State-administered death is always a greater horror than any other by virtue of the methodical reasoning that precedes it. French philosopher Albert Camus wrote that "capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders". "The United States' concept of justifiable homicide/Executions in criminal law stands on the dividing line between an excuse, justification and an exculpation. In other words, it takes a case that would otherwise have been a murder or another crime representing intentional killing, and either excuses or justifies the individual accused from all criminal liability or treats the accused differently from other intentional killers.

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An Execution Date set

Mr Ralph Stokes #AY-9034 PA

175 - PROGRESS DRIVE
WAYNESBURG, PENNSYLVANIA 15370-8090 (U.S.A.)

Email: RalphStokesPA@deathrow-usa.com

 

 

He sent us this, April 2004

THE LAST ROUND

in English below

DIE LETZTE RUNDE

Nun du  musst dich nicht mit Boxen auskennen, um von dem Bekanntheitsstatus zu wissen, den Smokin` Joe Frazier in Philadelphia und auf der ganzen Welt genießt. Millionen von Boxfans und solche, die nur Zeugen werden wollten, wie Geschichte geschrieben wird, werden niemals den Kampf zwischen Smokin` Joe und Muhammad Ali vergessen. Es gab drei blutige Kriege zwischen ihnen - Der spektakulärste Kampf war "Der Thriller in Manila" und er ging für immer in die Annalen des Boxens ein. Jahre nachdem er zurückgetreten ist, eröffnete Joe Frazier mehrere Geschäfte in und rund um Philadelphia. Eines davon war "Joe Frazier`s Restaurant", welches berühmte Stammgäste hatte.

An einem warmen Frühlingstag 1982 stürmten zwei bewaffnete Männer dieses Restaurant und schossen herum. Als es vorbei war, gab es drei Opfer, die durch Schusswunden getötet worden waren. Diese brutalen Morde, welche sich im Lokal des beliebtesten Bewohners der Stadt zugetragen hatten, sendeten Schockwellen durch die Gemeinde. Die Polizei durchsuchte die Stadt auf der Suche nach den Mördern.

Ralph Trent Stokes, ein 19-jähriger Schwarzer, welcher früher bei Frazier`s gearbeitet hatte, bemerkte schnell, dass er im Mittelpunkt der Untersuchungen stand. Es wurde auf den Straßen davon gesprochen, dass die Polizei ihn töten würde, sobald sie ihn sehen. Furcht ergriff ihn, da in Philadelphia die rassistische Polizei schwarze junge Männer straffrei tötete. Stokes wusste, er hatte absolut nichts zu tun mit diesem Verbrechen - so rief er schnellstens seinen Anwalt an und ging zur Polizeistation. Ein schuldiger Mann wäre geflüchtet - wie die wahrscheinlichen Schützen in diesem Fall, Donald "Razor" Jackson und Eric Burley, welche - die Gerichtsakten zeigen es - kurz nach den Morden über Atlantic City und New Jersey nach New York City flüchteten.

Stokes erklärte auf der Polizeistation, dass er absolut nichts über das Verbrechen wüsste, dass es damit nichts zu tun hätte. Sie attackierten ihn mit verbalen Angriffen und vielen Fragen und er beantwortete sie, so gut er konnte. Die verärgerten Polizisten versuchten noch weiter, ihm Druck zu machen, aber sie hatten keinen legalen Grund, den Jungen festzuhalten, nur weil er einmal ein Angestellter von Joe Frazier war - so mussten sie ihn gehen lassen.

Er verließ die Polizeistation als stolzer und glücklicher junger Mann, der dachte, es wäre vorbei. Er wusste nicht, dass das Renommee und die Karrieren der Polizisten von diesem Fall abhängig waren. Und er wusste nicht, dass sie unter enormen Druck der Bezirksanwaltschaft standen, eine schnelle Verhaftung in diesem Fall zu erzielen - und Stokes Euphorie war nicht von langer Dauer - aufgrund der Aussagen eines der Verdächtigen stürmte die Polizei sein Haus und nahmen es auf der Suche nach Beweisen, die ihn mit dem Verbrechen in Zusammenhang bringen würden, auseinander. Sie fanden nicht einen Fetzen, nichts was ihn belasten könnte. Trotzdem verhafteten sie ihn und obwohl es keine Beweise gab wurde Stokes des dreifachen Mordes angeklagt.

Die Neuigkeit der Verhaftung dominierte die Titelseiten der lokalen Zeitungen für Monate und die abendlichen Nachrichten brachten täglich neue Details über das Verbrechen in Joe Frazier s Restaurant. Vor Beginn seiner Verhandlung verließ der private Anwalt, der ihn zur Polizeistation begeleitet hatte Stokes und das Gericht ernannte einen Pflichtverteidiger. Dieser Pflichtverteidiger Malcolm Waldron vertraute seinem Klienten an, dass er in den letzten zwanzig Jahren keinen kriminellen Fall dieser Größenordnung hatte. Er vertrat nur einige Versicherungsfälle und die Komplexe dieser Art von Verteidigung und Gerichtsstrategien wären ihm unbekannt. Er machte keine Nachforschungen und er rief keine Zeugen an, die aussagen hätten können, wo sich Stokes zum Zeitpunkt des Verbrechens aufgehalten hat. Diese wären entscheidend gewesen, den falschen Aussagen der Mitangeklagten entgegenzuwirken, der gegen Stokes aussagte. Im Tausch gegen eine lebenslange Haft bei dem einen und kurzer bzw. gar keiner Haft für den anderen wurden sie zu Kronzeugen des Staates. Sie hätten alles getan oder gesagt. Einem Mitangeklagten wurden sogar sexuelle Kontakte mit seiner Ehefrau in einem Hotel erlaubt. Beide bekannten sich vor der Verhandlung schuldig - aber beide wurden nicht verurteilt. Die Verhandlung war eine Farce. Ein Augenzeuge berichtete der Polizei am Tag des Verbrechens, dass er niemanden beschreiben könnte. Wie hätte er auch können? Sie trugen Skimasken erzählte er ihnen, Masken die ihr Gesicht verdeckten. Es war ihm auch nicht möglich, eine Beschreibung von Gewicht, Größe oder besonderen Kennzeichen abzugeben. Er konnte nicht einmal sagen, ob die Täter weiß oder schwarz gewesen wären. Seine Geschichte änderte sich im Zeugenstand. "Oh ja, das war er" schwor er. Er hätte seine Augen durch die schmalen Öffnungen in der schwarzen Skimaske gesehen. Ja, er könnte den Angeklagten als Täter identifizieren. Er wüsste, er wäre es, da Stokes "der kleinere" der beiden Mörder wäre. Dieser Zeuge erzählte der Polizei drei verschiedene Versionen davon, was an diesem Tag geschehen wäre und es war klar, dass die neueste Version dazu dienen sollte, die Geschichte der Staatsanwaltschaft zu bestätigen. Der Staat verwendete unsaubere Methoden, um eine Verurteilung zu erreichen und die Aussagen eines Zeugen zu "schmieden" war einer seiner schmutzigsten Tricks. Der Staatsanwalt Donald Blackson wurde deshalb vom Verteidigungsanwalt Malcom Waldron ins Kreuzverhör genommen:

Waldron: "Haben sie die Aufstellung der Commonweahlths Nummer 34 vor sich?"

Blackson: "Ja"

Waldon: "Habe ich sie gefragt, ob ihre Unterschrift auf den Seiten 1, 2, 3, 4 und 5 ist?"

Blackson: "Ja"

Waldron: "Und was sagten sie mir über ihre Unterschrift?"

Blackson: "Das es nicht wie meine Handschrift aussieht."

Hier hat ein Prozesszeuge unter Eid geschworen, dass er nicht das Statement bestätigt hätte, das einen Mann beschuldigte, mit einem dreifachen Mord in Verbindung zu stehen. Wer tat es dann? Sein Pflichtverteidiger hätte es fragen sollen. Es ist klar, dass die Beweise gegen Stokes fabriziert worden sind.

Waldron: "Habe ich sie gefragt, ob sie mit Mr. Stokes über die Beweise in dieser Aussage gesprochen haben?"

Blackson: "Ja"

Waldron: "Über die Dinge in dieser Aussage? Und sagten sie mir: Ich kann mich nicht erinnern, ob ich mit ihm gesprochen habe?"

Blackson: "Das ist, was ich ihnen gesagt habe, dass ich mich nicht erinnern kann, ja."

Waldron: Nun werden sie hier und heute gefragt, ob sie sich an eine Unterhaltung am 11. März 1982 erinnern. Ist es nicht ein Fakt, dass sie nicht wissen, ob sie ein Gespräch mit dem Angeklagten hatten."

Blackson: "Nun, ich habe meine Aussage durchgelesen und da steht, ich hätte mit dem Angeklagten am Tag der Morde gesprochen."

Waldron. "Und sie können sich jetzt wirklich daran erinnern?"

Blackson: "Nein"

Jeder kann von diesem Teil der Prozessabschriften ableiten, dass die Aussage dieses Zeugen nicht nur manipuliert wurde, sondern auch gegen das Gesetz. Er war nur ein Beispiel für die Zeugen in diesem Prozess - wie Detektiv Robert Kane von der Philadelphia Polizei, gegen den es Untersuchungen wegen Korruption gab. Detektiv Kane sagte aus, dass er die zentrale Figur in der Untersuchung dieses Falles gewesen wäre, der die Beweise gesammelt hätte, inklusive Fotografien und Körperzeichnungen der Opfer. Es wurde ihm erlaubt (ohne irgendwelche Einwände des Pflichtverteidigers), über ballistische Beweise hinsichtlich der Gewehrkugeln auszusagen, was nichts mit dem Verbrechen zu tun hatte. Doch der Jury wurde gesagt, es wäre so. Kane schwor unter Eid, dass er die Verbrechensszene untersucht hätte und die Beweise, die des Angeklagten Schuld beweisen sollten, gefunden hätte. Aber es gibt Beweise (Polizeilogbuch etc.), die zeigen, dass er zu diesem Zeitpunkt woanders war und dass seine Präsentation des Verbrechens so nicht möglich gewesen ist.

 

Mr Ralph Stokes #AY-9034 PA

175 - PROGRESS DRIVE
WAYNESBURG, PENNSYLVANIA 15370-8090 (U.S.A.)

 

THE LAST ROUND

You don't have to be a boxing aficionado to understand the celebrity status Smokin' Joe Frazier enjoy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and around the world. Millions of fight fans and those who simply wanted to witness history in its making could ever forget the memorable fights between Smokin' Joe and Muhammad Ali, the Greatest. There were three bloody wars between them - The most spectacular fight being "The Thriller in Manila," and one that is forever etched into the annals of boxing history. Years after he'd retired, Joe Frazier opened several businesses in and around Philadelphia. One such establishment was "Joe Frazier's Restaurant," which catered to an upscale clientele.

On a warm spring day in 1982, two men burst into the restaurant with guns drawn and announced a hold up. When it was over three victims lay dead from gunshot wounds. The brutal murders, which had tragically occurred in an establishment owned by the city's most beloved resident - sent shock waves rippling through the community. The police scoured the city in search of the killers.

Young Ralph Trent Stokes, a 19-years old black male, who was once a restaurant worker at Frazier's, soon learned that he was the central focus of the investigation. There was word on the street that the police were going to kill him on sight. Fear seized him because in the city of Philadelphia, the racist police murdered young black men with impunity. Stokes knew he had absolutely nothing to do with this vicious crime - so he immediately called his attorney and went down to the police station. A guilty man would have taken flight - like the actual triggermen in this case, Donald "Razor" Jackson and Eric Burley, who, court records show - made a hurried hegira to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and New York City, shortly after the murders.

Stokes told the cadre of homicide detectives that interrogated him he knew absolutely nothing about the crime, that there was nothing he could proffer. They assailed him with a fusillade of verbal obscenities and leading questions, and he answered them the best he could. The cops' angry interrogatories resounded off the grimy, graffiti-scarred walls of the holding cell with the fury of vicious attack dogs howling in the night. But they had no legal reason to hold the young suspect simply because he'd once been an employee of Joe Fraizier's - so they begrudgingly released him.

He emerged from the police station, a proud and happy young man, thinking it was over. He didn't know the reputations and careers of the Philadelphia homicide detectives, assigned to this case, were on the line. And he didn't know they all were under enormous pressure from the District Attorney's office to quickly make an arrest in this case - and Stokes' euphoria was short-lived - on the basis of a statement from one of the actual culprits - the police stormed his home, and tore it apart in search of evidence linking him to this crime - but did not find a single shred or anything that could vaguely inculpate him. They arrested him anyway, and in spite of the absence of evidence - Stokes was charged with triple murder.

News of the arrest dominated the front pages of local newspapers for months, and it was customary for the nightly news anchors to lead in with titillating details about the Joe Frazier Restaurant case. Before the commencement of his trial, the private attorney, who had accompanied Stokes to the police station, abandoned him - and the court appointed a pitifully inept attorney to represent the defendant. Defense lawyer Malcolm Waldron confided to his client that he hadn't handled a criminal case - particularly a capital case of this magnitude - in twenty years! He'd only litigated a hand full of insurance cases - and the complexities of affirmative defenses and trial strategies were unfamiliar and inauspicious terrains. He did no investigation, and he called no witnesses who could have established the defendant's whereabouts at the time of the offence. This was crucial to counter the maliciously false accusations by his now co-defendant who seized upon the opportunity to testify against Stokes. In exchange for a life sentence, and another, who was given little or no jail time, they were eager to be the prosecution's star witnesses. They would do or say anything. One co-defendant was allowed unsupervised sexual liaisons with his wife in an upscale hotel. He was supplied with illegal drugs and other amenities readily available to pampered snitches. They both pled guilty well before trial, confessing their guilt well before trial, confessing their guilt to escape death - but they weren't sentenced until Stokes was found guilty. The trial was a farce. An alleged eye witness told the police that on the day of the murders he couldn't identify anyone, for how could he? They had on ski-masks, he told them, masks that covered their entire face - and it was impossible to proffer an accurate description as to the weight, height, or facial features. He couldn't even tell whether the robbers were black or white. His story changed once he got on the stand. Oh, yes that was him he swore. He was able to see his eyeballs through the two small holes in the black ski-masks. Yeah, he was positive in his identification of the defendant. He knew it had to be him - because of the two killers - Stokes, the defendant, was the "shortest one". This witness told the police three different stories of what occurred that day - and it was clear that the final version was meticulously tailored to fit the prosecution's twisted scheme. The state utilized unspeakable tactics in insuring a conviction - and forging signatures on statements inculpating the defendant was one of it's cruelest tricks imaginable. The prosecution's star witness, Donald Blackson, was cross-examined by defense attorney Malcolm Waldron about this egregious misconduct:

Waldron:

"Do you have Commonwealth's exhibit number 34 in front of you?"

Blackson:

"Yes"

Waldron:

"Did I ask you whether or not they were your signatures on pages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5?"

Blackson:

"Yes"

Waldron:

"And what did you tell me about your signature?"

Blackson:

"That it didn't look like my handwriting."

Here, a prosecution witness admitted under oath that he hadn't even endorsed the statement accusing a man of being involved in a triple murder that inevitable sent him to death row. Then who did?, his pitifully inept attorney should have asked. It became clear that the evidence against the defendant was deliberately fabricated.

Waldron:

"Did I ask you whether you had a conversation with Mr. Stokes about the incident referred to in that statement?"

Blackson:

"Yes"

Waldron:

"About the things you said in that statement? And, did you tell me that, "I don't remember whether I talked to him?"

Blackson:

"That's what I told you, that I didn't remember. Yes"

Waldron:

"Now, you were asked here today if you remembered a conversation on March 11, 1982. Isn't it a fact that you don't know whether you had a conversation with the defendant?"

Blackson:

"Well, I went over my testimony, and from my testimony, it said that I had talked to the defendant on the day of the murders."

Waldron:

"Well, do you really remember that, to be true now?"

Blackson:

"No"

Any reasonable man or woman could deduce, from this portion of the trial transcripts - that this witness' testimony was not only patently manufactured, but perjurious. He was merely one player out of a sickening sequence of tainted witnesses for the prosecution - like Philadelphia homicide detective Robert Kane, who was under state and federal investigation for police corruption, and tampering with evidence. Detective Kane testified that he was the central figure at the scene of the crime, who collected, and preserved crucial physical evidence. Introduced positional photographs and body charts of the victims. He was allowed, (without any objections from his attorney) - to testify about the ballistic evidence concerning bullets that were in no way connected to the crime - though the jury was told they were. Kane swore under oath that his observations of the crime scene and the critical evidence he'd collected there undeniably established the defendant's guilt - but documentary proof, recorded in police log books, clearly contradicts this ridiculous assertion - because he was somewhere else at the time, and his presence at the crime scene would have been physically impossible.

Stokes was barely 19 years old - one of the youngest defendants to be sentenced to death in the state of Pennsylvania at the time. In a hellacious battle for his young life, the state was a formidable opponent - and without a competent attorney - it was no contest. There are no screaming crowds of supporters, no strict referees issuing stern warnings against the state's dirty and illegal tactics. Mr. Stokes needs your help. His appeals are nearly exhausted. This is his biggest fight. This is the last round.

Mr. Ralph T. Stokes has been a prisoner for 20 years…and throughout his appeal process the Philadelphia court-appointed attorney system, repeatedly appointed attorneys that have no interest in the case. Half of Mr. Stokes trial has never been transcribed and not one of his past attorneys looked into this very important fact, but submitted a so-called appeal. How can an attorney file an appeal without a complete record, secondly how can an appeal court make a decision without a complete record???

To attempt to fathom the enormous injustice Ralph Trent Stokes experienced in his story THE LAST ROUND you only have to read the two year study on capital punishment released by the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. the report is titled, “The Death Penalty in Black and White – who lives – who dies, who decides”. Located at: http://www.essential.org/racerpt.html 

Mr. Ralph T. Stokes (#AY-9034)
175 - Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370-8090
(U.S.A.)
Or E-Mail at:
ralphstokes@hotmail.com 

P.S.
Please do read the following article on a study done by, Professor James S. Liebman, of the Columbia University School of Law titled, "A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Crime".

"ARTICLE FROM THE BNA, INC. CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS"

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ERROR RATE IN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SYSTEM IS AT "EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS" STUDY CHARGES A REPORT RELEASED JUNE 12, BY THE JUSTICE PROJECT, A WASHINGTON, D.C. - BASED ORGANIZATION, CHARGED THAT "SERIOUS ERROR-SUBSTANTIALLY UNDERMINING THE RELIABILITY OF APITAL VERDICTS-HAS REACHED EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS THROUGHOUT OUR DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM. "THE REPORT IS BASED ON A STUDY CONDUCTED BY PROFESSOR JAMES S. LIEBMAN, OF THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, OF 5,760 CAPITAL SENTENCES THAT WERE , REVIEWED BY COURTS BETWEEN 1973 AND 1995.
MAJOR FINDINGS. FROM STATISTICS ON THE NUMBER OF CAPITAL SENTENCES OVERTURNED IN STATE POST-CONVICTION PROCEEDINGS, AND FEDERAL HABEAS CORPUS PROCEEDINGS, THE REPORT DECLARED THAT DURING THE PERIOD IT STUDIED, "THE OVERALL ERROR-RATE IN OUR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SYSTEM WAS 68%". IN OTHER WORDS, OUT OF EVERY 100 CAPITAL SENTENCES, 68 WERE OVERTURNED BECAUSE OF ERROR THAT SUBSTANTIALLY UNDERMINDED THE RELIABILITY OF THE GUILT FINDING OR DEATH SENTENCE. FURTHERMORE, AN EXAMINATION OF 301 CASES IN WHICH DEATH SENTENCES WERE OVERTURNED IN STATE POST-CONVICTION PROCEEDINGS SHOWED THAT 82 PERCENT WERE REPLACED ON RETRIAL BY A LESSER SENTENCE OR NO SENTENCE AT ALL.
THE MOST COMMON ERRORS, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT, WERE "EGREGIOUSLY INCOMPETENT DEFENSE LAWYERING", "PROSECUTORIAL SUPPRESSION OF EVIDENCE THAT THE DEFENDANT IS INNOCENT OR DOES NOT DESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY", AND ERRORS IN JURY INSTRUCTIONS. HIGH ERROR RATES ARE NOT LIMITED TO A FEW STATES; ON THE CONTRARY, THE REPORT SAID THEY ARE GEOGRAPHICALLY DISPERSED. NOR ARE THEY A NEW PHENOMENON.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT FINDING, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT, IS THAT STATE JUDGES, RATHER THAN FEDERAL JUDGES SITTING IN HABEAS, ARE THE "MOST IMPORTANT LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST ERRONEOUS DEATH SENTENCES. "OF THE CAPITAL SENTENCES THROWN OUT DURING THE STUDY PERIOD, 90 PERCENT WERE OVERTURNED BY STATE COURTS.
THE INFORMATION IN THE REPORT INCLUDES STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWNS OF REVERSAL RATES AND COMPARISONS OF THE RATES FOR STATES AND FEDERAL COURTS.
IMPLICATIONS. WHEN THE HIGH COST OF CAPITAL PROCEEDINGS ARE CONSIDERED IN LIGHT OF THE HIGH ERROR RATE, "IT IS HARD TO ESCAPE THE CONCLUSION THAT LARGE AMOUNTS OF RESOURCES ARE BEING WASTED ON CASES THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN CAPITAL IN THE FIRST PLACE", THE REPORT SAID, "PUBLIC FAITH IN THE COURTS AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ANOTHER CASUALTY OF HIGH CAPITAL ERROR RATES", IT ADDS.
THE REPORT COUNTED 87 INMATES WHO HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM DEATH-ROW "AS FACTUALLY OR LEGALLY INNOCENT". WHEN A CONDEMNED INMATE TURNS OUT TO BE INNOCENT, THE REPORT NOTED, THERE ARE INCALCULABLE COST TO THE INMATES, TO THE FAMILY OF THE VICTIM, TO PERSONS AT RISK FROM THE REAL PERPETRATOR, TO THE PUBLIC'S CONFIDENCE IN LAW AND LEGAL INSTITUTIONS, AND IF THE MISTAKE IS NEVER CAUGHT, TO THE WRONGLY EXECUTED FUTURE REASEARCH. THE AUTHORS OF THE REPORT PLAN TO CONTINUE THEIR RESEARCH, FOCUSING ON THREE QUESTIONS:
* WHETHER AN UPSIDE IN EXECUTIONS IN THE LAST YEAR THEY STUDIED REFLECTS CHANGES IN THE SYSTEM'S PROPENSITY FOR ERROR.
* WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THE HIGH RATES OF SERIOUS ERROR IN THE CAPITAL JUDGEMENTS, AND
* WHAT POLICY RESPONSES ARE CALLED FOR BY THE PROBLEMS IN THE SYSTEM. TO ACCESS THE STUDT GO TO:

http://justice.policy.net

and click on "Liebman study"

 

 

TEN (10) THINGS MOST MISSED ABOUT THE FREE WORLD ?


1. FREEDOM OF BEING ABLE TO GO AND TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

2. MY FAMILY FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHERS AND SISTER WHO IS THE YOUNGEST OF ALL THE CHILDREN. JUST BEING AROUND THEM DAILY AND ALL THE SMALL THINGS WE THINK THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT. ME BEING THE OLDEST OF THEM AND ME FEELING IT WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO LOOK OVER THEM.

3. MY MOTHER AND HER COOKING WHO KNEW HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT TO THE POINT WHERE IF I WAS EATING SOMEONE ELSE'S COOKING IF IT WASN'T COOKED THE WAY MY MOTHER COOKED THAN IT WAS COOKED WRONG.

4. GIVING MY GRANDMOTHER A SURPRISE VISIT AND REMEMBERING JUST AS I TURNED THE CORNER TO HER BLOCK THAT SHE LIVES ON, I COULD SEE HER BEFORE SHE SAW ME, SITTING ON HER INSIDE PORCH LOOKING OUT IN THE EVENING AS THE SUN WAS GOING DOWN AND ME REMEMBERING AS I WAS GETTING CLOSER TO HER HOUSE WONDERING WHAT SHE HAD COOKED FOR DINNER.

5. FAMILY GET TOGETHERS AND COOKOUTS GETTING TOGETHER WITH FAMILY MEMBERS YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN ALL YEAR LONG AND SOME EVEN LONGER AND YOU MAY NOT SEE AGAIN UNTIL THE NEXT FAMILY GET TOGETHER OR COOKOUT.

6. COMING OUT OF MY HOUSE AND STANDING ON MY FRONT STEPS AND LOOKING BOTH WAYS UP AND DOWN THE BLOCK AND SEEING ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN BUSY IN THEIR PLAYING WITH EACH OTHER AND NOT A WORRY IN THE WORLD.

7. MY BABY SISTER WHO AT THE TIME I WAS ARRESTED WAS ABOUT 1 AND A HALF YEARS OLD WHO IS NOW 19-YEARS OLD AND ME MISSING OUT ON THIS TIME TO BE THERE FOR HER LIKE A BIG BROTHER SHOULD. ALSO MY YOUNGEST BROTHER WHO AT THE TIME OF MY ARREST WAS ONLY 10-YEARS OLD (WOULD'VE TURNED llyrs. LATER THAT YEAR) WHO I FELT THAT HE AND I WERE THE CLOSEST OF MY BROTHERS. WHO ALSO WAS MURDERED THIS YEAR ON MY BIRTHDAY FEBRUARY Sth, 2000.

8. WHENEVER I HAD A PROBLEM OR SOMETHING ON MY MIND AND JUST NEEDED TO GET AWAY FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS TO BE BY MYSELF, I WOULD TAKE LONG WALKS SOMETIMES TO THE PARK AND TAKE MY DOG AND BEFORE I KNEW IT WHATEVER PROBLEMS THAT I HAD ON MY MIND WERE GONE.

9. AT LEAST ONE OR TWO SATURDAYS EVERY MONTH MY MOTHER AND AUNT WOULD GET TOGETHER EARLY IN THE MORNING TO GO SHOPPING WHICH WOULD TAKE THEM ALL DAY LONG TO DO ALL THEIR SHOPPING AND HOW THEY WOULD MAKE ME AND MY COUSIN GO WITH THEM TO CARRY THE BAGS AND REMEMBERING HOW ME AND MY COUSIN NEVER WANTED TO GO WITH THEM BUT THEY MADE US GO ANYWAY. ALSO REMEMBERING AT TIMES HOW WE USED TO TRY AND HIDE SOME WHERE BUT HOW THEY USED TO ALWAYS FIND US.

10. WAKING UP EVERY DAY AND NOT THINKING OR WORRYING ABOUT THE DEATH-ROW AND WHETHER OR NOT I'LL EVER GET OFF OF DEATH-ROW.

 

 

 

Poetry by Ralph Stokes:

CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY...

 

 

 

WHO ARE YOU?
AT THIS MOMENT I HAVE NO IDEA WHO I AM.
WHY NOT?
I FEEL AS THOUGH I HAVE LOST MY IDENTITY.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND, MAKE ME UNDERSTAND?
I AM NOT SURE I CAN, BUT I'LL TRY...
LOOKING IN THE MIRROR I SEE THE FACE OF A MAN.
THE AGE, STRESS, PERMANENT FROWNS, BUT THOSE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE
THE SIGNS OF A MAN THAT HAS LABORED HARD, THAT WAY IN THE
LATTER YEARS OF HIS WISDOM HE CAN RELAX, AND ENJOY UNTIL DEATH.

THAT IS NOT I...
IS IT ANY CLEARER TO YOU NOW?
PLEASE CONTINUE ON.
AS YOU SEE IT'S REALLY HARD TO EXPLAIN, I AM SORT OF
STRUGGLING WITH IT MYSELF...
BUT, BEFORE THIS I USE TO BE ABLE TO SAY, I AM A YOUNG
MAN CHILD. WHOSE GOAL IS TO HAVE A FAMILY, LABOR AND PROVIDE.
FOR A WHILE IT ALL LOOKED PROMISING, MY LABORING WAS GOING WELL…
. THEN I FELL IN LOVE, OUT OF LOVE, IN LOVE AGAIN.
MY LIFE HAD IDENTITY DURING THOSE DAYS, MONTHS, YEARS...
AT THE DROP OF A DIME IT WAS ALL TAKEN AWAY FROM ME...
I REALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT ME TO SAY!

DON'T GET ANGRY JUST CONTINUE ON. WHO ARE YOU?
WELL YOU KNOW MY NAME, AND WHERE I WAS BORN,
IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR?
THAT IS NOT WHAT MAKES YOU WHO YOU ARE, YOU COULD
HAVE DIED ON THAT BIRTH DATE, AND NEVER GIVEN A NAME
YOU UNDERSTAND ? IT'S NOT WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR.

I AM NO LONGER A MAN LABORING FOR HIS FAMILY. THERE ARE
NO FRUITS FROM MY PAST LABORING.
I ONCE WAS A YOUNG MAN THAT QUICKLY HAD TO BECOME
HE BEING THAT I AM TODAY.
ARE YOU WHO THEY SAY YOU ARE ? A COLD HEARTED, NO CONSCIENCE MAN?
No! I DON'T THINK SO ...I MEAN THAT MAKES ME SOUND
DEAD... I AM NOT DEAD!

AM I DEAD? NO! I AM NOT DEAD!

I SIT FROM DAY TO DAY NIGHT TO NIGHT SEARCHING
WITHIN MYSELF FOR ANSWERS THAT SEEM TO HAVE NO ANSWER.
I NEED NEW LIFE IN ORDER FOR MY IDENTITY TO RETURN
BECAUSE RIGHT NOW, JUST BEING A MAN WITH A NAME IS NOT ENOUGH.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP... I DID NOT DO ANYTHING...
IN TIME, ALL IN TIME.
IDENTIFY

CHANGE

ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
ELEMENTAL CHANGE
CONTROLLED CHANGE
TO CHANGE
ONE'S INNERSELF
ONE'S ACTION
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
POSITIVE TO NEGATIVE
CAN ONE JUDGE ANOTHER
FOR FALLING
HAVE WE ALL NOT FALLEN
I'VE FELL
I'VE CHANGED!
SHOULD I DIE?
OR SHOULD YOUR OPINION CHANGE?

 

STATISTICAL FRANKENSTEIN

Caught up in this world of superficial beings.
Created by statistical powers.
Invisible forces, lay traps in order to keep data.
What's lost in this mental maheim of percentages?
Togetherness -abandoned
Family- disrespected
Friends -neglected
No more sharing
No more support
No more we
Only the superficial us...
Unconsciously we help supply these powers with the numeral
data they need to stay in control
We hear and see the percentages through the media.
"And we say, I am not going to become apart of those statistics II
But once we start living we slip into a controlled state.
And before long 20% is now 21%...
Statistical Powers

 

I AM A MAN

I wish for the world to know who I am...
I am a man, taken from the land in which I was
To be a laborer for my loved ones.
Now I sit in a modern made cave. Watching
Age set in. And life pass me by.
My cave sits in a ditch surrounded by hills.
I wish to run to the top of a mountain and
scream my name to the world...
I am Ralph T. Stokes, I am Ralph T. Stokes...
Sitting in this cave I sometime forget I am a man.
The cold air that blows upon me day and night
It makes me feel like an animal...
I am a man, I am a man: This I must repeat to
Myself, in order to keep my sanity.
I seek life, I seek a renewed spirit. I seek peace...
The world is a beautiful place... I never got a
Chance to live in it...


 

RECOGNIZE THE REALITY OF PAIN

THAT A DEATH ROW PRISONER
MUST SUSTAIN.
RECOGNIZE THE RULES AND
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT WHICH
NOW LEAVES US WITH NO CHOICE
BUT DEFIANCE.
RECOGNIZE THE SEPARATION FROM
LOVE ONE'S WHILE BEING DENIED
THE BASIC HUMAN TOUCH
RECOGNIZE THINGS SUCH AS THESE COULD DRIVE THE WISE TO THEIR KNEES.
AS FOR WHO BE; WE HAVE JUST ONE PLEA
OH PLEASE OH PLEASE WHY ME WHY ME


By Ralph Stokes

 

"Thats alright"

No one aver shook my hand
No one ever looked at me as a man
*Jo one ever gave me a grain of sand
But thats alright
No ona ever invited me inside
Mo one ever offered me a ride
No one ever took my side
But thats alright
No one ever helped me in school
No one ever offered me a stool
No one ever told me the rules
But thats alright
No one ever gave me the time
Ho one ever offered me a dime
No one ever paid me any mind
But thats alright
No one ever called me a friend
No one ever asked "How I been?"
No one ever took me in
But thats alright
No one ever offered me a bone No one ever cosigned me a loan one ever told me I' d encl up alone But like I said, Thats alright!

By Ralph Stokes

 

" I AM 41 YE>

STATISTICAL FRANKENSTEIN

Caught up in this world of superficial beings.
Created by statistical powers.
Invisible forces, lay traps in order to keep data.
What's lost in this mental maheim of percentages?
Togetherness -abandoned
Family- disrespected
Friends -neglected
No more sharing
No more support
No more we
Only the superficial us...
Unconsciously we help supply these powers with the numeral
data they need to stay in control
We hear and see the percentages through the media.
"And we say, I am not going to become apart of those statistics II
But once we start living we slip into a controlled state.
And before long 20% is now 21%...
Statistical Powers

 

I AM A MAN

I wish for the world to know who I am...
I am a man, taken from the land in which I was
To be a laborer for my loved ones.
Now I sit in a modern made cave. Watching
Age set in. And life pass me by.
My cave sits in a ditch surrounded by hills.
I wish to run to the top of a mountain and
scream my name to the world...
I am Ralph T. Stokes, I am Ralph T. Stokes...
Sitting in this cave I sometime forget I am a man.
The cold air that blows upon me day and night
It makes me feel like an animal...
I am a man, I am a man: This I must repeat to
Myself, in order to keep my sanity.
I seek life, I seek a renewed spirit. I seek peace...
The world is a beautiful place... I never got a
Chance to live in it...


 

RECOGNIZE THE REALITY OF PAIN

THAT A DEATH ROW PRISONER
MUST SUSTAIN.
RECOGNIZE THE RULES AND
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT WHICH
NOW LEAVES US WITH NO CHOICE
BUT DEFIANCE.
RECOGNIZE THE SEPARATION FROM
LOVE ONE'S WHILE BEING DENIED
THE BASIC HUMAN TOUCH
RECOGNIZE THINGS SUCH AS THESE COULD DRIVE THE WISE TO THEIR KNEES.
AS FOR WHO BE; WE HAVE JUST ONE PLEA
OH PLEASE OH PLEASE WHY ME WHY ME


By Ralph Stokes

 

"Thats alrig