by the state of Texas July 10, 2008
& Raves II
scheduled an execution date for Carlton - September 27th 2007 - Stayed by the USSC 3 hours before
Texas wanted kill him, ...for more respect of its reviews ... (Lethal
Injection - Baze-Kentucky
A. Turner - July 2007
Greetings! Let me begin by expressing the fact that this was written for
open minds who are void of ego-fueled judgements and for my colleagues who have been
pondering the Truth of Life in an unbroken circle when the true path of
evolution is an outward spiral. Though it may seem that we repeat the same
events profusely, I postulate that we are several degrees separated from
the past and future. Maybe I can shed some light as to my personal
understanding as concisely as possible without becoming boorish or
preaching too hard. I intend to speak universally and outside of personal
ambition, so I hope that anybody reading this can separate the Truth from
the man and embrace my expressions for what they aspire to convey.
I will begin by bringing stress to the meaning of words. From my
perspective, so many of us have gone so long speaking words without
meaning what we say or saying what we mean. There are only abstract
understandings of the ideas and concepts we seek to exchange. This leads
to many misconceptions of what is being expressed and misunderstandings of
the next person's intents and purposes. Once this grows into it's mature
state it breeds ignorance and division amongst humankind. Not only must
begin to refine our own speech, I propose that we start actually taking
the time to consider what the next person is saying, instead of presuming
a meaning. I have found that most people don't really mean to attack
someone with words, but are trying to express an idea within that may be
unorthodox to the current conscience pervading the environment at present.
Yet, many people have the tendency to listen with their ego instead of
their minds without due process of information.
tend to use prejudices and assumptions without delay. Like an influential
man once said, "When you make an assumption, you make an 'ass ' out
of 'u' and 'mption' ". On my own terms, I do my best to speak here in
a clear and decisive manner so that the things I write aren't taken out of
context due to some people's preconceptions of what and who I am. I
apologize if I tend to use a semi-complex vernacular, but one who truly
seeks knowledge will easily pull out a dictionary if they don't comprehend
a word. An easy solution! Even a Wiseman will not presume that he knows
every aspect of a word and will consult a dictionary to break down a word
and apply each meaning of the word to its sentence. This would be called
the science of literature if it were my world! Some would probably call it
epistemology or gnosis. Words are used to express knowledge and most of us
strive to ascertain the Truth from these expressions.
Now, Truth is another thing I must speak upon before I go any further,
because I'm sure many are thinking to themselves that Mr. Turner is wrong!
not the Truth! The Truth is... Or they're saying, well that's your own
Truth! Yet, verily I say to you that none of us are sole proprietors or
purveyors of the Truth! I can only speak my perception of the Truth in
hope to be understood by those who are subject to embrace the form of my
speech. I like to say that we all have individual "messiahs"
(messengers) who are in tune with. Many speak on the same subjects, but in
different style. Each person has a group of people who understand them and
a group that will totally disagree, even tough they will agree with
someone else who is expressing the same concept but with a different
style. However, all messengers are trying to speak the Truth. A Wiseman once
said, „Truth is the only thing that doesn't change. In this realm, there
are two things: One is the Truth and the other is falsehood or illusion.
Truth has no cause, but is the cause of everything." Though
this is an incomplete version of that Wisdom, it still communicates my
subject. Truth is the base or root of everything that exists and illusions
attach themselves through our own imperfect process of evolution. Within
my own understanding, Truth is like a pure beam of Light being filtered
through a prism. The prism breaks this pure (Holy) Light into many
different colors which we all perceive from our personal vantage points.
We all are seeing different aspects of this Light and try to communicate
it with imperfect expressions, which further corrupts the color that we
see. It is not uncommon for us to switch positions and see a different
color than before, but I don’t know many who have seen all colors and I
couldn't even guess what happen if we were to truly behold the pure Light!
Yet, maybe that could be the purpose of this world... to slowly bring us
to that Light so that we aren't suddenly enlightened and blinded, because
no matter how much you lead a blind man into the Light, he still cannot
behold it! All he can see is darkness. So, much of what I write is only my
perception of the truth which I try to communicate for others to
comprehend who are awash in their own colors. I invite you to try to open
your mind to the whole spectrum, because if you don't first have the
purpose or aspiration, then you will not strive for that goal!
Recently, I've been hearing a lot of speculation as to my religious
preference, but those close to me know that I am not a religious man. I
seek the positive products thereof! Yet, if you must require some basis or
reference, I am still an adherent of Islamism: the study of Peace! Do not
take my words out of context or impose a standard or your own brand of
what you call Islam, because I specifically said (once again) - Islamism:
the study of Peace! However, the rumor is that I've become a
"Christian", which I would like to firmly deny. I am not part of
this religion. I am not to be associated with the history of
"Christians" or the "Church". Those things are
temporal manifestations of the gift of salvation granted to us by God
through the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth. This is core of my belief,
which is the ladder to my faith in God. Anything outside of that range is
inconsequential. Many of my fellow scholars of religion may ask how can I
separate the sacrifice of Jesus from religion of Christianity. However, if
you are a scholar of such issues, then I direct your attention to the
history of the practices we have studied. Many others may follow along,
but for this instance I presume I may lose some of you....
I said, let's look at the history of this issue! In most of the religious
systems in the world - ancient or modern- there is a path to faith in God.
This path is represented by many things which manifest philosophically or
materially, maybe even both. This faith in God is sometimes seen as
spiritual enlightening, higher conscience, degrees of adeptness. etc...
Yet, the focus and goal of these paths ultimately lead to salvation from a
lower state of being! Some call this lower state Hell, regression, or
stagnation. Sometimes it is called Death, but I'd have to disagree with
this term for this instance. Anyways, these paths have methods which may
require deep thought and/or meditation. Many require rituals and/or
ceremonies of various kinds for various reasons. One thing that I found
prevalent in most of these systems is that in the end, you are to make a
sacrifice or offering in some form. It could be sacrifice of animals. It
could be the sacrifice of established beliefs. It could be the sacrifice
of will. I could be the sacrifice of ego. It could even be the sacrifice
of one's 'Self', as evident in some cults that we have seen. Sometimes
this takes place at an altar of materials or within the temple of the
mind. Yet, here is my point in my belief, which draws from my past study
and doesn't outcast any of that as pure falsehood and so-called
Throughout these paths to salvation there are prescribed methods of
reaching the goal for specific transgressions or perceived wrongs that we
have committed wilfully or inadvertently. There’s a ceremony for
fornication, murder, coveting, violence, infidelity, etc. ... Each time
one commits a transgression according to their religious moral code, then
they hold a ritual to achieve ablution and hopefully repent, but we all
know how weak are to temptations and often we become repeat offenders! So,
in turn, we conduct ritual after ritual to clean ourselves and reach a
state of perfection or purity according to our system. We always come to that sacrifice over and over! How
many offerings must be make? It seems perpetual! Who's to say that you
will not die before you have atoned for your transgression? Who's to say
that you're pure when you wake up in the morning? You can never be sure or
your salvation. You can only work feverishly each day to appease your
Godhead! You become a slave to ritual and eventually you'll come to abhor
it as a labor! I asked myself several times if this is truly the path to
salvation I want to follow. I searched and searched these systems for an
absolute solution to our problem of salvation. I've been through Wicca,
Theosophy, Satanism, Buddhism, Egyptology, Freemasonry, and many other
spiritual systems and have found the same path of repetitiveness! The only
system that I have not participated in is Atheism, because I cannot even
fathom how anyone could postulate that there is no God. Something
created this universe and whether you believe in a system or have
independent faith, there is a God there. Throughout my studies, I have
discovered many manifestations of who Jesus was and is. Some are based on
mythologies or allegory, but they strive to convey the same idea of
salvation within Jesus' sacrifice in some way. However, time and time
again I've misconstrued the message or purpose of the sacrifice within a
moral context. I fell victim to my own assumptions of what was being said
due to my past misunderstandings of religion of Christianity. This was
held me back for so long. At one point I was even an Antichristian because
of my youthful energy and zeal. I let the religion's history and people
preaching outside the sacrifice keep me away from learning the Truth.
However, I kept searching.
Through these other systems, I came to accept Jesus as a man or prophet of
God, but never found it within myself to accept his Death as a sacrifice
for my sins. My mind was too focused on the people preaching the fire and
brimstone drivel and rebelling against them for persecuting who I was. I
only saw those people telling me about their Christian morals and seeing those
same people fall to transgression and become pure hypocrites! I didn’t
want to be hypocritical, so I stayed away because I assumed that I would
be forced to accept their standards morally if I tried to get involved
with their ‘religion’. The society surrounding me is influenced by
Christian values and as a younger man I hated a society that seemed to
hate me, therefore, I hated their religion too, but as time went by, I
learned to quell my hatred and try to understand why things were the way
they were. There had to be some kind of reason! So, I was no longer an
AntiChristian, but I still refused to believe in sacrifice of Jesus
because of my prejudice. Ironically, I still continued to learn more about
Jesus from other perspectives! I
came not only to accept Jesus as a man, but I learned enough from sources
to accept who he was as an allegory or mystical interpretation of a
perfect man. A man who had transcended all obstacles of ritual initiation
and learning to achieve a higher state of being. Through these systems I
continued to strive for that goal of perfection. This higher state was
called being God-like. This appealed to my strong ego and other teachings
that I had embraced, but again, it’s a circle!
In many temples the circle is a divine shape of perfection, but
figuratively and philosophically I questioned that a God could be trapped
into a circle. I made no sense to me that God be trapped in one state of
perpetual being. That’s when I learned that Life is not a circle, but a
continuous outward spiral, so therefore, I could never submit myself to
them. The search continued, but in my own ignorance, the answer was right
under my nose!
Yes, we strive to become that perfect man or God, but do we ever reach
that goal? If we keep transgressing against our own standards, then the
answer is a resounding NO! However, I did know of a perfect man! His name
was Jesus! That’s when it occurred to me: “What would be the perfect
sacrifice for all sins other than the perfect man?! “WHAM-BAM-BOOM!
There it was! So, I went through my mind with the systems that I had
studied and upon each altar I placed this perfect man and everything that
he was and is conformed to the paths to salvation! Ritually and
philosophically it all made sense! No matter how you applied it, Jesus was
the answer to the problem to the constant sacrifice. One sacrifice to end
them all! Yet, this is not where it ended with me, because I was a very
stubborn and ego-driven person. I STILL didn’t
accept this epiphany until I further investigated. I said to myself
that it couldn’t be that simple!
! So, I made it complicated, but through each ringer I put it through, the
sacrifice of Jesus applied to it all. Then, I was sent a blessing in form
of a man Mr. Roland Espada. I began discourse with him on my remaining
questions about accepting Jesus as my sacrifice. I wanted to make sure I
wasn’t taking it out of context even to the “Christians” point of
view. I didn’t want to think I had made it arcane or trying to mix the
wrong elements, but through his counsel, I was finally able to be sure
that this was it! I wasn’t some divine revelation out of the sky that
fell on me that I don’t understand myself. It took a long hard road of
study to understand this subject. In the end I did what I found was
hardest thing and sacrificed my ego and admitted that for all of these
years I’ve been wrong! Did
that by accepting Jesus as my sacrifice in all aspects o Life. This
was a humbling experience, because
now I see how wrong I can be in all of my education. I am humbled
by this glory , because it takes a genius to apply a solution to
a problem this big that effects us all and can be implemented by
all on my level that operate on. To my fellow colleagues who believe that
their God-like state of being is in question if they were to accept the
sacrifice of Jesus, please get a Bible and read these passages – Genesis
1:26-28 and 3:22, Psalms 82:6, then John 10:34-36 … I am still a Vice
Lord and evermore shall be! This is how I came to accept Jesus as my
sacrifice, for those who have gossip to spread!
As I stated before, do not call me a Christian. To do that is to associate
me with inquisitions, crusades, with burnings, etc…. Plus, when the
followers of Jesus were first called Christians, it was a slanderous term:
That would be akin to me the word ‘Nigger’ as a description. Then, on
top of that, the term ‘Christian’ means: to be Christ-like. I am not
Christ like. I am not perfect. I cannot sacrifice myself for you, so
therefore, I am not a Christian, but I still respect those who use this
term to identify with their religion. I have a personal belief in Jesus as
the perfect man who gave his Life as a sacrifice. This belief
has cemented my faith in God, because through accepting this
sacrifice, I’ve fully submitted myself to God. What is amazing to me is
the ridicule a person will receive for submitting to God – the Supreme
Being and Architect of the Universe- by the same kind of weak minded
people who wilfully submit their own ‘self’ to the will and authority
of another human! A mere human or mortal! Yet, it’s funny that I submit
to a power greater than a whole planet of humans? Preposterous! All I can
say is that I wake up everyday with a positive thought I’ve done
everything to avoid a lower state of existence or Hell, if you will. If
I’m wrong, then there’s no harm done, because I’ve walked the other
paths and have understanding to face their possibilities. However, if
you’re wrong, then let me tell you that you had a chance to come to
terms and your ego/pride is going to lead you into a state of being that I
can only scantily glean in my most darkest of nightmares, need I remind
you that I have a vividly dark past and have observed and experienced many
a dark day. If there’s anything worse than my nightmares, then I feel
sorry for you if you’re wrong. Me? Hey I’m still dressed in all black,
but the Golden Rays have made sun-shiny days to nurture my spirit! One way
or another, I’m a winner and I give all the glory to God. Without God,
Let me tell you this, I am still not some crusader or slayer of evil! I
don't feel the urge to minister to everyone or chide those who are doing
dirt. This Life and I understand Life has many attributes. Some like to
look at everything as it "Black and White", but they fail
to see the colors! I still don't believe in "Good vs. Evil",
because both words are subjective and I like to be objective. I believe
everything just 'is' and from this existence, we grow into the people we
are meant to be. However, that is just a belief of mine. From my
observation, I see events as catalyst that stimulates our growth. These
events can be viewed from many perspectives and judged by many standards.
What one man considers and 'evil' act may be the next man's 'good' in one
way or another. Most people have justifications for things that they do,
but in the end things just happen regardless of intentions. From this we
learn lessons and grow. I my own Life I have boiled it down to 'positive'
and 'negatives' which are objective terms to me. Everything is full of
both traits and I find it very scientifically. It seems like almost
everything in this universe has negative and positive attributes on some
level. I doesn't seem like things work correctly if they are imbalanced.
For a battery to operate, you have to use both the positive charge and the
negative charges to implement the vehicle you intend to use. I see this in
most things that regardless of what people consider 'good' or 'evil' there
can be positive or negative things to be pulled away. So, I am very slow
to tell someone that they are wrong from moral standpoint or
strategically, because as they say, there's more than one way to skin a
cat. Either way, the cat gets skinned and that’s the progress. With this
in mind, I am humbled enough to say that there are probably times when I'm
wrong and don't even know it! I might be wrong in every sentence that I
write, but either way, you can draw negative and positives from it. Here's
how: Positively, I have a chance of reaching out to someone and
influencing them to learn to Love Life and accept it for what it is and
not for what they presume it to be or what they would like it to be.
Positively, I might be speaking to a person who eventually accepts Jesus
as his sacrifice and they could go on to do the same. Negatively, I may be
drawing the ire of some wretched Soul that who falls even further from
salvation, just because they don't like me, so therefore, they won't
accept the sacrifice. Negatively, someone could be making fun of me behind
my back and speaking down on me because I was candid enough to publicly
declare my belief and faith. While I may have written this with intentions
to inspire positive thoughts and progressive aspects, there’s still that
balance in the universe, regardless of 'good' and 'evil'. I don't consider
myself to be more righteous than the next, because righteousness is a
standard of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Plus, I know that I am still
subject to temptation, but faith in God to edify me as needed and teach me
the lessons I need to know. I never assume that I’m correct in all
matters or that I know everything or even anything! Yet, I will continue
to live until I leave this realm as myself and not what anybody else
presumes me to be or what society says I should be or what the government
tries to imprint upon my mind.
The last subject I would like to address here is the future of humanity.
That future is Love! Unconditional Love which is only reached through
understanding that every one of us must be nurtured and balanced. Any
deviance from an individual usually stems from imbalance. We must care
enough about each other to recognize this and take the time and effort to
correct it. It doesn’t mean to oppress or imprison someone. It means to
communicate and find out where this imbalance is within and encourage that
person to work within themselves to modify and/or apply themselves in a
positive manner to reality. Not to conform to standards that have been
imposed upon their conscience, but to find productive and positive ways to
interact with the world. We need construction and not destruction, but
until we come to Love humanity, then there is no future. We will continue
to consume this planet without abandon! We will consume each other,
because once our resources are gone, we can do nothing but turn on each
other. By then, things will be so savage that cannibalism will not be
beneath our codes. Survival is reality. Consumerism is a luxury. A
destructive luxury! Much of what I express is not because I’m better
than the next man. I express this because I have been a victim of many of
these things which can become addictions. Through experience and
understanding my ‘Self’, I apply it to the next person, because we are
bound together whether we like it or not! I have seen the destructive road
I travelled and from that position I have seen that path humankind is
heading for. Though I have found individual salvation mentally and
spiritually, it won’t save the world. I’m not saying that Love will
happen amongst humans, because from what I see, that destruction is
coming! I say the future is Love, because if there is no Love, then there
will be no future. Thank you for your time and patience. Live well and
"Why I'm Mad"
June 2007 by Carlton A. Turner
WHY I'M MAD "
mad because I'm trying to maintain a hold of my humanity. Not from the
maintenance itself, but the madness is a by-product of the struggle within
itself. For those of us forced into situations so futile and strenuous, it is
automatic that we must struggle with our emotional wellbeing. I will use my
own situation as an example.
Death Row we have been subjugated into many forms of degradation and
deterioration. We are confronted by psychological warfare from many angles.
Some subtle and some more blatant. We are forced to live in a deprived
environment. That deprivation makes our very being starve for the necessary
nourishment to maintain humanity. There are many articles and essays covering
this, but let me try to explain briefly.
has been years since the last time many of us have felt the touch of another
human. A simple hug from family or friends. A kiss from our lovers. A
handshake from an associate. A shoulder to lean on when times get hard. Just
the basic holding of a hand has been taken away. We can look forward to never
ever having basic human nourishment again. We have been surrounded by
our own deprived ilk. From these same people we reply on conversation. A lot
is developed within the conversation of humans, being that we are social
animals. Even before entering the dregs of this prison, many of us suffer
from different levels of neurosis. I’m not saying that we are all crazy,
but many of us have mental deficiencies from past lives. This may be from our
childhood and how we were raised or where we were raised. Growing up a
is hard enough within itself. Yet, this is also taking into consideration
that many people have hard lives without being a Blackman. However, these
problems only get worse in this type of environment and people only twist
into more morbid forms of themselves. One person’s neurosis can socially
feed into another’s through conversation. It doesn’t help when I’m
seeing a yellow gorilla and the next man tells me that he can see it too and
then begins to describe it in full detail. These misconceptions of reality
can perpetuate on many levels psychologically and it only takes time before
the whole group is subject to this distorted picture of existence. It can get
so bad that if you cannot see this distortion as reality, then you are
labelled crazy by your fellowmen and ousted! Since humans crave social
interaction, they are subject to capitulate to this insanity. Then, you have
guards who like to come to work and aggravate the circumstances with their
own sadistic urges, which is nothing but a neurosis within itself. They play
games like taking away a person’s time for recreation or shower. Then, when
you ask for the ranking official, they’ll refuse to go get them. Another
thing they might do is talk to you like a child or animal. Sadly, sometimes
this leads to some people acting out as children and/or animals. Then, you
have another problem to deal with. I mean, this place is just a miasma a
neurosis and sadism. We are denied activities such as recreating in a group.
Therefore, we can’t play team sports or even board games for some kind of
stimulation. The food they serve is bland at best! There have days where I
haven’t eaten just because they didn’t serve anything palatable. One of
the worse things is how they deny our mail and publications. They do much of
this stuff on their own whim. The best thing you can do is file a grievance,
but a grievance won’t fill my stomach, heart, or mind. It is merely a
inedible for nourishment of humanity!
personally, sometimes these things fester in my mind. I can’t say that my
past has been all that great due to a variable of conflicts, so I am still
burdened by all of that baggage. On top of that, I now have to deal with this
place and the unspoken struggle we face is the fight to maintain out
humanity. A human manifest in many aspects, which I categorize into:
physical, metal, and spiritual/emotional. This is where I let you know why
I’m mad! I’m in a struggle to maintain my humanity, because the elements
of this situation trample on every aspect of who I am. The madness stems from
the motional aspect of my humanity. All of this degradation can lead a person
to feel like the lowest scum on the Earth. Like things couldn’t get worse
than this. Sometimes even getting to the point that you would even think that
Death is the only way out or wanting to sit down and just wait to die because
nothing that you do matters. This is a totally depressive state of mind!
There are options though! I could accept these conditions of my depression
and give up. I could decide that my only way of survival is to kill my
emotional being. This would akin to killing aspect of my humanity. My other
option would be to recognize this struggle for what it is and fight back! On
a personal level, anytime my well-being is challenged. I tend to get mad! So,
my anger grows! I’m pissed!
people around me wonder why I’m such a grumpy and fatalistic person, but it
is my only way of fighting to maintain my humanity. When I cease to be
angered – I have truly lost! While I do still a Peace of Mind, inside my
heart burns an anger and madness deeper that hell. I am unrepentant, because
I refuse to give up or pretend that fighting for my humanity is wrong. I
refuse to apologize for surviving and surrendering a crucial part of who I
am. I am not afraid of my emotions. Some people think that it is a strength
to have killed their emotions and walk around as if everything is going
great, but this is a form of ‘Self’ denial. They have denied themselves a
piece of humanity. Though this Life has not been an easy road, I still see it
as a gift and I am honored to play my part no matter what the role. To honor
and respect the architect of this existence, I feel it is my duty to maintain
the integrity of its parts. Therefore, No, I will not kill my emotions. I
will be mad as my heart spews fire as it pleases. I will not let pacifiers
throw water on me to calm me down. I will wake up in a bad mood and stay in a
bad mood until I am naturally calmed. I will not be tamed. I will not let
other people’s ideas of progress pacify me into believing that everything
will be okay because we’re doing it their distorted way. I will be pissed
and do things my way and be even more pissed if they don’t work. People,
this is what you call passion. My madness fuels that passion. Passion partly
defines what an individual is. Whether it is positive or negative. Passion is
what drove Martin Luther King Jr. to write speeches. Passion is what led
Adolf Hitler to seek world domination. Passion is what drove Harriet Tubman
to help free slaves. Passion is what leads a man to kill his cheating wife.
Passion is what led Jesus Christ to carry his own cross to his crucifixion.
Many elements can drive for various intentions. Madness drives my passion to
maintain my humanity. You can excuse me or not, but I will most definitely be
pissed! This is why I’m mad!
BY: Carlton A. Turner -
Polunsky Unit D.R.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston - Texas 77351
"Cleanliness is next to...."
A Fork In It (It’s Done)”
begin this article extending my apologies to those few people who actually
care about me. As much as I hate
you to worry about me, I felt like this past “Hunger Strike” was
necessary for the ultimate intents and purposes inherent in our cause and
also to explore and implement every avenue of progress that can be made.
In such an intense circumstance, all options must be employed.
We face an entity that will stop at nothing to crush us with its
depravity and turpitude. At this
point I don’t plan on ever participating in another “Hunger Strike”
unless I perceive it as an effective means to directly abolish the Death
me crazy, but I had a very heightened sense of other people wishing failure
upon the “Hunger Strike.” It
wasn’t even coming from the normal source of hates, but from individuals
who wisely kept silence in the past and also from a few who proclaimed to
“support” us. Hell, not to
mention a couple who participated in the last “Hunger Strike” and one
who seemed to be trying to sabotage the protest with his own actions within
the protest. Sad!
There were several individuals who were trying to talk a few of us
out of the protest with the façade that they didn’t like seeing us hurt
ourselves, but behind the mask I felt jealously and malice of positively
emanating like a dark nimbus of light. These
people never cared about us before, so why should they start now?
Then the few who kept quiet in the past really got out there this
time with pure contention and ridicule.
The ones that participated in the previous “Hunger Strike” saw a
mass of others doing more days of protesting than they did and jealously
caused them to speak down on the protest.
The same applies to a lot of people on the outside of these walls.
Hate and negativity manifesting in the guise of “supporters.”
this was still a minority – thank goodness!
My apology is extended to the people who gave words of encouragement
– regardless of their personal opinion (which they let it be known.)
Your voice we definitely heard and in the interests of exploring all
methods of progress, I have decided to try things your way.
Many of you did not agree with the extreme methods being applied and
us being hurt. You did not agree
with the civil disobedience or sacrifices.
I understand your perspective, but as I stated earlier – everything
must be explored. All was not
done in vain! There were several
positive advances that were made, which a few still continue to manifest.
If anything – at least we’re past that moment in our fight and
can move forward with a clear conscience that we did explore that option and
seen the effects of it. I only
hope that others don’t mistake persistence for pure foolishness like Don
Quixote fighting the windmills…As I was saying, I’m going to try things
your way now. No civil
disobedience. No hurting myself.
No violence. Yet, I will
continue to sacrifice my time and energy to the fight.
may ask, “Well what are you going to do now?”
I guess you haven’t read my article called, Aspirations
United. Go check it out
– I’ll wait right here…Okay I’m sure it wasn’t too long for you.
Those are general goals, but it will take a lot of work to
accomplish. With this in mind I
will employ my first fundraiser as a personal gauge of how this whole thing
should work in the future. I
feel that – if anything – that throughout my recent activities and
works, I have proven myself to be very serious about fighting for our cause.
I have continued to give and give.
Then, after that I gave more. I
gave what I didn’t know I had. I
will continue to give. However,
I’m understanding enough to realize that I’ll need help in the near
future. This is where I look to
you true supporters of our cause. This
fundraiser will be held soon and I ask that you be prepared.
It will be held at my personal web site: http://CarltonTurner.deathrow-usa.com
If you would like to make an early or late contribution, then be sure
that you can visit my site and do it at any time.
Anything given will be greatly appreciated!
I lost everything I had to come do this protest and that moment in
history is over.
those of you who are interested in how the rest of the “Hunger Strike”
went, here you are…not too much civil disobedience occurred after the
tenth of January. In the
interests of avoiding negativity and letting other men maintain their
integrity, I will not expound too much on the meek showing of others to
participate, because many did stay on the “Hunger Strike” and that’s
intense enough. So, things
turned out pretty eventless other than the continuous communication between
me and the officials who did make a small effort to improve conditions
according to the unofficial document I wrote called Immediate
Resolutions. To this
very day I am still pushing those issues and waiting for you to participate
in that initiative…Eventually, me and an associate of mine, Mr. Ryan
Dickson, were the last two on the “Hunger Strike” by the 25th
of January. As time passed and
we became weaker (blacking out just trying to stand up), it became clear
that there would be no hospital visit. Here
in TDCJ, the word “unresponsive” translates to “dead.”
The medical staff let us know that they would only take us to the
hospital when we became unresponsive. People,
one of the issues we have here is the ineffective medical treatment.
Could I really depend on this medical staff to catch me when I fall?
That became the biggest issue. I’m
trying to protest death…not consciously cast myself into guaranteed death!
I saw no chance in living through it and I also became very aware of
what needed to be done in the fight and saw nobody else with that knowledge
or my dedication to do what needed to be done.
Everybody was caught up in pride/ego games.
Me and my associate decided to eat on the 28th.
By then I weighed 178 lbs and due to the still – meager food
served, I continue to lose weight!
how it ended. Well, aside from a
bunch of negativity…I came away from it with a very clear understanding of
what needed to be done, so now I’m out to do it – with your help, of
course. Please, do not assume
that what little you can do won’t help or that there is enough support.
The cause needs all of you! We
conclude this piece by inviting your comments/suggestions and/or feedback.
I am always looking for ways to improve myself within and outside of
the beehive. It is also crucial
that I become better educated to the history and legal aspects of the Death
Penalty in hopes to better tackle the issue.
If you can help, please contact me through my many channels or write
me directly. Until
Greetings! Please allow
me outline a few things that have intention on accomplishing. I anything, it
can be also seen as a list of proposals, because most of these things
require the assistance of people outside of these walls. So, feel free to
contact me if you’d be willing to work with me on some of these
aspirations. Also, just in case something happens to me, maybe someone else
could pick-up where I left off and produce results through these general
course, everything is subject to modifications.
off, my foremost aspiration right now is to find a web-designer to help me
found a web-site tentatively named “Abolitionist Unit”! This person has
to be independent and free of any prejudice toward any abolitionist group.
This site is not meant to be an organisation, but a community where we can
finally unite. Once upon a time alchemist believed that base metals could be
somehow conjoined and produce the precious metal gold. In this spirit the
initials for the web-site would be “AU”, because that is the symbol for
gold on the “Periodic Table of Elements”. I keep hearing calls to unite
our groups, but I don’t see anybody taking this initiative. It’s
probably due to the problems and disagreements from the past. Plus, nobody
wants to lose their identity. However, “AU” is meant to unite all
without taking away your identities, because I want every group and
individual represent on the site – no favouritism. I want to create an
identity profile for each and every person, so it will be easier to know
each other. Even those who wish to stay anonymous will have their place. I
want to have a ‘chat room’ where our issues can be spoken on and
community meetings can be scheduled. The main purpose of this is to organize
everyone into a potent and effective force. This is done by us all coming
together on common grounds and participating in events together. I propose
that this be accomplished through a democratic process of votes and fund
raisers. I want a place on the web-site where everyone can vote on a plan of
action. Then, whoever came up with the idea has to write a proposal of why
this action will benefit us. After that, an informed goal is set and a
fundraiser is presented. This gives everyone a choice in how much they’re
willing to donate to an event. Once the goal is met, it should be understood
that the majority has voted and funded this plan, so let’s put our own
pride/ego aside and support the plan and participate. I also wand to
establish a system of mediators, so when arguments ensue there will be a
neutral party that earn intervene. This way differences can be settled
peacefully. There are many possibilities and kinks to work out, but this is
the general idea.
make an example of this process and the potential I want to write the first
proposal and present the first fundraiser using another aspiration. I want
to retain the service of an attorney here in
to fight for the abolishment of the Death Penalty and to file grievances and
petitions that are effective against the inhumane conditions forced upon
Death Row residents. First, I will find a specific attorney that is
is like no other. I am also looking for para-legals and attorneys that would
be willing to work as assistants to this attorney ‘pro bono’. Not only
to help, but also to monitor him and make sure he’s being progressive and
productive. I will eventually gather enough information to write the
aspiration I have runs along the same lines, except that I will be proposing
an initiative to have a student of law come to
law and specialize in the work we’ll need to fight for abolishment. First,
I will have to make sure this is approved by the student. I guess it will be
more like a scholarship.
I hope to become educated enough to write a document similar to “
Immediate Resolutions”, but this would be for the board of directors of
TDCJ to make changes in the conditions on Death Row. We planning on asking
for things like; group recreation, televisions, work program, religious
services, etc. … Then, I‘ll need to another similar document towards
pushing legislature and reaching a moratorium on the Death Penalty and
eventually abolishment. All of this is going to take small steps. I want to
get the ball rolling. It would really help if any of you reached out to me
on the process of TDCJ board of directors and legislature. That way I can be
more effective. I’ll need to start meeting you people face-to-face and
that is another aspiration within itself. Let’s work!
on a personal level I am trying to find a fashion designer to help me
produce a clothing line I have in mind. That’s really my only personal
course, many other goals will be reached through these aspirations, but
these are main ideas that will begin the landslide. All I need is the help
and these things can unfold. If you have any input or feed-back, please
contact me Thank you for your time to hear me out.
A. Turner -999321
Polunsky Unit DR
3872 FM 350 South
A Chronicle of
This is for anyone interested in how things have been going since I
began my "Hunger Strike" on the first of January. I am
writing this on the twentieth of January, so please excuse me if i
become incoherent at times. Lack of food and many discouragements along
the way has taken a lot out of me. The title of this article is meant
to reflect a feeling I’m experiencing. It's like my life is already
shrouded in a shadow, but there's still a light to be seen which I hope
to be here to see the next Golden Dawn. However, at this moment I know
complete darkness awaits. A darkness that will swallow my whole being
as I tread alone. Only the strength blessed upon me by the Almighty
Lord of the universe will sustain me. Yet, here I stand in twilight to
tell you about the days that led to this moment.
January 1, 2007 was the "jump-off day". The first thing I did
in the morning was to wait for them to open my feeding slot so I could
stick my arm in the food box. Pancakes were on the tray again.
Obviously, it was already known to the administration that protests
were planned and they weren't going to let their ranking officials slip
by demonstrating the unprofessionalism they display on any other day of
the year. A lieutenant came to ask me what the problem is and I let him
know that I was conducting a protest to solidify the fact that I had
refused the tray and declared myself on "hunger strike".
Usually this one individual is the most unprofessional and
condescending lieutenant you can speak to. However, this time he took
his time to talk to me to let me know that all "hunger
strike" refusals would be accurately documented. With that much
considered, instead for making them suit up a team, I just waited until
I felt they were half-suited up and then I removed my arm from the food
Later on that morning I went to the recreation cage to protest again.
While I was out there, the two officers working the pod asked me in a
serious manner why we were protesting. I briefly spoke on the
conditions we have to live in while pointing it out from where we
stood. When television privileges were mentioned, they perked up. They
said that a majority of the guards were pushing - to a certain extent -
to get us T.V. privileges. They explained that it would cut down a lot
of trouble and work, as they know that guys with T.V. will be very easy
to manage if their behaviour was connected to their T.V. and there
would be less recreation due to guys trying to keep up with their
shows. I've never seen bigger "Soap Opera" fans than these
fellas on Death Row. I hate to admit it, but I’d be very compelled to
make level 1 to watch some shows!
After speaking with them, I refused to leave the recreation cage so
that the sergeant would have a chance to talk about his side of the
conflict. The sergeant came on the pod and we had a very positive
conversation on the whole situation on Death Row. He echoed the same
sentiments the other guards had about T.V privileges. I explained the
many problems on the conditions we are forced to live in. The sergeant
actually takes out his notepad and writes stuff down. Then it came down
to what I would do and I let him know that because of his
professionalism, I would not make him perform a major use of force, but
I still had to protest so I would refuse to walk back to my cell. He
seemed to understand (if not respect) that fact that I must protest
until I see improvements. Too many so called protestors in the past
settled for promises that were never kept. So, after more conversation
the sergeant suited up a 4 man team to carry me to my cell when I
refused to walk. When I got back to my cell I filled out a
"written statement" for the minor use of force, in which I
addressed the issues I had on my mind. Mainly it was based on the
filthy living conditions.
That night, I decided that I needed to organize my thoughts, so the
next time I spoke to the rank I would have my issues in line. Plus, I
wanted to keep everything relevant to the authority I was speaking to,
so I only made a list of problems to be resolved by the rank that
worked on the unit. From this aspiration came the document we know as
"Immediate Resolutions". While I drafted this document it
occurred to me that nobody else was allowed to recreate or shower on E
and F section of this pod and they fed us sack meals, which made it
easier to refuse. Sack meals are usually nasty! Also, I noticed that
the cleaning crew was taking an unusual amount of time cleaning the
pod. I got up to look outside of my door and saw that the porters were
given proper cleaning agents and tools. THEY DETAILED THE POD! Then I
found out that ALL the pods would be detailed! I recorded this as a
small step towards positive progress without any hostilities. This
showed me the willingness of the rank to rectify the problems within
their authority. I went to sleep that night with a sense of
The next day, on the second, "E and F" - sections were let
off lock down. I finished writing the final draft of "Immediate
Resolutions." I was on "cell restriction", so I only got
to shower that. A rather uneventful day. The calm before the storm!
On the third day I refused to leave the shower after I was done. I
presented the carbon copy of "immediate Resolutions" to the
Sergeant. He was indifferent about the whole deal. He was more
concerned about getting me out of the shower. I could tell that he
didn't want to do any extra work, but I explained to him that until I
began seeing serious efforts to resolve our issues that I must protest.
I wanted to at least let him be ready to get a team to suit up and
carry me back to my cell. He remained professional and performed the
minor use of force in a respectful way. During my minor use of force,
the lieutenant showed up and took the time to listen to my issues and I
let him know that nothing is personal during the protest as they remain
non-violent. He seemed to understand and agree that we should keep it
on a professional level. He just asked for a chance to make things
proper. On my minor use of force "written statement" I
addressed the inadequate food service and dirty necessities.
Later that afternoon, I was called out to have a media visit. KXAN Ch
36-Austin happened to be doing a presentation of the effects of child
abuse. As I mentioned in an earlier article, a while back I wrote a
child protection agency to see if I could help in any way. As KXAN
interviewed these people they mentioned my letter. A beautiful lady
named Jenny Hoff was sent to speak with me on where child abuse could
lead to for those abused. I tried to be informative as possible, but I
was a little flustered as I was not prepared to speak on such a deeply
emotional subject that I still don't fully understand myself. As we
concluded I briefly mentioned the "Hunger Strike". She wrote
it down, but was only mildly interested, so I figured that would be the
last I’d hear from her. I enjoyed the visit otherwise due to the fact
that in this prison none of the females come close to being gorgeous or
polite. So, it was a break from the ever present monotony.
A Sergeant and Lieutenant came to take me back to my cell and I refused
to walk! That's number two! In one day! I tried to press some issues
with the rank, but both acted like they wouldn't even talk. When they
did start talking they became very combative. I saw that they couldn't
be reasoned with, so I continued to be polite and ended the
conversation. I decided that I would just continue to make my point on
the written statements.
On the fourth of January they finally began to weigh us. I weighed
202lbs... Not eating really started catching up with me this day. I was
so drained of energy and every time I stood up I would get so dizzy
that my vision would black out for a few seconds. Instead of taking me
to the infirmary to get weighed, they had the nurse bring a cart around
with the necessary equipment. The scale is so screwed that they have to
calibrate it every time they use it. Plus, they've began doing the
weighing during the mornings. Nothing much happened all day. At night
they passed out brand new socks! Could be another step? I'm sure as
time goes by others will take credit for these things, but I have the
disciplinary cases to prove it and my "Immediate
Resolutions". I've already seen many people trying to take credit
for this "Hunger strike" and it disappoints me that men can't
get past their ego games. I trudge on by myself in search for change
and positivity, though many times I see these frauds exploiting my work
as their own. I hope to do so much work that you can't mistake who did
this. Castle of Deceits falls hard! Make no mistake, other than me, the
only organization qualified to speak about starting this "Hunger
strike" is Steven Woods of www.anarchyinchains.com. Those who
participated can speak about what they've done to make it more glorious
than I imagined it would be. I don't have a list, but I’m sure they
have their own stories posted. I leave it up to you to discern the
frauds and drama queens from the truth.
Not much happened on the fifth. Somehow I weighed in at 204lbs and what
had previously been reported that were 21 men on "hunger
strike" had somehow been whittled down to 9 men in one day. As
with most news in the prison culture, this turned out to be a lie. It
doesn't surprise me in the least. I did sit down on the run, but after
a conversation with the Sergeant, I decided to walk back. In this
conversation me and the Sergeant come to an understanding that we would
coexist without hostilities. He would do what he could to make the
necessary changes and allow me to protest on specific days since the
protest was not meant to be spiteful. He promised that we would be able
to protest and bear no retaliation if I just did it on appointed days.
This way, not only does he have to validate his word on making
progress, he also has to let me protest without retaliation. Thus,
progress is made; protest is done: and there are no hostilities leading
to a negative environment. We agree to these terms and both sides have
kept their word.
I submitted an I-60 to the major requesting to speak to her about
making progress towards improving the environment that men here are
protesting against. Of course, I didn't really count on someone so
arrogant to grace me with their superior presence, but I felt it was
worth a try. I also mailed in a grievance about the unnecessary
harassment of Level 2 and 3 residents by denying them access to their
The sixth was eventless. I weighed in at 200lbs, and was very weak and
dizzy all day. I've accumulated so much restriction from protesting
that I can't even get more than a reprimand! So, all I get to do is
shower while I watch the others go to recreation each day.
On the seventh I wrote an article "Just in Case" in a moment
of realization that I could die from this "Hunger Strike".
This was an appointed day of protesting, so I sat down coming from the
shower. A Sergeant came to talk to me and had a conversation with me
about resolving the issues I've been bringing up. He let me know that
by pointing out the things that had already been done around us that
they were working on it. Then he spoke on some initiatives they were
taking that would unfold within weeks. He also mentioned that Food
Service would be improved and a new kitchen Captain appointed. We
conducted the minor use of force in a respectful manner and I was given
ample time to make a verbal statement on video. I wish that I could
really convey how offkilter this has me that the officials are making
steps to resolve the issue and work with me on my protest. They even
make suggestions of things we could do to fight the Death Penalty. That
very night the showers were cleaned with a hot water pressure washer! I
really couldn’t believe it! Another thing I can't believe is other
men's inability to see these things I’ve worked for and achieved. The
potential of effectiveness is great and I feel that with the public's
help we can make the same progress against the Death Penalty.
The eight found me at 197lbs and the whole pod on lockdown due to other
protests apart from my actions. I wrote "Immediate Resolutions:
Part 2" while it was quiet enough to think. The dizziness and
weakness subsided a bit. Only a bit!
The whole pod was still locked-down on the ninth. I weighed in at
195lbs and felt pretty well despite the circumstances.
On the tenth I was postponed for shower until second shift. When I came
out of the shower I sat down in protest of the ongoing murder of Mr.
Carlos Granados. What really struck me is that I actually knew this man
and I can't even begin to tell you how nice of a person he was. I can't
vouch on his past before we met, but this was one of the most tolerable
guys I’ve EVER met. He tolerated a lot from people and still found
the peace within to smile and laugh around it. If you asked him for
anything he could spare – it was yours. What really struck a nerve in
me was that the murder was being committed at that very moment, as I
watched men who declared to be protestors go to recreation and showers
without a peep as this murder occurred right under our noses. Even a
man (who was at recreation) who agreed with me that we should protest
all executions didn't say a word even as he watched me make a statement
against the execution and get carried to my cell. This disgusted me to
the point that it made me proclaim total independence in my protest due
to lack of support from ANYONE else. All I’ve gotten is brow-beaten
and criticized by others and even ridiculed that I would dedicate
myself to the point of facing Death for my beliefs. The only people
showing a willingness to work with me to change things positively are
the TDCJ officials themselves. They haven't just talked-they showed
So, from that point on I knew that what could be done here would get
done by the work of me and rank. I have confidence in "Immediate
Resolutions" that you will support me by helping that document
reach its full potential. After this, all we can work on is the things
controlled by the board of directors in Huntsville and Texas
Legislature. This is only to be done by you and me. So, that’s where
I look to if I survive this hunger strike. People, I was so disgusted
that if not for my word, I would have quit any form of protest.
Let me give you a run down of my weight by date...
Jan 11 - 197lbs / Jan 12 - 198lbs / Jan 13 - 194 lbs / Jan 15 - 191lbs
/ Jan 16 - 196 lbs / Jan 17 - 189lbs / Jan 18 - 189lbs / Jan 19 -
188lbs / Jan 20 - 189lbs... On the seventeenth a nurse informed me that
my kidneys are starting to give out. She said that it could also hurt
my liver and heart - permanently.
Now, please allow me to take this moment to express something I've come
to understand even deeper during this "hunger strike"... I
have come to actively know the difference between "hunger"
and "starvation". "Hunger" is a condition of the
mind that can be psychosomatic or affect the physical aspect of a human
with a pressure that can stimulate pain. However, this is but an
illusion as "hunger" can be defeated by a strong will of mind
to be disciplined enough to control the intensities of its cravings
which can be addictions. An example is a healthy man that just finished
eating a huge feast, but in his mind the meal isn't complete without
dessert! So, he hungers for dessert until he gets it. This borders an
addiction. Yet, even as everyday humans, we have conditioned our bodies
to expect food at certain intervals/periods of the day. This scheduling
unconsciously triggers "hunger" at certain times of the day.
The time doesn't have to be based on a clock, but also events or a
level of stress can trigger it. So, people who don't truly need food at
all experience this "hunger". Now comes
"starvation"... "Starvation" is an actual
destructive element that manifests from true deprivation or denial.
Only the truly denied feel "starvation" and the only way to
defeat it is to nurture that aspect of a human which has been deprived.
"Starvation's" attack is as real as a wound inflicted upon
the flesh. Just like a wound, the effects can spread to their parts of
the body. Lose enough blood and you will die! The concept of
"hunger" and "starvation" extends to both aspects
aside from the physical body: mental and spiritual aspects are in
jeopardy! Education, Love, Food and spiritual belief/discipline (no
matter what "God" or religion you choose) is necessary in
nurturing a healthy human being.
People, the men here are being deprived of healthy nurturing here on
Death Row. We are denied contact visits and face overly strict rules on
the visits we get - thus, depriving us of love. We starve for love! The
effects of this are evident by every frustrated and loathing voice
heard here. The pain is self-evident. We are denied religious services
and have few outlets that produce healthy spiritual counseling/advice.
The only education we get is through books that we have to order and
then have no guidance in how to learn, So, either you get no education
or miseducation, Many men read books and try to speak on subjects as if
they know something, but they are so off-base because they've processed
the information without clear understanding due to the lack of a
teacher. This applies to religion also. You'd be hard pressed to find
healthy food! What we do get is scrawny servings and/or ever so
under-cooked food. During this hunger strike I have found discipline to
conquer "hunger", but I cannot defeat starvation - so, while
I feel no hunger, I still starve. Those unconscious to this distinction
don't even realize the effects of deprivation and how it is harming
them. Yet, they do know that they feel pain and torment. Whenever they
"hunger" that makes it even much more horrid. This has led me
to empathize even more with those being deprived anywhere of any
important aspect of their health. No one aspect is more important than
the next, because the deprivation of one bleeds into the next. A
healthy human is one nurtured and balanced in all aspects: physically,
mentally and spiritually. (For all my atheist friends: It is possible
to believe in "Animism" without God, because if that were not
possible - then your aspects would be impossible. Spirit is part of
Finally, there are a few things I’d like to get off my chest in the
search for understanding so that we may all move forward, instead of
languishing in unspoken negativity.... First off, I seek understanding
in why everyone has to tell me that I shouldn't hurt myself and
possibly die for this "hunger strike". When I ask them,
"Why shouldn't I?," I get no response. They act like I’m
doing this for fun! Listen here, this shit ain’t no joke! Part of the
reason I feel I must take it all the way to force-feeding and possibly
Death is because the ridicule I've had thus far, like "hunger
strikes" aren't serious. Plus, we did a hunger strike recently and
this time I know we must speak louder. Nobody is taking it serious. My
whole message is that we must take everything seriously. I'm tired of
watching men walk out of here never to come back. Tired of seeing
another broken family that interacts with society- which in turn hurts
us all. Truthfully if the men here on Death Row, Society and
Abolitionist cannot take our cause more seriously - then I really don't
want to be here in a doomed and condemned atmosphere. I'd rather bow
out on my own terms. I'd rather die trying to make a positive change in
this world than be a victim. I'm not here looking for your pity. I'm
here to gather supporters of the cause and launch effective resistance
against this plague! Yet, let me say this much... After this
"Hunger Strike" I will make an effort to do things your way.
I will conform to your idea of how I should be. Why? Because I believe
in giving other methods a chance to work. So, when I (if I) come back
from hospital - I will cut my hair and shave; I will start eating: I
will not demonstrate here; and I will maintain "good
behavior" to attain Level 1 status. When I do that, I will look at
how many of you support our cause with me then. Can't nobody doubt my
seriousness and dedication, because I’ve done what I can to submit
myself to our cause. I am a Brotha and a servant to the will of the
People right now, I’m keeping my "word" to the people who
saw this "hunger strike" necessary. Pulling out my associates
from the demonstrations is a step toward fulfilling the will of
supporters who feel we shouldn't activate civil disobedience as a
Another thing that comes to mind is why would any of you speak out
against the "hunger strike?” I understand if you disagree with
it and I totally respect that. I didn't like it either, but it's a
shame that I feel that it must be done due to the situation. Even so,
the least you could do is keep the negativity to yourself. I was hoping
that regardless of your stance you'd be able to give some words of
strength and/or encouragement or positive reinforcement.
The last thing I want to speak on is the misinformation going around
that DRIVE started and/or sponsored these protests and "hunger
strike". Since nobody has taken a step from their ego to clarify
this - let me do it now. Why? Because people need to realize that these
actions and passions aren't consolidated to a select few. In the
beginning of the other "hunger strike", not one DRIVE comrade
was involved. When the plans for this bout were conceived, there was
not one DRIVE comrade involved. Each time guys had to conquer their
egos to have the strength to get involved with something they didn't
start. People need to realize the strength it took for the DRIVE
comrades to get involved with something outside of their own plans and
goals. The guys who really took big steps are those independent of any
group. Most of them stayed on the "hunger strike" longer than
any DRIVE comrade. Mr. Steven Woods of www.anarchyinchains.com deserves
a lot of credit for his determination and hard work which has over
shadowed anybody's in my own eyes in a positive way.
In conclusion, I would like that recognize and give my utmost respect
to the other 20 men who participated no matter how long they lasted or
how they lasted! Everyday was a testament to their solidarity and
strength. Nobody can take anything away from you. I will make sure we
are heard! Thank you for your help and I hope that you were able to
inspire someone close in a positive way. For the negative haters - May
God have mercy upon your tortured souls... Darkness awaits!
Carlton A. Turner 999321
Greetings, my friends! WE NEED YOUR HELP! "How?" you might ask.
Well, let me explain. "Immediate Resolutions" was written for the
ranking officials on the Polunsky Unit to bring the conditions up to
regulation according to the TDCJ policy and Death Row plan. Our inhumane
environment is a big part of why we are protesting. The document was also
written for the rest of us to have a tangible scorecard. It can be used to
mediate solutions without creating a negative "us" against
"them". Cooperation is the key and someone needs to take the
initiative to voice concerns. This way we'll be able to work towards our
where you come into action! What we need is for you to make copies of the
article "Immediate Resolutions" and mail it directly to the
ranking officials on the unit. I am including a list of names who you can
send the document to. These people also have email and web sites. I also
welcome you to send the document to whomever you feel would be interested in
the issues and have the power to achieve our goals. This will ensure us all
that these officials are aware of these concerns and it will be self -
evident if they are willing to rectify the problems plaguing Death Row.
this is done, once you feel that these officials are in possession of your
copy of this document - whether it be by mail and/or email - make a
conscious effort to make periodical phone calls to these officials (maybe
once a week, if not every day) to inquire on these issues and to see if
they've made any progress in resolving the issues.
is not guaranteed to work and do not assume enough people are doing the
same. We need as much help as possible. Thank you for any efforts you have
of these officials can be reached at:
South F.M 350
the documents multiple times to make sure!)
Row Major Nelson
Row Warden Hirsch
Row Captain Dickens
Row lieutenant Price
Row lieutenant Bryant
Row Sergeant Tolly
Row Sergeant Newberry
Row Sergeant Thompson
Row Sergeant Horton
Row Sergeant Ludwig
Row Sergeant Choate
Row Sergeant Valentine
Row Sergeant Price
A. Turner - January 24th, 2007
following subject matter is a set of initiatives that can be applied by
Polunsky Unit officials such as; Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, the Major
and Warden to reach resolutions with the protest/demonstration that began
January 1, 2007. This was drafted by offender Carlton A. Turner TDCJ
an attempt to peacefully mediate a solution to the problems on Death Row for
everyone involved or affected on both sides of the matter (offenders and
TDCJ employees). This is not meant to speak for everyone, but only a tool to
voice the concerns, which we generally have in mind, which many find it hard
to articulate in a professional or cohesive manner. Resolutions of these
matters are within the parameters of Unit Officials and would help work
towards the cessation of the recent protests/ demonstrations.
will begin by explaining the format in which this is written. On each
initiative it begins with a general outline of the solution. This is
followed by a detailed description of the whole subject at hand. I hope to
be able to use this as a reference tool in the future. Most of this already
outlined in the “Death Row Plan”, but not being implemented
sufficiently. This is not a list of demands due to the fact that these are
things that we are already supposed to have by policy. Once we establish and
maintain what we’re to have by policy-only then can we begin making
demands to improve our situation.
Floors – need to be swept and mopped with proper cleaning agents at least
twice a day.
Showers – need to be scrubbed with proper cleaning agents every night.
Dayrooms – need to be thoroughly cleaned.
a. bars – need to be scrubbed with cleaning agents.
b. toilet/sink – needs to be sanitized.
pods on 12 building (death row) need to be detailed at least once to achieve
a clean living area and then they need to be maintained daily. On a regular
basis the SSI aren’t given the proper agents to clean the pods as they are
supposed to. Many times they aren’t even allowed to come on the pods to do
their work. This applies to both shifts. The level of filth is easily
determined by the dirt and grime accumulated on the drains; dirt and trash
under the stairs; plus the filth on the dayroom bars. This is a condition
imposed on all pods.
Menu Items – all items on the menu for each meal should come on the trays.
a. salt and pepper – need to be passed out every week.
b. butter and sugar – needs to be on the breakfast trays when
Quality – the food needs to meet the requirements already established by
a. temperature – the food needs to be hot when served.
b. taste – the food should have a tolerable flavour.
c. beverages – drinks need to be cold, tasteful and not taste like
Variety – the same meal should not be fed over and over again.
a regular basis the food served to us is cold, bland, meagre and overall
insufficient. A few times I have found foreign objects in my food such as
stones and hair. Most of the times the menu includes sugar and butter on the
breakfast tray, but we don't get it. When we ask for it and address the
issue with the rank on duty, we are told that the kitchen failed to send it
out and that they can’t get it or don’t have it. There have been whole
months where salt and pepper is not passed out even though it’s requested
almost daily. Several times the food has been spoiled and the beverages
tasted like dishwater or some kind of chemical. The nastiness and
unfulfilling quality of the food makes it that much easier to go on
‘Hunger Strike’ and refuse food that isn’t appealing or edible in many
cases. Pancakes and noodles and meat are served almost daily.
Cleaning supplies – these should be passed out on the established days.
a. bippy, tooth powder and razors – enough should be ordered to
supply all offenders.
b. cleaning agents – enough should be ordered for the SSI to
effectively do their job.
Clothing – clean and intact clothes should be issued.
a. socks – more need to be ordered to meet the need of all
offenders without having holes.
b. boxers and jumpers – these should not be ripped up and
discoloured when passed out.
Every week (Sunday being the established day) bippy, tooth powder, soap and
razors are supposed to be passed out, but more often that is not the case!
One of the excuses that are given as to why our living areas aren’t being
cleaned is that there are no cleaning agents. Whether this is true or not
evades me, but if it is then it’s relevant to necessities. Everyday when
necessities are distributed, there is at least one section – if not two
– who are left out because there isn’t enough clean laundry to pass out.
The socks regularly have holes in them. Jumpers usually are missing buttons,
ripped and/or dirty to the point of being discoloured.
Item selection – offenders need more items to choose from.
commissary list – needs to be expanded on all bases; food, stationary, art
supplies, hygiene, etc....
b. stamp limit – the limit of how many we can buy and possess needs
to be raised.
c. update sheet – a notification of what is available for the
current week needs to be
2. Availability – the warehouse needs to take measures to stock up on what
we can buy.
look at the current commissary list speaks volumes on the issue that the
choice offenders have is meagre. On top of that, when an offender fills out
an extensive list he only gets a fraction of what he ordered. The commissary
employees are always saying that the warehouse isn’t stocked up. They even
take away items available and add one measly item without us knowing it.
This item added is usually an overpriced generic version of one of the many
items taken from the commissary list. This contributes to a corrupt economy
practice where “supply” is purposely not meeting the “demand”, which
enables commissary to charge ridiculously high prices, because offenders
have no choice o buy anything else.
Medical – more attention needs to be given to the physical health of
a. diagnosis – evaluation and discovery of illnesses should be more
b. treatment – proper treatment of these ailments should be sought.
Mental Health – counselors should be more attentive and accessible to
a. accessibility – counselors should stop and talk to offenders
the past we’ve had deaths which could have been prevented if “Health
Services” were more attentive and/or efficient. Illnesses such as strokes,
heart attacks, etc... could be treated if the medical staff diagnosed the
problem correctly and treated it accordingly. Too many times symptoms of
major ailments are misdiagnosed and treated with the pseudo-nostro,
ibuprofen or Xantax. This can lead to other health problems; permanent
damage; and/or death! Mental health counsellors are on pods where offenders
have immediate mental problems and ask to speak to the counsellors as the
counsellor walks away telling him to put it in an I-60 or even outright
ignoring him. This contributes to the suicide/depressive mind state that,
“nobody cares”! This neglect has also been extended towards offenders
who have already displayed suicidal tendencies through attempts on their own
lives and it has led to successful suicides. This is death we’re speaking
Access – the law library should me more accessible to death row offenders.
a. books – offenders should be able to check out more than 2 books
longer than a day.
the Polunsky Unit administration finds it infeasible that Death Row
prisoners be escorted to the law library, it should at least allow offenders
better access by increasing the amount of books and time with the books
granted. Our appeals determine whether we live or die! Regular library
literature is granted for a week. One day is not enough to research complex
technical information that our lives depend on.
Disciplinary – the procedure and balance of the discourse should be
a. cases – these should not be written as a tool of retaliation or
vengeance by officers.
b. procedure – all rights of the offender should be observed.
c. punishments – excessive restrictions should be discontinued.
Level 2 and/or 3 property – leveled offenders should be in possession of
a. clothes – level 3 should be allowed to have their thermals
during the winter.
b. hardback books – level 2 and/or 3 should be allowed access to
all of their books.
Recreation – recreation areas should be equipped with suitable materials.
a. workout mats – should be in each dayroom.
b. basketballs – smooth and flat balls should be replaced with new
disciplinary process is being used by unprofessional officers as a tool of
retaliation. Many times an offender has done nothing to violate the
rules/regulations of TDCJ, but due to personal differences; arguments; or
out of pure spite an officer will write the offender a case which is bogus.
Then, once the case is to be reviewed by a hearing officer, the offender’s
rights are violated as the hearing officer will proceed with the hearing
without the waiving of the 24-hour notice and without the attendance of the
offender after the offender specifically states that he wishes to attend the
hearing on the disciplinary report section “offender notification” which
is signed and dated. Refer to case*20070117144 for an example of this. Even
if the offender is granted this much, he is still not given the
consideration of innocence and found guilty regardless of evidence that he
is innocent or cooperative (ex. A groomed offender being guilty of refusing
to groom). After that, excessive punishments are given as it is common to
get harsher punishment for minor cases than major cases.
2 and 3 offenders are enduring unusual harassment by being denied their
hardback books outside of official administrative property restrictions.
Reading books is the only thing we can do to stay occupied in the
sensory-deprived environment imposed on us. Level 3 offenders are being
subjected to cruel conditions by suffering the elements of cold weather,
because they are being denied seasonal clothing.
dayrooms are supposed to be equipped with work-out mats, but a walk-around
will discover that many don’t. Also, those that do contain mats have
filthy and extremely tattered mats. Many times the basketballs on the
outside recreation yards are smooth and flat. They cannot be used. They need
to be replaces with new ones.
stated before – these are initiatives that the Polunsky Unit can apply as
a step toward resolution. Solving these problems and maintaining the
“status-quo” would be a step toward smothering the discord and malice
that contributes to an environment where people feel the need/urge to
protest. These are just “immediate” concerns that all have in mind. Many
other steps must be taken to fully resolve the issues surrounding the
protests. This can be used as a checklist to display the willingness of the
Polunsky Unit administrators to solve problems in a professional and
peaceful manner. This will be distributed to as many ranking officials as
possible. It will also be posted on various internet web sites as evidence
that efforts to communicate have been enacted. Lastly a grievance will be
submitted on the above problems as to officially state problems.
January 24th, 2007
A. Turner - 999321
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston - Texas 77351