So what does bother me about this whole situation, besides the obvious fact that a man is now dead? Let's start with the comment sections on different news sources and there's a ton--like 155 articles throughout the US. I've only read a few, but it's like reading a transcript of the Jerry Springer show. The people who are for the death penalty appear to be the most violent with their words. "Hang him high," "use a rusty needle," "one bullet." And on and on. It seriously disturbs me how people can be so callous with their remarks about someone they don't know. Yes, there are people out there who have done some absolutely horrible things, but should we take pleasure in their death? I think not.
Next. The ritualized nature of state sanctioned murder. The state of Mississippi had three press conferences about Matt. The Superintendent Epps appeared to take a strange glee in the countdown to the kill. He hinted in the press release that in his experience with 17 executions that the men would usually confess at the last minute...so stay tuned folks! They also reported that Matt seemed "somber." Well, how the hell was he supposed to act? How would you act if you knew that this was your last day on earth and that you would be lead into a room by a team of men who were going to strap you down, insert needles into your arms and then kill you in front of an audience? Gleeful?
Which oddly leads me to a totally unrelated, but perhaps not, movie that is being released at midnight tonight. "The Hunger Games" I don't read much fiction, but for some reason I picked that trilogy up at the library and read through it, dare I say, hungrily. I loved it. I loved that the heroine is strong, compassionate, and kicks ass. The book got me thinking about current day American society and our love for "reality" television and violence. And after I've watched the circus that Matt's execution became, I'm fairly certain that if death row inmates were thrown into a scenario like the hunger games, people would watch. They'd praise the tax dollars that would be saved, they'd love the violence, and they wouldn't turn away from the carnage.
As I wrote this blog, the mail came. My last letter from Matt. I figured I'd post it. But, first a word from our sponsor.
Hello! Well, I never wanted to go through this. And it sucks that you are doing it again. We humans are kinda crappy to one another.
I went through a round of letter to as many churches and organizations that I could. Something like 80 stamps worth. Don’t know if there was any good done or all a bust. Thursday was the last mail call day—the last day we could send mail out—so I couldn’t write more. I fell back to writing to everyone on my monthly schedule. Got a lot done so far. About 12 more to go.
They aren’t that long. I have to thank everyone. There have been so many good people that supported me. I couldn’t have found a better group of people. So, thank you for all the love and kindness. I so hate that we couldn’t keep the correspondence going.
It’s technically not over with but I’ve had nothing but bad news for so long I do not expect it to change. I’m tired anyway. Hell one minute I’m up hoo-rahing, the next I’m just out of it.
I’m still at 29 Jay. I actually expected them to come today at four-o’clock to pick me up. Usually when the date is a Wednesday they come on a Sunday to get them. Since mine is a Tuesday I figured a Saturday. I thought that despite the fact that Sparkmann told me they would come Sunday. So about tomorrow they will come get me and take me to unit 17. I try to get some hope drummed up and then viciously close it off. Once you go to 17 it is rare that they make a trip back. Only twice out of 12 executions.
I’ll be the only prisoner in the whole unit. Constant guard from then on out. When I go I can’t take anything with me. I pleaded with Sparkmann to let me take my journal. It’s my catharsis. And it would suck so much to record all those years and not be able to describe the last 48 hours. He let me take that and some stationary. I don’t want to take that so I am trying to get the letters done here at 29. Get that task done and I will get the last four essays in final draft.
I laugh at myself because I had not done much writing. And when that ball is rolling, I have been on a tear. Wish I had that motivation all the time.
I’ve given most of my stuff away. A couple of items left—a fan, hygiene items, bed linen, clothes, basic shit. When I first got locked up all I had was a spoon and a cup. I’m almost full circle.
I gave it all away. TV, radio, dictionary—these possessions had been in my cell for years. They’d been packed up and moved to other cells. They made the trip from 32 to 29.
That’s my day. Write letters. Give items away. Met a couple preachers today. Less and less activity, like a pendulum slowing down. I used to be rabid about activity. I had to do something. I reasoned there was no minute of the day when something couldn’t be done. My energy has me shaking my leg, you know like people do—bounce on the toes while sitting. I hate idle. I hate not being able to do something. Cleaning the showers was a bitch, but it took work that I loved.
Shoot, I’ve ramble on enough. With deep sincerity I thank you for being my friend. Thank you for the kindness and love. Keep at the cause. Only when people care can something be done.
Make them care.