The following account was published (at greater length) by Anthony Graves, who has since been found not guilty, and released from prison. It does give a picture of the horrendous conditions under which these people live. Once again (I know. I'm becoming boring about this!), new correspondents are desperately needed. For some, a correspondent will be their only "friend". I appeal to anyone who is interested to have a look at the Lifelines website, where details of how to become involved may be found: www.LifeLines-uk.org.uk You are also very welcome to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will give you my phone number if you would like to know more.
Nov. 1, 1994, I heard the gavel fall and the judge announce, "Anthony Graves, I hereby sentence you to death by
jury had already convicted me of murdering six people and burning their house
down to cover up the crime. I was completely innocent: they had the wrong guy. I
was scared of dying for a crime I did not commit, but I knew I was innocent and
hoped someone, somewhere would make it right.
I didn't know then was that this wrongful death sentence was only part of the
torture I would experience for the next 18 1/2 years. I didn't know that I would
be forced to live in an 8-foot, by 12-foot cage. I didn't know I would have to
use a steel toilet, connected to my steel sink, in plain view of the male and
female corrections officers who would walk the runs in front of my cell. I
didn't know that for years on end I would have no physical contact with a single
didn't know that guards would feed me like a dog, through a slot in my door.
Instead of providing basic nutrients, the food sometimes contained rat feces,
broken glass or the sweat of the inmate who cooked it. This diet caused me
health problems that continue today.
prison gave me no phone to call my loved ones, no television to keep up with the
world and local events, and no real medical care. I lived behind a steel door,
with filthy mesh-covered windows looking out to the run.
only window to the outside world was a tiny one on the top of the back wall of
my cell. With its peeling, old and dull paint, my cage was the image of an
abandoned one-room project apartment. If I had known when I was sentenced all I
would have to go through before I would win my freedom, I don't know if even my
faith in my own innocence would have been enough to sustain me.
was proven innocent in 2010, and became Death Row Exonoree No. 138. Some of us
on Death Row were innocent. Some were unlawfully sentenced to death and had
their sentences thrown out.
I live with my husband in Devizes in Wiltshire where I spend my time writing, reading, riding (I am the lucky owner of a beautiful horse, Blue), and keeping up with my four children and an increasing number of small grandchildren (eight so far). I was for many years a nurse and a Relate counsellor. I have taught creative writing both at a local college and a prison, and I review a wide variety of items - including books - for the Amazon Vine programme.I write to death row prisoners in America, being a life-long opponent jof the death penalty. And I spend too much time blogging..
I can be contacted by email: email@example.com