Tuesday 14 May 2013
Letter from Death Row (Texas is executing more prisoners than ever this year)
"They executed my friend R. I've known him since he got on the row in 2004...now he's dead, and I'll never see him again...I worked a deal with the law to get him fed when he went off and got gassed....The night he was executed I stayed up listening to rock music. Singing our favourite songs. I sang until I screamed and screamed until I was hoarse. It's still hard to realise he is no more...I refer to more of my friends in the past tense than I'd care to." And this is a man who says he doesn't know how to love.
Irving lives in a cell like the one in the picture; alone all the time. He's been there for 12 years. I read his heartbreaking letters, and sometimes they make me weep.
Whatever he has done - and he never refers to it - does any human being deserve to be treated like this? He had an appalling childhood; not an excuse, but maybe a reason? He writes: "I once went to school, and for show and tell I showed them the belt marks and bruises".