Yesterday evening, a young, healthy man died. He was 28, and put to death by lethal injection in the same way you might put down a sick animal. Yes, he may (just may. No one can be certain) have murdered someone years ago. And if he did, then he needed to be punished. But as for so many in the US, he was killed in cold blood, after years in solitary confinement, with no opportunity for redemption; no hope of any kind. What a terrible waste.
The excerpt below was sent to all of us who write to death row inmates in Texas by our amazing, indefatigable coordinator, Margaret. She had received it from her own contact in Texas. These people work tirelessly to end the barbaric practice of capital punishment, currently taking place in one of the most supposedly "civilised" countries in the world; a country that is among the first to criticise abuses of human rights in other parts of the world. Once again, I appeal to anyone who feels they could write to one of these prisoners to do so. I can tell you how to go about it. My relationship with "my" prisoner has been incredibly rewarding, and has taught me so much. Please?
have made it back, driving the long, sombering ride from Huntsville to Houston.
The trip back is always a time for reflection and quiet conversation about the
person executed, the system as a whole and how we can do our best to fight this
system. Today was even more sombering. Leaving the Walls, driving down Hwy 190
to the intersection of 45, we realized we were behind the hearse carrying
Daniel. I followed it for awhile, talking to Yancy and Nena in the car and
became so saddened that I had to speed up to get away. Knowing that the person
in the hearse was a living, viable human an hour ago and now, is dead. Dead
because of the system. Dead for no logical reason. Leaving behind his mother,
sister, god-mother, child, extended family, close friends and pen pals. While we
were standing outside the Walls, I had the fortune of speaking with a high
school friend and his friend and after the execution, I extended my condolences
to the family. The execution itself was especially surreal tonight. The law
enforcement went above and beyond to rev the motorcycles and cause more pain for
the family of Daniel while they are inside the Death House. However,
we were encouraged by the people who just show up to see what is going on and
give their quiet support. The family from England was especially moved by not
only what was going on but the actual atmosphere, especially when the
motorcycles started. The TDC personal behind the caution tape openly sneering at
us and the huge press conference that was taking place as we left the Walls was
the ultimate insult. I would imagine the TDC personnel had no apologies to the
family of Daniel for these motorcycles. ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY AND REST IN
PEACE, DANIEL LOPEZ.