost' in the mail room, but even if that is true (is it?) it's not clear how one would do so.

Maybe someone else who has done this has some pointers.

As for "My Family", I appreciate you calling me cool-ish (and I reciprocate) but why do you assume I don't donate to cancer research? I do. In fact, my mother died of cancer and I myself have had not one but two cancer scares.

And yes, the poor souls in Aurora certainly are a worthy cause, but I don't see why one can't be concerned about people on death row AND cancer patients AND the poor souls of Aurora.

I don't blame you for asking or raising these other concerns mind you; I just want you to know that Thomas and death row are not my only concerns.

Tracey said...

Joe, I send Thomas books quite often and have never had a book go "astray". You need to send them to his usual mailing address:

Thomas Bartlett Whitaker 999522
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston TX 77351
USA

My Family said...

Joe.. you actually sound like a nice and rational person. I'm sorry if you felt as though I was having a go at you about not donating to other organizations. I also donate to cancer organizations. I have also been touched by cancer. Both parents, and a Grandfather. I would give anything to see them again. Bart had healthy loving parents, but decided to kill them! What I am utterly astounded by is an interview he did with 20/20. He was asked why didn't he just be honest with his father, when Kent said he had forgiven the shooter. Bart said "He couldn't face being honest with his Dad, and that he was scared of the Polunsky Unit" But he could happily face sitting at dinner with his family knowing that they would be all dead that evening, if everything went to plan. If Kent had died, Bart would be considered a serial killer. How can anyone be so sympathetic to convicted murderers? Some who have done unspeakable things. But they expect everyone to hate the TDCJ? It doesn't make sense, if you can love/like convicted killers, why hate the people who kill them? What is the difference? Is it because it's premeditated? Bart planned the death of his family three times. He is no different to TDCJ. Only what they are doing is legal, and they are not killing poor innocent women and young precious men. They are executing men who are considered to be so dangerous that they cannot even live in general population. These men cannot even be trusted around other evil offenders. I don't know how I feel about the DP, but what I can say is that I will not be sad when Bart is put to death. Just like Bart wasn't the least bit sad when Chris murdered his Mom and Brother. I feel for the victims, not for the men/women who killed them, and caused them and their families immense pain. ALthought, Whitaker wants us to hate on the TDCJ, not the murderers who reside there. God Bless

Tracey said...

This is an exact reply from Thomas...

"Joe G: I am currently parked in the federal district court. I had sort of expected to be in the 5th by now, so I'm not exactly complaining about the 'speed of government' at present. This probably makes me both a hypocrite and a coward, but whatever. The real reason that I do not publish much in the way of legal data on MB6 is that such sites are commonplace and I wanted this to be about something else, something closer to a firsthand report of the experience of being executed. I wanted this to be written for posterity, to a time and place when all of this madness was spent. The truth is, Joe, I do not believe that running this site is going to 'save' me (in all senses of that word), so I didn't want to taint it with selfish pleas for assistance or the like. I just wanted to talk about what it was like to come here. Something like that. I know that the focus has shifted over the years, but this is never going to be a place dedicated to my legal problems. I know that you think that I am some sort of a 'narcissist' (see your other comment for a longer response to that label), but I have never actually thought I was worth much, and so have never been very good at asking for help. I didn't want this to be that kind of place. Since you do actually seem to care, I will leave a short post the next time I get shot down, ok?"