Monday, August 17, 2009

Some thoughts, and some answers

Good afternoon to everyone,

I hope its a bit cooler where you all are. I believe it's hovering around the 100 degree mark here in my cell today.

I deeply apologize to all of you who have responded to my lasts blogs, and have patiently waited for my next one. Again I do not personally have access to a computer, so the process takes quite a bit more time than normal. I greatly appreciate your patience.

Before I answer some of my responses to you, I want to share something with you that I found a couple of days ago. It's one of those things where some one lets too much power go to their head. This is the case with Connecticut's Governor Jodi Rell.

On March 4th in Connecticut, the "Judiciary Committee" had a hearing on the death penalty, and recommended abolition. On March 31, by a vote of 24 to 13, a bill was drafted (Bill-HB-G578). This bill was then debated by the House and passed on May 13th by a majority of 90-56. The bill passed the Senate, where it was passed 19-17 votes on May 22nd. BUT, Governor Jodi Rell, made it clear that she would veto the bill. Never mind that every one else seen the need to abolish the death penalty in this state. She alone decided it was not going to happen, even if it means the tax payers will continue to pay for something that the majority of them don't want any longer. This is a clear example of how you can entrust some people with way too much power.

In Virginia, Governor Kaine vetoed a bill that would have expanded the death penalty to include accomplices to murder, and to those who kill on duty fire Marshal's or auxiliary police officers. He also vetoed a bill that would have made it easier to purchase and carry guns. The Senate failed to over ride the vetoes. So on one side of the coin, the law makers wanted to expand the reach of the death penalty to various crimes (violent crimes), and on the flip side, they want to pass laws to make it easier for people to purchase and carry guns. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

On to answering responses.

To: Cesar R Klinger-- Cesar, thank you for your words of appreciation. I can not personally visit your site, but my friend can send me print outs. I would very much like to know more about you and your site/blog.

To: Ms Moon-- Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you will keep reading.

To: Zengoof-- I appreciate the respect you have for me and my situation. I could have gone further and explained that capital punishment is arbitrarily applied, and maybe I should have. Most tax payers don't even realize the power a judge alone has in interpreting the law when it comes to capital cases... "especially when it comes to jury recommendations". It is in my opinion, another example of someone abusing their power for their own personal convictions/beliefs. I really appreciate all of your feed back, and look forward to hearing more from you. I know it is harder to see quiet as peace out there, as opposed to in here, but I would certainly welcome the madness and distractions of every day life. Even after 19 years on the row, I still miss all that. It's a different kind of peace in here my friend. In here it is borrowed peace. You can feel it one second, and the next it's gone. you can't run from the chaos and all the noise. Where I found most of my peace, is in my memories, or the friendships I've been fortunate enough to forge over the years with people on the outside. They constantly remind me that I'm still alive and not just another statistic. Much Peace, BD

To: Lady Lemon-- Thank you for your comments. Sometimes when I think about some of the things I write about this place I'm in, I still can't fully grasp the reality of it all. When I was "out there" as a free man, I never really considered my stance/opinions on the death penalty. i know the streets fairly well, yet until I became a capital defendant, i simply can't remember ever hearing much of anything concrete about the death penalty, other than it existed. Looking back now, I don't consider that I was ignorant, but like most of society, I was kept in the dark as to how it was applied and to whom. you mentioned the prisons being so over crowded because of non-violent drug offenders. I agree with you that this is a serious malfunction in the prison system. The feds figured this out a couple of years ago, and they let a lot of drug offenders out. I don't recall any states adopting their methods though. But you have to keep one thing in mind when you consider how there's so much over crowding in every state in the country. It is a billion dollar industry. It is in many towns and cities, the largest employment opportunity. Between the federal system and the state prisons, there are over 1.5 million prisoners locked up in America. I'd say at least 60% of them are for non-violent crimes. Even though I've been in the belly of this humongous beast for all these years, like you, I still have a great deal to learn about it. Thank you so much for your comments and I hope to hear more from you!
Peace, BD

To: Spiral Dancer-- Yes it was ok to pose what you did about Orwell. (I'm guessing your referring to George Orwell. I'm reading 1984 now) When people vote for the death penalty, I don't think the vast majority really stop and think "too deeply" about the mechanics of it. How it is applied, who it's reserved for and most of all, that they're voting to kill/murder/execute another human being. One that could easily be their brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, uncle or some one they grew up with. Or that despite this one mistake they made, or were accused of making, they were /are some one's son/daughter with souls and human abilities most people never get to see. I've met some pretty gruesome men on the row over the years, but the vast majority of the men I've come to know, despite their crimes, are just every day normal human beings that sit in a cell for 20-30 years and waste away. Their true characters are never seen, their dreams are never realized and the only thing that is remembered about them, is not any good they ever did, but the worst thing they ever did/or were accused of doing. So it is easy for someone to say "I'm for the death penalty", when the human aspect is eliminated from the equation. Can you tell me which Orwell book you quoted from?
Thanks for your sharing and support. BD


Petit fleur said...

Hi my friend,

I agree that the government is just screwed. Same thing was happening during that whole Iran / Contra thing with ole Ollie North... Nobody seems to remember that. Selling ammo to the middle east on the sly then publicly denouncing their wars. You are so right, and it's infuriating.

Shall I take a trip to Conn. and kick her ass! :0

Your responses to all of your comments were beautiful.
I love you. xoxoxoxo

Ms. Moon said...

It is good to have this perspective- one we hardly ever get. Thank-you.

Identify with Dexter said...

I really appreciate your openness and easy-to-understand fact sharing around the subject of the death penalty. This post led to a great discussion between my partner and I. Before I could list all your great points, he listed his, which were very akin to yours. He also mentioned that states with the death penalty don't have an appointed person to do the actual job, but instead hire an anonymous person and pay big bucks to do so. It's as if the government isn't owning up to the fact that they are, in fact, killing human lives by having to hire anonymously. I think it feels like the mafia: the big guy won't do the killing, but he'll get some other underneath guy to do it for him. It's underhanded and contradictory, like so many messages our government sends. I've never agreed with the death penalty and think your willingness to discuss your experience inside will be an eye-opener for many people who bump into your blog. Thank you.

Zengoof said...

"A borrowed peace." Well said, BD.

For me, the most compelling argument against the death penalty is what is does to us -- all of us. Every time the State deliberately kills someone, we as citizens of the State are complicit. And with each person killed, we become a little harder, a little colder, a little less human.

I imagine you face that struggle constantly, bombarded with all manner of discharge the natural reaction to which is to become a little harder, a little colder, a little less human. Hang in there, BD, you are a remarkable person.