Hello blog reader(s)! Last month Surrender was published by UNT's Ten Spurs literary journal. This essay is about meeting Khristian Oliver, a man who was executed by the state of Texas in November of 2009. After his execution, I recieved a letter of thanks from his girlfriend, Sonya Reed, which blew me away. Sonya was given a life sentence (99 years due to the law of parties) for sitting outside the crime scene in a truck. She was two months pregnant and gave birth to her daughter, a child she hasn't seen in ten years, while in prison.
I have befriended Sonya, not because I feel sorry for her, but because she is an intelligent, caring and thoughtful person. I look forward to her letters and our occassional visits in Gatesville.
Okay, so here's the dealio. The state of Texas is now going to privatize health care for inmates and charge them $100 per year. This means that if an inmate has money placed on their books, so that they can buy shampoo (something not provided by the state) stamps or healthier food than what is offered, the state will take half of it until the $100 is payed. Sonya recently had her commissary order taken away because she didn't put it away fast enough. It was boxed up and when one of her friends came to visit her, it was given to him. But she'll never see it again.
So, here's my birthday wish. I'd like to help Sonya raise money so that she can get the items she needs. If I had the dough, I'd do it myself. But I don't. So here's my offer. If you place money on Sonya's books through jpay.com and send me a confirmation of it, I'll send you an email of my essay. The site is secure and you can send as little as $5. You'll make two people happy.
Here's her info.
Mountain View Unit, Gatesville, TX
Her number is 878111
Post it here on this blog or you can message me on facebook.