The Transition

From The Dungeon Of California's San Quentin Death Row Hole (Grade B Walk Alone), Dennis Mayfield Brewer Still Walks Alone On "Grade A" In East Block.

On Thursday April 27, 2006, I, Dennis Mayfield Brewer, was called to appear before the Warden's committee, and all staff involved in conducting the investigation concerning my placement in "The AC Hole Dungeon" on December 10, 2005 in re of the execution of my brother Stanley "Tookie" Williams. The Warden had received some information about a plan of attack on staff in the event of the execution of my brother, and I and some 8 others were all placed in the hole pending the outcome of the Warden's investigation.

At this committee it was for my program review hearing, and I was told via the Warden that I was found not to have any involvement in such a plan of attack against staff or anyone. I was cleared of all charges. The Warden apologized to me, and I was recommended to be returned back to "Grade A" East Block program as I was prior to December 10, 2005. But all did not go that simple.

As I returned to my cell in the dungeon (1-AC-65) to pack my belongings, I was called back before the committee 30 minutes later, and told that my "C-File" (Prison File) did not yet have the "Release Form" called a (1030 Release Form) that shows I have been cleared for the return to "Grade A" East Block program. He said, I would be brought back before the committee that following Thursday, and all would be in order for my return to East Block Grade A program. I was asked to please bare with him.

With mixed emotions and not too thrilled about the mismanagement of this committee - via paperwork that is so important within this prison. I returned to my cell (1-AC-65), and sat on the bunk in disgust. As I was all packed up, I just left all my things right where they were all boxed up and ready to go.

The next day on Friday April 28, 2006, I was told to pack it up for East Block. Then 30 minutes later I was told there was still a problem with the paper-work, and I would not be moved that day. The next following day Saturday April 29, 2006, I was finally moved to East Block, but still on "Grade B" status in the hole within East Block. The hole in East Block is on the (2nd floor) yard side that faces the inner parts of San Quentin from East Block. There I had to remain until Thursday May, 2006, to appear before the Warden and committee for clearance back to "Grade A".

Being placed in the hole in East Block was more punishment if you ask me, but I believe they thought they were doing me a favor by just moving me out if "The AC Hole Dungeon". I was housed in the center section of the second floor of East (2-East 'lard-2B). I went from having to deal with 2 or 3 "J-cat" (Mentally ill) inmates to 20 or 30 or more yelling, banging, and talking loud 24 hours a day. It was totally impossible for myself and many others to get any sleep at night. I had to cat-nap when I could which wasn't often. Plus I was on "bug patrol" as I had to kill a few cockroaches as soon as I got inside the cell. The location and area is very filthy. Always water on the floor out front of the cell, and the railing across from the cell is corroded from dirty water running down over them everyday. It also smells of mildew, many other scents that I will spare you the details of, but note that it is very nasty in this area.

On the second day in East Block at about 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I was just about sleep when the alarm blasted off. I was so loud that I leap to my feet like a cat, as this alarm sounded like it was coming from the back of the cell I was in. The alarm speaker was mounted on the wall right across from this cell (2-EY-28), and if you can just imagine your head right in front of a firetruck horn that is stuck on for 5 to 20 minutes at a time, you know what I'm talking about. Plus I have a hearing problem of ringing of the ears, and this loud alarm doesn't help me at all. This alarm goes off at least a few times a day, and I have to put in my earplugs, and put my hands over my ears until the alarm is turned off. But due to the noise level I have to keep the earplugs in at all times just to deal with all.

Then I had to deal with everyone that came to the shower that was right next door to the cell I was in (2-EV-28). Everyone that came to the shower had to yell and shout to talk to their friends or whoever, making it impossible for me to get anything done. I had to endure all this until May 4, 2006, as I had no choice in the matter.

On Thursday May 4, 2006, two other guys along with myself all went before the committee. We were given our "Grade A", but still placed on "Walk Alone" status, as some unknown person wrote a note to East Block staff stating something negative about myself and the other two guys who all went before the committee on this day. Writing such a note or letter to the officers of San Quentin is known as "Dropping A Kite" to inform or tell the police something about someone else. The term commonly used for this conduct is "Snitching". In this case the person doesn't sign his name on the kite to let anyone know who he is. Thus the authenticity of the kite or note is none, and should be disregarded. But the Warden read it and said that he and his staff had to look into it and get back to me later. So the 3 of us remain on Walk Alone status, but now on "Grade A" in East Block. That means we are assigned to a exercise yard that is a single man cage that is 5 foot by 10 foot in size. There is no water, sink, toilet, or urinal. I refuse to take part in this "Walk Alone" program as I want my program back to the way it was prior to December 1 , 2006.

Written By: Dennis Mayfield Brewer May 12, 2006

If you have any comments or would care to support me in my quest to fight for my life and work toward putting an end to the death penalty, please write to me at:

Dennis Mayfield Brewer
P.O. Box C-93626, 1-AC-65
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, California
USA, 94974

If you would like to comment on this web site or Dennis' correspondence with the webmaster, please click here to send an email.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,


volunteers needed

please, i need volunteers to just type stuff out. please, please, please... email me @ vlu777@gmail.com


20 Years Straight Incarceration by Death Row Inmate: Dennis Mayfield Brewer C-93626

20 Years Straight Incarceration
Death Row Inmate: Dennis Mayfield Brewer C-93626
Arrested: March 3rd, 1986 - Age 26
To Date: March 3rd, 2006 - Age 46

As the sun has set on this day, March 3rd, 2006, I have thought long about my last 20 years of incarceration, from the county jail to these walls of San Quentin State Prison that are always cold and emotionless. I have had many ups and downs, changes and turn-arounds. I have dealt with adversity on many levels, and some have been truly life changing. As human beings we often try to put the hard times behind us and forget about them, but they have made me stronger.

On death row, everyday I'm fully reminded that this place is designed for short-comings and pain, as I haven't had a visit from any of my old friends. Any good times, joy or pleasures I hang onto like a security blanket for dear life, as I refuse to let Satan rob me of my joy. I'm well-known for my smile that brightens up the day for many around me. My beloved mother prayed with my father and I during our very first visit at San Quentin, that this place would never take away my smile. I love you, Mama!

With a light morning workout, I was grateful for my health, spiritually, mentally and physically. Standing 6 foot, 3 inches tall, and weighing a nice, healthy 225 lbs with all of my faculties in check. My body cried a pretty happy sweat, as it is love to be alive and in good shape. I respect this temple of the Lord, God!

As the minutes went by and San Quentin once again came to life, as other awoke and I could hear the morning shift of officers coming into the building. I automatically power up to meet adversity head on, as the one always in control of self usually dictates the actions of those before him.

Please know that I will never "sugarcoat" about this place, San Quentin as I deal with it all, always face to face, as every moment is reality.

The good, the bad, and the ugly are always in effect around me. Thus, I have to be at my best, at all times "on my toes" so as to move forward with intelligence to maintain my peace and serenity.

Here inside this cell, I'm in my own little world (my lab) and all is good as I'm always at work in one fashion or another to help others or myself. The bad isn't always the misconduct of others, but rather the ugly San Quentin itself. Yes, this place that is all rock and steel with no appeal.

Looking at this cell, I have to look beyond it and focus on myself and my personal projects of life, as this cell has an ugly floor that was painted tan at some point. I have put a wool blanket on the floor like carpet to change the look. There are cracks in the floor and it slopes to the rear of the cell. Along the base of the walls the paint is chipping off and some spots are just concrete rock.

I wash every part of this cell down every day, as I had to deal with those little black "piss-ants" a few days ago.I woke up in the middle of the night, as I felt something moving on my skin. I saw something moving on the wall just beside my head. I flicked it off and got up to turn on the light to check to see what it was, and ants were everywhere. They were even on me, and I can't stand that feeling. I started drenching all the walls with water, until I handled the ants. I then drenched myself with water and soap until I couldn't feel the ants moving on my skin anymore. All it takes is one ant to get on me and only a bath will free me of that feeling that one is still on me.

Everywhere that I can look, even right outside this cell, is filth. Dirt, grime and boot heel marks on the walls that pre-date my arrival at San Quentin, as this part of the hole is designed for inmates who are out of control and they have to be handled.

I was lying in bed looking at the air vent that is just outside this cell on the tier-wall. The dirt build-up inside of it looks like the inside of a used vacuum cleaner bag. I had to just close my eyes and think of something else. Often singing settles my soul.

I grew up in a home where my mother played the stereo often, and I would sing in the morning while we got ready for school. Also, being a choir-boy for a number of my youth years, I learned how to sing and love to do so often.

But more than anything like on March 3rd, 1986, the day of my arrest, being taken away from my son, my one and only child, rocked my world (mind) so tough until I was devastated and stayed in shock for a number of days. But just like with today, I acutely understood even then, that nobody could love my son more than I. I'm his father and as long as I breathe life, I have a responsibility to help my son grow into a productive person, and wonderful responsible man and father.

That required of me to do some serious growing up myself, and no time for a pity party. Although I took care of my son prior to my arrest, dealing with him from a death row cell I knew was going to take some ingenuity. Therefore, I had to overcome all the obstacles, and find my center within me. My beloved brother, Stanely "Tookie" Williams encouraged me to read, and to this day I do read a lot daily. Prior to coming to death row I only read two books from cover to cover in my whole life. My reading was very poor, as a result of being left behind in 3rd grade English. I became a visual learner. One with a photographic memory, as I only needed to see things done once, as I paid extra attention to compensate for my reading disability.

As I got into reading many books, I noticed a whole world opening up to me of things I did not know. Spirituality and Psychology I have always had a strong interest in, as they have become my selective choice for most of my reading adn studying today. I find this quality of subjects to help me with understanding people and life.

In 1994, after studying two long years here in the hole (that was more like 2 years of college, as I read well over 100 plus books during these years. The hole was then and education center for those close to me, as brother Stanley Tookie Williams was our professor), a guy I respected who was a few years older than I asked me , "What are you going to do now that you're out of the hole?" I looked him right in the eyes with a smile of love and said, "my son needs me, and I have to be in the best possible position I can be in "out of the hole" so I can see him, call him often, and be an active part of his life". He responded, "I'm glad to hear that."

That same year, one day while in the visiting room, a female pastor spoke with me. She told me softly that I needed to put my "ego and pride" aside. After all the studying I had done in the hole, I knew just what she meant, as I was profoundly buffed from lifting serious weights. With 21 3/4 inch arms, and my hair lying relaxed on my shoulders, and my nickname is "Herk" short for "Hercules". I always admired him growing up as he was so big (muscular), and always protected the people, and pretty ladies like a true knight and a gentleman. The Pastor shared with me something a few weeks later that changed my life forever. She told me that God Almighty told her to tell me to get ready for the work He has called me to do - Spread the Good News About His Son Jesus Christ!

As a believer of Jesus Christ, I did humble myself before the Lord. I took the glide out of my stride to steady my gait. I cut my hair, and believe me, that was a Samson like moment for me, as I had always put a lot of pride and time into grooming my hair. But this came with a reward as I was filled with the Holy Spirit of The Lord God who took full control of my life.

My beloved brother, Stanley "Tookie" Williams was released from the hole after doing many years there in the AC. We soon were housed next door to each other, and indeed, school was back in session as he always took time to teach me something I didn't know or didn't know all about. He allowed me to read his drafts and final writing of his highly acclaimed children's books and "Life in Prison". I had also gotten into working with At-Risk Youth at that time with Stan. As he loved me beautifully as a Big Brother, and often encouraged me to pray. I did and do much still today.

In 1996 my state level appeal was denied. I first received this news during a phone call with my son who was about 13 years old at that time. He didn't really understand at that time what the death penalty was all about, as I was banking on a reversal and felt no need to fill his young mind with anything other than encouragement to do well in school. But 9the news he gave me left me speechless for a few moments. I knew I had to be strong for him, and my two nieces, and mother who were all spending the Christmas holidays together. I spoke with my nieces and it was our first phone call ever that we shared. I held myself together. Then I spoke with my mother and it took all the strength I had to answer her repeated question, "Baby, are you alright?" Without breaking down or allowing her to detect it (weakness) inn my voice, as I replied, "I'm cool I'll be alright Mama. We still have the Federal Courts to hopefully get some action (relief) from." I told her that I had to go as I was about to lose it and cry. I told her to give everyone my love and we said our good-byes.

Once off the phone, I called next door to apprise Stan. He did his best to comfort me, but my silence and low tone of voice spoke volumes to him of my state of mind and heart. His last words at that time were, "Pray my brother, and keep praying."

I turn the lights and TV off and laid down and let the tears roll down my face. For three days I laid in darkness as I didn't eat, didn't go out of the cell. I would only greet my brother in the morning and that was it.

During the late night hours of the third night, this matter I could not deal with anymore. I wanted to just holler, "Nooooo...." but my discipline wouldn't allow it - such an outburst. I only had one source who knew and trust with my life. I got on my knees with my face to the ground. I prayed and told God that of my heart, and I prayed Psalms 55:22 and instantly I felt totally new. I sang my favorite Gospel song to The Lord in appreciation title: "I'm so Grateful". It's also my prayer song that goes as follows:

I'm so grateful,
I'm mighty grateful,
The Lord has spared me,
Another day.

He's been my joy,
My joy in sorrow,
He's been my hope,
Hope for tomorrow.

He's been my shelter,
In times of storms,
He's been my strength,
When I'm weak and worn,

And that's why I'm grateful,
I'm mighty grateful.

I say,
Talk about me just as much as you please,
The more you talk I'm gonna stay on my knees,
The Lord has been mighty good to me,
And that's why I'm grateful -
So grateful to Thee.

I'm grateful,
I'm mighty grateful...

(You sing it just like you read it)

As I sang this song, chills covered my whole body, as I know it was the anointing power of God, The Holy Spirit full within me. Praise Jesus!

Since that time I have come from being a low convict to a "man" who is responsible for his own action, and that's how I stayed out of the hole for 11 years.

For many young guys who are coming into this place, San Quentin's California Death Row, I hope I get to speak with them. It is imperative that I let them know just where they are and that they need to spend their time wisely bettering themselves, working on their cases, and by all means reaching out to help their kids, family members, and any other youth they can encourage to excel in school and life, and not get into any trouble, but respect self and others at all times.

Ain't no time easy in this little city. One has to get a grip on the reality of just what he has been sent to death row for, "to be executed". The sooner one understands this, the better, as we all, even from death row, need to speak out against the death penalty along with all of you who are adamantly working toward an end to the death penalty. After all, it is the lives of those of us (men and women) on death row who you are campaigning for, and I know that my voice counts and helps to some degree. Even if it's just to be one of motivation, I can't sit by silently and expect a change.

The fight against the death penalty requires a great united front, and that requires every voice to ring, and no silent partners.

It takes a strong person to do time on death row, as I have known many who have gave up and committed suicide. I personally can't fathom doing such a thing as I'm super Pro-Life!

Thus, I make it my daily way of life to give of myself to help others. This is how we all come to love one another, and it is highly important that each of us understand that to help one is to love one, and teach that one to love another.

As 20 years have come and gone by, I have indeed overcome many odds and obstacles, but I press on strongly forward as a freedom-fighter. One who is fighting the good fight for peace, love, harmony and life.

I know and understand that if a person, no matter where you are, learns to love oneself, you will always find yourself being loved by others, as to love yourself is to give of yourself to help others be and do better.

To know the aspects of love is to understand the flow of nature. Going always with it in perfect harmony, as the purpose that should drive everyone's life.

In conclusion, I'd like to state that as this place, San Quentin's California Death Row, is hideous, it is the power of my infinite subconscious mind that is one with my spirit, that is connected to The Lord God Almightyn that has allowed me to grow productively over these last 20 years.

As I have stated in the yore, "Everyone on San Quentin's Death Row does his time the way he wants, but for me, it's about helping others." As we go from this point forward, let's all extend loving kindness to one another at every possible opportunity. That we may do away with all anger, bitterness, wickedness, unforgiveness and hate and give the death penalty an execution date!

Written by Dennis Mayfield Brewer

If you have any comments or would care to support me in my quest to fight for my life and work toward putting an end to the death penalty, please write to me at:

Dennis Mayfield Brewer
P.O. Box C-93626, 1-AC-65
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, California
USA, 94974

If you would like to comment on this web site or Dennis' correspondence with the webmaster, please click here to send an email.


Love is the Key by Dennis Mayfield Brewer

From "Pieces of My Soul"

Late at night in my dreams,
I see the children of the world running free,
no hatred, racism, or segregation,
but rather graceful unity,
For they only know true love,
as it is the power source that naturally moves them,
to do only what's best in the interest of long life.
They put their heads together
and hands side by side in school,
to work the magic of the golden rule,
they know as "to love one another",
that they all behold in their starry eyes,
Full of bursting energy,
and pure love,
they build the world over,
as if they did it all from Heaven's front door.
Standing on solid ground,
and gazing down,
the whole milky way they can't resist,
Like dazed artist at work on a canvas in a zone,
they paint the world over block by block,
city by city,
state by state,
and country by country that is all of their
beautiful hearts and souls.
Peace, Love and Harmony is all they know,
it is the language they speak,
know and love,
as their hearts beat strong like an African Congo drum,
with sounds of energy for unity,
and world love.
As I awaken from my dream,
I'm so full of love and pure energy,
to let the children of the world know,
"To just let their loving hearts be their guide to know
and embrace all righteousness that comes."
From parents and elders who only want the best for
each and every beautiful child they have,
and meet.
As we elders know that love is the solution,
and our children of the world are that love,
and key,
We have to keep up our drive to strive on for peace,
and harmony,
as our children are indeed at work to rebuild and
recreate civilization that is of unity and world love,
even within you and me.
I don't know of any child who can resist a milky way,
but it wasn't the "candy bar" I was referring to,
but rather the great galaxy.
Children are busily at work,
painting everyday,
and most of their artistry is of you and me.
The first love they ever knew,
their parents and elders whom they love and trust
with Heaven's dew.
With the power of our children's love daily on the rise about us,
let's give them all we've got so they may live long,
and enjoy life.
As love is what our children of the world know,
relate to,
and live for to enjoy every day of their lives,
they truly need and require the best of our love
at all times.
I encourage you all "To Love One Another",
as love is the key...

Written by Dennis Mayfield Brewer

If you have any comments or would care to support me in my quest to fight for my life and work toward putting an end to the death penalty, please write to me at:

Dennis Mayfield Brewer
P.O. Box C-93626, 1-AC-65
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, California
USA, 94974

If you would like to comment on this web site or Dennis' correspondence with the webmaster, please click here to send an email.


Noel Doorbal - February 10th, 2006

Dear Courtney,

Good morning my new friend and how are you today? I hope you receive this letter with a joyful heart and peace in your soul.

I thank you so much for your wonderful letter and I want to apologize for my tardiness but I have a good excuse and it's not "the dog ate my homework". I just received your letter yesterday, 2-9-06, because I was on mail suspension for the last 60 days. To explain, let me back up to the beginning.

On Dec. 2nd, they told everybody to pack our property because they were moving everybody to different floors. Rumor was some big wig in Tallahassee was watching that Fox TV series, "Prison Break" and told administration here to move everybody. As I was getting my stuff together a sergeant came to my door and told me I got a D/R (disciplinary report). I was like "you sure it's me?". She read the incident report and it was for "soliciting pen pals". Couple years ago they pass a rule saying we can't solicit pen pals on the internet but they just did that for face and didn't enforce the rule. They know prisoners need to have pen pals for communication and a sense of human friendship because most prisoners like myself don't have family or not a lot that stand by them physically, emotionally and mentally. Anyway, I was shocked when I found out I got a D/R because in my 10.5 years I've never had a D/R (I'm a cool dude). As a couple days went by the revelation was revealed that I wasn't the only one that got that D/R but eight guys in total. I found out that a woman was dating a guy on the row and they had a bad break-up. All this was grapevine stuff so I didn't know the facts but I heard it was a bad break-up. She felt hurt I guess and filed a petition on the internet to stop death row from having visits. She didn't get the signatures needed and I guess that just frustrated her even more. She then tried another strategy and that was to go on the internet and print out pen pal ads and send them to the warden. And that's how I got this D/R.

At first I was tripping but then I said to myself I'll only get like 15-30 days D/C (disciplinary confinement) which is going to a floor with nothing like you see in the movies which they call "the hole". It would be tough spending my birthday, Christmas, and New Year's down there but I wasn't sweating doing 30 days tops for a petty violation like this. But, they had a different plan for us when we went to D/R court on Dec. 12th. They gave us 30 days D/C time and 180 days mail suspension. Yes, 6 months! Without receiving mail or sending out mail. Courtney, I was sick because mail is all I got. The first couple of days I had to laugh, if I didn't I would've cried. But after a couple days it was time to fight back and all 8 of us began to write to prison rights organizations trying to get them to pick up our cause. We began to prepare our grievances for the warden to start the ball rolling to take it to court. One guy started a hunger strike and it went for almost two weeks. The 30 days on D/C went by quickly because there was a lot of us and it wasn't that bad. On January 12th, I got off D/C and the next day they moved me to a regular floor. Couple days after that I received my grievance from the warden and to my surprise he modified the 180 days to 60 days mail suspension. I was shocked, my friend, because normally they don't do stuff like that, but I do know a lot of phone calls were made by prison rights organizations to the warden and I believe that's what made him modify it to 60 days. He also knows it's a first amendment violation and will be challenged in the court now that somebody was punished, and it's best not to have anybody on the 180 days while it's filed. This same thing was challenged in Arizona and California and both times they had a ruling for the prisoners. It's a simple first amendment issue and violation. So the modification to 60 days isn't the end and we are attacking this with a left and right hook like Mike Tyson. And hopefully we'll knock it out in the first round. A lot of drama, right?

So, today, 2-10-06, is the day I get off mail suspension but they delivered my stored mail yesterday. You could imagine how happy I was to receive mail after two months and with it was a gift from you. I apologize for the little situation I was in and I know how it is when you write someone, you look at the mailbox saying today you might hear from them. I'm very prompt and in the future I promise you'll always hear back from me within a week. Thank you very much for choosing me to write to, I feel so honored. I am a man of honor and respect. I guess my Grandmother who raised me back in my birth country bred that in my soul. I promise to respect you as a friend, a woman and a human being.

Absolutely, I will help you in any way I can, we're both on the same team right? I will tell you in the future everything there is to know about the judicial system - what it's like spending days, weeks, months, years and in my case, a decade. Just make a list and I'll answer all your questions. It would be my pleasure to help.

To answer your question, I'm a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago, have you heard of it? In the future I'll tell you my journey to America and it's pretty interesting. I would love to know more about you. You sound so intelligent and sophisticated and I'm curious to know how you got your passion for anti-death penalty work. So, holla at your boy.

Once again, I apologize for my tardiness and I hope you understand, "the dog really ate my homework". Be cool and I'll holla on the rebound.

Cool vibes,


If you would like to send stamped envelopes to Noel to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.


Reginald S. Lewis

Reginald is a widely-published, award-winning Black poet, essayist and a playwright who's written two self-published collections of poetry, entitled, Leaving Death Row, and Inside my Head, for which he's known as the 'Poet Laureate of Death Row'. His newest book is entitled, Where I'm Writing From:Essays from Pennsylvania's Death Row.

He will be sending us plenty more, but here's a taste:

By Reginald S. Lewis

The American psyche is battered, bruised, and relentlessly assailed with the pervasive negative media images of prisoners as cold, merciless, murderous beasts filled with hate and misguided rage - and the collective hearts in a once compassionate country, have hardened.

It is very rare to see a positive portrayal of prison inmates in Hollywood, so when the inmates on Pennsylvania's Death Row watched the FX movie Redemption, starring the now Academy Award winning Actor Jamie Foxx, in the role of Death Row inmate, and co-founder of the Los Angeles Crips gang, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, we were riveted to the screens, awe-struck by the cinematic beauty of the powerfully moving movie that captured the essence of the tortured soul and brilliant mind of a black man, whom, while sitting in a small, cramped cell on San Quentin's death row, churned out nine anti-violence books for children and incarcerated adults, for which he was nominagted four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Williams was also nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize after creating the international peer mentoring program called "The Internet Project for Street Peace." He has singlehandedly brokered peace treaties between rival gangs across the country and beyond, which greatly contributed to the drop in statistics for Murder.

Over the prison telephone lines connecting him to the larger world hungry for his message, Stanley "Tookie" Williams has even mentored numerous Chicago Public School principles and students, and his mentoring skills are in such hot demand, the school board decided to create a curriculum based on his amazing work, and there's a long waiting list!

The state of California has set December 13, 2005, as the date Stanley "Tookie" Williams should be put to death. How does it advance mankind to snuff out the life of a man whose inner light has illuminated so many darkened souls around the entire world? Did the Prophets teach for naught? Are the acts of Penitence, Forgiveness, and REDEMPTION worthless, meaningless concepts now waxed old? Then what does it say about the crucible of the soul of a man, whom, President Bush awarded the 2005 Presidential call to service award?


I am -

Reginald S. Lewis
Author of "Where I'm Writing From"

(916) 445-2841

For more information about Reginald S. Lewis, his legal cases, photos, poems, sample essays, and his books, you can visit his web sites:


If you would like to comment on this web site or Reginald's correspondence with the webmaster, please click here to send an email.


Minister Dennis "Muata" Mayfield Brewer - Jan 25th, 2006

From the Dungeon of California’s San Quentin Death Row: Dennis Mayfield Brewer “Walks Alone” in the Hole.

Sitting here in the adjustment center called “The AC” (hole), I’m an inmate on California’s death row. On December 10, 2005, I was housed in East Block where most of the death row’s population is housed, and I had been there for the past 11 years, disciplinary free. But I will show you that no matter how much of a model inmate one is, he can go to the hole at anytime for nothing he has done.

On December 10th, 2005, as I was on my way to the East Block exercise yard that morning, I was stopped and asked to step to the side. A couple of officers moved along with me. One I’ve known for many years and he expounded to me, that because of the up coming execution date set for “Stanley Tookie Williams”, and I being so close to him (a brother) they had to lock me down in the hole pending the outcome of December 13, 2005. I was then escorted from East Block by two officers to the Adjustment Center - The AC - Hole, with no write-up or rule violation.

Once inside the hole all my things I had with me that I was allowed to take outside to the East Block exercise yard were taken from me. I was then escorted to The Dungeon cell 1-AC-65, that they call a “Quiet Cell”. There are 6 of these cells and they are the highest security cells in all of San Quentin. Why they call these cells “Quiet Cells” is beyond me as I have yet to experience a full night’s rest or a quiet day in 42 days. The reason being is because some of the men they put in those cells have mental problems and act out by yelling, talking loud all the time, and the worst is when they bang on the toilet all day and night. It’s The Dungeon!

When I arrived at San Quentin back on May 15, 1988, I was housed in this dungeon for 5 days in cell 1-AC-62. Right next door was Charlie Manson and I thought to myself, this is as bad as it gets. They put me in that cell then with nothing but a bed-roll and state blues. They turned off the light and said, “you’re on your own power”. I didn’t know where the light-switch was and that it was on the outside of the cell just in finger’s reach, so I prayed and sat in the dark until dinner time, listening to Charlie Manson tell one way-out story after another. That 5 days I will never forget as they were most interesting.

Now in 1-AC-65, and much like back in 1988, this dungeon is a low place. They have removed all the bars, and the front of the cells are all wall with a door that slides open and closed from side to side and is secured with 2 big black padlocks. The bunk is a concrete made bed that is one with the wall and the floor. It sits up about one foot high, and 2 3/4 wide. Everyday there is a problem within this cell. It’s either the lights, water, air ventilation system, or the bugs/mosquitos. There’s no daylight in the dungeon as there are no windows.

I was not allowed to exit my place of housing (1-AC-65) for 6 days except to be escorted to the shower for a 10 minute timed shower and returned back to the cell.

On December 12, 2005 at approx. 6:30pm just after dinner was served, someone called out to me, and stated that clemency was denied. I lost my appetite (for 3 days and lost my taste and desire to eat red meat and drink coffee), and started pacing the floor, and praying on behalf of my brother, Stanley Tookie Williams. May he rest in peace! And to all who cared and loved him, continue his work in the ways of peace and love shown toward one another. Remember Stanley Tookie Williams for his Redemption, always.

On December 16, 2005 I was escorted to a special committee hearing held by the warden and about 8 others who run San Quentin. On the way to the room where this hearing took place I had to be escorted between two rows of about 20 officers dressed in riot gear. They seem not to know what to do an officer I have known for many years stepped up and said, “Ill walk with you.” I really paid no attention to all the security, as I was in complete control of myself and had done nothing wrong at all.

Once seated before the committee, I was simply told by the warden that he was removing me from the grade A East Block program, and he placed me on Grade B “Walk Alone” hole status. I was assigned to an exercise yard by myself, where I am placed inside a cage. The Walk Alone cages are the size of a dog cage, and it looks just like Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp. He also placed me 90-days property control. In all the time I have been at San Quentin, I’ve never been placed on property control so this took me for a loop. I asked, “What is property control?” Response, “For 90 days you will not be allowed any of your property - except for your Bible and 1 box of legal work. I have yet to receive the legal work. Also, I am not allowed to shop at the prison canteen store. Can’t receive any food care packages from family and friends. No contact visits as all visiting in the hole is done behind glass windows, and visitors talk into a box. One hour only on weekends. I’m only allowed my mail and to send out mail.

As the warden commended me for my 11 years of being a model inmate - this is the program pending the outcome of an investigation of my possible involvement in a plan to assault staff as a result of the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams. I left that room in total disbelief, but I now see that one can be removed from any program just like that, and put in the dungeon with nothing. Most of all, when I haven’t done anything wrong, it makes it all so confounding.

Being on 90 days property control until March 16, 2006 is truly an experience, but I processed all that happened on December 13, 2005 and what all I was told by the warden on December 16, 2005 that day. I’m a very spiritual man, and through the power of God’s blessing of The Holy Spirit, I’m at full strength and powered up spiritually, mentally, and physically fit to keep pushing lifeward with peace, love and harmony.

I say, death row isn’t a place for anyone, and truly no place for the weak minded, as this place along with the death penalty that one has to deal with on a per diem basis can eat a weak man alive. Thus, I remain sound and knowing that life isn’t over until it’s over. For all on death rows in America know something in the way of a reprieve can come at any time up to that last second. The phone call can come stating that the Death Penalty has been abolished!

In the meantime, I will indeed be spending much of my time at working with others to help bring the death penalty to an end, and keep fighting for my freedom.

As a result of the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, I have become stronger in many good ways. As he was and still is an inspiration to me. He was also a teacher, counselor, advisor, and the most giving brother from he heart in pure charity. He always encouraged me to do the perfect right things and teach others to be and do better as men and women with great respect for others and self. I’m grateful that he helped me to become a writer so I can express my soul, heart and mind.

In the words of Stanley Tookie Williams to you all, I quote, “If you want to know anything, all you have to do is go to the public library, as everything and anything you could want to know is there in books in black and white”.

Everyone on San Quentin’s death row does his time as he may. But for me, it’s about helping others - young and old in any way I can. Yes, my life is on the line here, but life isn’t just about me. But as it is imperative that you have from me insight, knowledge, and understanding about life on California’s death row. I will continue to enlighten you to this fact, and I recommend that you read the book titled, “Life in Prison” by Stanley Tookie Williams. You will not get it any better it’s a great book.

For many, the execution of my brother, Stanley Tookie Williams has been a wake-up call, and I hope for a positive change as it has in me.

I highly doubt that anyone will be able to do and achieve as much as Stanley Tookie Williams did from a prison cell on death row. But that doesn’t mean that we all are not to use our natural talents, abilities, and gifts that we have been blessed with by God for a purpose. That purpose can only become manifest once we apply ourselves with all that we have toward good causes. And I say, life is love, and love is all about God, and that is the Divine Purpose of life, “love”, and love one another!

Working together toward putting an end to the death penalty is a display of loving one another.

Executions are all about hate, get back, anger, bitterness, unforgiving and straight out murder. Thus is the death penalty doesn’t come to an end we have to admit that lynching never ended in America, and indeed it’s the poor who are being executed at an alarming rate. I have been on death row 18 years, and I don’t recall a millionaire being on death row, have you?

Written by Dennis Mayfield Brewer

If you have any comments or would care to support me in my quest to fight for my life and work toward putting an end to the death penalty, please write to me at:

Dennis Mayfield Brewer
P.O. Box C-93626, 1-AC-65
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, California
USA, 94974

If you would like to comment on this web site or Dennis' correspondence with the webmaster, please click here to send an email.


Justice for Jimmy

I wrote to Jimmy Dennis in early December without knowing anything about him. Yesterday, I received a letter back from him which included information about his case. There is a campaign going on that has captured the attention of the likes of Susan Sarandon, and his case details do not paint a picture of guilt. In fact, it is cases like Jimmy's that initially compelled me to want to do something about the death penalty. 122 innocent men have been freed from death row, how many more remain? It's clear, to me and so many other people, that Jimmy Dennis is one of them.

"As a strong advocate for the wrongfully convicted, I have become aware of Jimmy's case and hope to help Jimmy and his supporters find justice in this case." - Susan Sarandon, Actress/Activist

Please find more information about Jimmy's case and the campaign to free him within the links below:

The Official Homepage of Jimmy Dennis

Save Jimmy Dennis

Jimmy Dennis: Innocent on Death Row

Alive Campaign for Jimmy Dennis

CCADP's Campaign for Jimmy Dennis

Jimmy Dennis ou les dérives de la peine de mort

Homem Inocente No Corredor Da Mort

Gerechtigheid Voor Jimmy

Jimmy Dennis vas prosi za pomoč

Wrongfully Convicted on Death Row

Donate To Assist With Legal And Investigatory Expenses: Please make checks payable to "The James A. Dennis Legal Expense Trust."

The James A. Dennis Legal Expense Trust,
c/o Sun Trust Bank, Dept. 28,
Washington, DC 20042-0028

If you would like to send stamped envelopes or paper to Jimmy to help him get his letters to me, to his webmasters, or the people working on his campaigns, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.


Anthony Fletcher - Jan 24th, 2006

I received a letter from Anthony Fletcher yesterday. He has requested that I don't post his letters, but rather quote some things if I find them interesting.

Anthony himself is interesting. A former lightweight boxing champ, he's been incarcerated for over a decade in a case that seems like it shoud have been open and shut self-defense.

Anthony would like very much for you to visit his web site and read the case details for yourself. www.anthony-fletcher.com. The case details are there for you to review, and you can also donate to help Anthony fight for his freedom.

Remember, Since 1977, 1008 people have been executed in the United States while another 122 death row inmates have been released after they were found innocent.

At the time of Governor Ryan's blanket commutation decision in the State of Illinois, 12 people had been executed in that State since 1977 while 13 have been released after proving their innocence-an error rate of 52 percent.

Fifty-two percent

It makes you wonder, it really makes you wonder how many of those 1008 executed in the United States were innocent men.

In fact, here is a list of executions that have occurred where there were significant doubts about the defendant's guilt: deathpenaltyinfo.org - Executed but Possibly Innocent

I urge you to read Anthony's web site and come to your own conclusion. If you conclude, as most people do, that this man has an actual innocence claim, please donate. We can't afford to question another man's guilt or innocence after the fact.

If you would like to send stamped envelopes or paper to Anthony to help him get his letters to me, to his webmaster, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.


Minister Dennis "Muata" Mayfield Brewer - Jan 17th, 2005

Dearest Courtney,

With all Praise to God, I hope this letter finds you well. The execution of Ray Allen took place this morning at 12:30am. I hope you received my first response with ideas for your web site.

There's another execution lined up for next month, and Michael and I have known each other since I have been here and we are friends. There's another execution set for April so we have to get busy, Courtney. The cases that are coming up for execution are all or many from the early 1980s. My case is from 1988 giving me 3 to 4 years appeal time in Federal Appeals. I'm at the first level Federal District Court as we are petitioning for new claims to be added and so forth before the judge reviews my petition. Just to give you an idea of where I'm in all of this.

I think that with all of these executions so close together many of the young new comers to death row will have a new attitude and will not want to waste any time passing time.

As you may well know that the people sit on death row for 5 years or more without legal counsel. I think you should check out the following web site and advertise it on your site as needed helpful information.

The Christian Civil Liberties Union

Mother Company USA
2190 Pummit Dr. Suite 202
Falls Church, VA, 22043

I also wanted to extend the info to you for Death Penalty Focus Email: info@deathpenalty.org. Mike Farrell is President and from here you can tap into all the news about the death penalty and developments and updates.

I hope that I have been of some help Courtney, as I am so limited without my property. I kept and ran my cell like a lab, as that's what a cell is to me. A place where I work to help others and myself, and share spirit of love through my writing. I haven't been able to get into my poetry as these executions are not allowing me the mental flow that I need to write poetry. But it will come along soon, I'm seeing, as love is the driving force behind my writing and you know nothing can stop love as it's gonna do what it's gonna do, ok? :)

I have to close, but I wish you well and a beautiful day,

With A Perfect Touch
God Bless You,
Your Friend,
San Quentin Death Row

Note: I sent Dennis a package a few weeks ago with envelopes, paper, pictures of me, picture of him he'd asked for and a printout of the web site. He doesn't seem to have received it, judging from this letter.

If you would like to send stamped envelopes or paper to Dennis to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.


Minister Dennis "Muata" Mayfield Brewer

December 28th, 2005

Hello Courtney,

Thank you so very much for taking time out to write me, as I would very much like to be your friend and help you gain understanding and knowledge about prison life, death row and the entire correctional system. I also hope that my letter has found you well spiritually and both mentally and physically. I also welcome you and our new friendship into the new year and for all eternity.

I would like for you to know that I also have a Swahili name (Muata). It means, "One who seeks the truth." Given to me by my late, great brother, Stan Tookie Williams - may he rest in peace. Having said that, I share your feelings, emotions and spirit to continue to do all we can to work towards an end to this cruel and unusual punishment, the Death Penalty and incarceration in place of education.

Yes, Stan was my beloved big brother and he has helped me to grow into the man of peace, love and harmony that I am today. With his help and daily example of charity of himself to help others, I began to help at-risk youth and anyone with the need to understand life and how to flow with nature and obtain a healthy constructive life free of jail and prison life. Education and communication are often the missing elements in the lives of hardship - lives, and leads to imprisonment. That, without a doubt, is also a flaw in the governmental system, as teachers have been underpaid, and classrooms over-filled, and many students simply left behind to go through a lifetime not knowing how to read.

I didn't learn how to read & write until I was 30 years old with the help of my brother, Stan. I never thought I'd become a youth counselor, teacher of vocabulary, art and Minister of the Lord God. But education and communication are the keys to life, and through this internet web site project that you wish to pursue, I'd love to help educate the world about the cruelty going on in America's jails and prison systems and especially death row.

Please visit this website to order the must read "Blue Rage, Black Redemption" by Stan Tookie Williams. www.tookie.com. You will find the information for the ordering as soon as you are into this web site, ok?

I have been thinking of some ways to best run your web site. You will need a catchy handle for the site, and I came up with this one: "Have you Heard" or "Have you HEARD???". Yes, to use your name as the catch of the viewer:

That's two that you can pick from to go with for the web site title if you like it?

In regards to drawing others pen pals you might want to offer each inmate his own web page. For an example, check me out at this site: www.survivingthesystem.org.

A web page allows each person to get into what he really feels and wants to say, as everyone's story, you will find, isn't the same. But with there being a web page program on your site it will allow one to take pride in what he or she says or puts upon that page that only represents their views and personality. Thus, allowing viewers to read and see into the hearts and souls of human beings who are living everyday with facing execution.

My 10 year old niece, asked her grandfather, why do they kill someone to show that killing is wrong? She didn't know that there was already a button out with that question that too many people are ignoring. By all means, I think it would be a great idea to pose this question and some answers ok?

Courtney, it has been tough dealing with the loss of my brother, and I'm doing that one day at a time as we were very close and I miss him so much. But as if that doesn't matter I'm being punished, I feel, for loving my brother. Please allow me to enlighten you.

On Dec. 10th, 2005 I was on my way out to the yard to hold Saturday church services. On the way, I was moved to the side and told that I was going to the hole pending the outcome of Dec. 13th [the day Stanley "Tookie" Williams was executed]. On Dec. 16th, 2005 I went before the warden and about 10 others and told that I was a model inmate of 11 years with no violations. But I was being placed in the hole as a result of the execution of Mr. Williams. I have been put on 90 day property control, meaning I don't have any of my belongings, and will not get any of them back until March, 2006 or when an investigation is concluded providing that I've done nothing wrong. I can't go to the store, no care packages, can't order anything from outside stores. I was put in a cage fit for a dog for my exercise yard time. It looks like Guantanamo Bay here in the AC hole. I'm housed in one of 6 of San Quentin's maximum security cells. Can't see no daylight, don't know what time it is most of the time, and I don't sleep much at night.

I lost my appetite when clemency was denied, and didn't eat for like 3 days. I'm not at all used to Satan having fun at the price of my joy, health, and daily productive activities. So I processed everything and got in my exercise as I needed to lose some weight. I got into my writing of positive messages, and for these 90 days I will use them for a much needed time out to be away from the many distractions that I deal with everyday in the building I was taken from, and my TV, Radio. This quality time with God for me, as I do have a Bible to read and study. So I have made the best out of a bad stay in the hole, or situation.

I do need some help that you [or all you readers] may be able to provide. 100 sheets of lined writing paper, 20 envelopes, USA stamps and a picture of you.

Courtney, I have run out of paper so I am going to have to bring this letter to a close. I was just warming up. I hope to receive some of the stationary that I have been requesting so I can really get into my writing here. I deeply miss my typewriter with word-processing on it, I hope to be back with it really soon.

May the love of God always flow between us, as we move forward in His grace to be great friends. Always sharing, and always caring about how the other is feeling and doing. It's my delight that God has brought us together, and I look most forward to doing all I can to help you with this website to be one of the best and most effective to put an end to the death penalty.

I wish you a Happy New Year and hope to hear from you soon,

With Peace Always,
God Bless You,
Minister Dennis M. Brewer
San Quentin Death Row


If you would like to send stamped envelopes or paper to Dennis to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.


Injustice Toward Minorities II

by Robert Talib Douglas on Death Row in Pennsylvania

Well it's almost two years since I last wrote my last essay on the injustice toward the poor, how much has changed? Well to start we know since 1976 about 80 American men/woman that have been sentence to death were later found innocent and 13 of them got help from journalism students "Think of this" "Students,Kids on a research assignment" expose what the law and courts couldn't expose, and the politicans continue to convince society that the justice system is a just system.

But the injustices don't just happen in death pentaly cases. I just read a case of a white male accused of raping and murdering a young lady He recieved a life sentence, but always claimed that he was innocent. After years of trying to get someone to listen, he found someone who would, a lawyer who believed him. Now after the lawyer reviewed the notes and evidence, he came to find that some vital evidence was withheld. Sperm found in the victim didn't come from the defendant, but the jury was never told of this information. Now the higher court judge justified it by saying that there were two suspects. One was never caught, and when the defendant raped the lady, he used a condom. But regardless of her opinion, how could you allow them to withhold vital evidence? The jury took it as the sperm found in this lady was the defendant's.

I didn't want to get into the habit of writing about cases, but it helps bring a lot of light to the sistution at hand. Now this one really saddens me. A young black male was charged with a burglary & a rape/burglary. This rape victim gave a statement, that she wasn't raped, that she entered her apartment and the suspect dropped everything and ran off,and that he never touched her. So why did the police bring this in? Because of an unsolved homicide/rape/robbery, the police puts this suspect into a car and drives him around to sites of crimes, they stopped where the murder took place and asked the suspect has he ever been to this house before. He said yes, and yes to the other sites that he was taken to. This person had an IQ of 69, that's equal to a 9 year old. He then goes to trial for the cases. He was found not guilty on all burglary cases, but found guilty on the murder and sentenced to death. Now for a couple of years his attorney was trying to get a DNA test to prove the man didn't committ the crime. After exhausting all his appeals he was down to his last hope, clemency or pardon by the Governor. The attorney pleaded for a DNA test. The governor allowed a DNA test to be done. He received the results months later, then called the defendant's attorney and told him, "I'll give you two hours to make a decision. Sign these papers and I'll grant your client clemency. The attorney asked for a copy of the DNA test,then they claim they didn't have them. The attorney had no choice but to sign the papers. The attorney asked for a copy of the DNA results before he sign the papers. They claim that they didn't have the DNA test results,,so the. attorney signed the papers and his client was given a life sentence. During a TV interview months later about this case, he received a copy of the DNA test, and it showed that the defendant was innocent, and that the judge, prosecutor & governor knew this from the start before the attorney was asked to sign the clemency papers.

Politicians & Judges are subject to election with disturbing frequency. Judges who follow the law and overturn death sentences are challenged for being soft on crime. The public is encouraged to view any ruling which interferes with a death sentence as intrusive, "technicality". For a judge to follow the law and the constitution there can be perilous consequences.

Here's an example: Justice White was the only woman on Tennessee's Supreme Court. In her first death penalty case, she joined the unanimous vote of the other justices in affirming the conviction of a man, but overturned the death sentence. The Tennessee Conservative Union attacked her as an opponent of the death penalty. In the judicial election, White's appointer including the State Republican Leader accused her of never voting "to uphold a death penalty conviction" (even though this was her first captial case she had upheld). But the State Republican Senator voted absentee before the official election and then publicly announced that they had voted against Justice White. The Republican Governor Don Sundquist proclaimed before the election that he would never name someone to a criminal court judgeship unless he was sure the nominee supported the death penalty. In the end Justice White lost the election and no longer served on the courts. Clearly, if she had gone against her sworn duty to follow the law and voted instead to execute, she would still be on the court today.

These are stories that the public don't get to hear about, but are discussed in a closed room. In New Jersey, they don't have to worry about a Supreme Court Justices making a political decisions, rather the decision that are based on facts, because their judges are appointed for a lifetime and therefore do not fall under the political pressure that comes from making decisions that will favor the public and/or those who would be in a positions to help them get re-elected to their position. Prosecutors and some Judges are one-minded, that every person that comes before them are guilty. Once a man was place on death row in Alabama even before his trial. He was accused of murdering a well liked white woman He was already unpopular because he was dating a different white woman. After the murder had gone unsolved for months the police convinced some witnesses to testify against the defendant. Ironically, this trial occurred in Monroville,the hometown of Harper Lee and the setting of the famous novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird". The defendant maintained his innocence. The witnesses against him were weak. The jury convicted him of murder, but given the lack of physical evidence they recommended a life sentence. But he (judge)had the ultimate decision and the judge stated the appropriate sentence is death by electrocution. Six years later witnesses admitted that they lied. In their zeal to solve a troubling murder, the prosecutor had focused on the wrong man and the judge overruled the jury and sentenced him to die. But for the extraordinary intervention of the Alabama Resource Center in showing his innocence,he would have heen executed.

Last week I read an article in the newspaper about a man charged with murder, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 1997. The only evidence that linked him to the crime was a bloody fingerprint found on a fan. Now one would think, they don't need any other evidence because nobody has the same fingerprints. Well this defendant's lawyer disagreed with the three prosecutor expert witnesses,so he called one expert witness of his own, and his witness stated the prints do not match the defendant. He was found guilty. On the appeal the attorney asked a judge can he have the prints looked at by an F.B.I. analysis. The judge agreed. The F.B.I. found no match, so the judge ordered the defendant released on a Sl.00 bail. Now it came to light that the three so-called expert witnesses were not certified to analyze any test. These cops took the stand and claimed under oath and said they were certified analysts, but lied. The NAACP said that all cases involving these so-called experts should be reviewed, but the country said a review would not be done. So we'll never know how many others are in jail because of these so-called experts.

Over the years I have read and researched a lot of cases on law and most of the decisions are unbeleiveable. The judges handed down so much injustice and I've come to one conclusion that the system is just a gang just like any other gang. Politicians, Prosecutors, Judges & Police Officers, and we know gangs stick together and try to win battles at any cost. Whoever they are up against are the enemies and whoever is charged with a crime whether he/she be innocent or guilty. The idea of innocence is not an option nor is it the authorities concern. Their concern is a conviction because a conviction is a win. Many times evidence that's helpful to a defendant is misplaced or lost that's in the possession of the gang. When a prosecutor calls his homeboy (cop) as a witness you best believe that they went over the case numerous times to make sure the story fits the theory they put together. Thats why cops testimonies seem so perfect all the time, most are just professional liars on the witness stand. In Nebraska, they have a law which ensures that anyone knowingly testifying falsely in order to get someone convicted will be charged and sent to jail and what this did was cut down on perjured testimony, and tampering with evidence by the police & district attorneys. This is what they need all over the United States. Without it district attorneys and police get away with whatever and are not held accountable for their misdeeds & therefore have no problem doing what they feel to win a conviction. This happens over and over and continues to happen now.

The defendant that was freed because the fingerprints didn't match, his Father stated this, "no one said that they were sorry". They never do!!! Let's take a look at the card hand you are dealt, the death penalty resource for the poorest defendant are fully inadequate, the lawyers are underpaid and don't recieve money to hire investigators and specialists any affluent defendant would employ. It seems that the state is purposely running good lawyers away from taking "Pro-bono" cases, because of the lack of funds they get to put on a defense, and these good lawyers don't like half-stepping when it comes to defending a defendant. Then the state brings in what I call the puppet lawyers. The ones they can control and have very little experience in capital cases. Now if one recieved a bad eye injury he/she will not let a dermatologist work on the eye,regardless if he has a medical degree,but one would hire a specialist on eyes such as an optician who has the knowedge. Just like in the courts in death penalty cases one needs death qualified lawyers and not lawyers who's specialty are in family court matters. This is why so many lose their cases. In Alabama the legislature passed a bill for hiring better lawyers in death penalty cases,but governor Bob James vetoed the bill. Here in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg recently came up with $500,000 so the state attorney general's office can help district attorneys prosecute death penalty cases.

As far as race and the system, I believe that there is obviously racism constantly flowing throughout the system, but it's more then an issue of race thats involved here. More so is the justice for the poor and the justice for the rich is the greater issue. In my opinion racism will always exist in this here country and therefore will always play a part in the justice system. The justice system is politically motivated and therefore real justice which is equal justice is very rarely administered .

Let's look at some of the same types of cases and you decide which law is which:

1.a) A young man is arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. After he crashed his car into another, driving fast and killing a person. He was arrested at the crime. He was convicted and sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.
b) A woman hits a man while he was changing a tire,killing him. She stopped, looked at what she did, got back in her car and drove away. The next day she takes the car to an auto shop to have the damage repaired, but someone tipped the police,she was arrested & convicted and sentenced to 2-years work release and gets out in 6-months.

2. a) A young lady goes to her prom, then goes into the bathroom and gives brith to a full baby. She puts the baby in the trash bin and was found guilty and sentenced to 7-15 years in prison.
b) A young lady goes to a hotel with her boyfriend and gives brith to a full baby, then puts the baby into a plastic bag and puts it in a trash dumpster. She was found guilty and was sentenced to 3 years and got out in 18-months.

3. a) A homeless man goes into a bank, gives the teller a note, "I have a bomb. Put $50,000 into the bag". Once outside a dye pack explodes. He's caught minutes later(no bomb found) and he was sentenced to 5-I0 years in prison.
b) A man works for a trust fund. He sells $95,000,and was caught years later he was sentence to 4 years probation.

4. a) A man rapes a woman and is convicted and sentence to 6-12 years. (good)
b) A man moseless a little girl and is convicted and given 2-years probation. (bad law)

5. a) A man is charged with possession of drugs (50 grams of crack cocaine) he is found guilty and sentenced to 25-years in prison.
b) A man is charged with possession of drugs (5O kilos of cocaine) he is found guilty and sentenced to 5-years in prison.

6. a) A man is charged with murdering two people. Evidence of his DNA is found at the scene. Numerous witnesses testified against him, to tie him to the crime,he is found not guilty.
b) A man is charge with one murder,no weapon.DNA,found and no eye-witness at trial,he is found guilty and sentence to death. (Me)

A lot of the public contuine to be blind about the numbers of laws in this country. It's always been two laws, POOR-LAW (injustice) & RICH-LAW (justice).

But we all must remember, this is a country that kills its Presidents and its Civil Rights leaders, so why really expect different from a law that they KNOW is unjust toward an ordinary poor citizen.

Talib R.Douglas ( Pa. Death Row )


If you would like to send stamped envelopes to Talib to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.

The Death Penalty and Injustice Toward Minorities

by Robert Talib Douglas on Death Row in Pennsylvania.

First thing, Prison is no place for a person to be who can't handle pressure especially on death row, where it is a very tense atmosphere and very unpredictable. I'm just one of many who have felt the pain and experienced the injustice of being a minority in the belly of the system, (Death Row). I sit on death row after being convicted of first degree murder without a single witness at trial saying I had committed such an act (crime). The people who run the criminal court system are professionals in how to prove and make one guilty of a crime he/she faces (is charged with). It's called a smoke screen, you only see what they want the jury or judge to see, and hide and withold evidence that would prove one's innocence. On death row, some men have given up hope of being free (no-self esteem) at all. Myself ? I have self-realization of being free and home with my family.

One of the first of many questions a death row prisoner is asked, What is it like there? Well for one ,no one individual feels the same, because you are totally in a 6x8 foot cell isolated 23-24 hours a day, with the exceptions of... One hour yard five days a week in a cage that one would see at an SPCA where they keep animals, three fifteen minute showers a week, and if you sign up for law-clinic that's two hours. You can only recieve a one hour visit a week, not allowed any holiday or weekend visits (when family/friends are off work & children are out of school). Each time one leaves his cell, he is handcuffed from the back, except for visits, then one is handcuffed in the front attached to a belt around your waist. As for the officers (guards) there are just a couple with a human heart, but majority are biased, always trying to dehumanize a person. My method? Try not to allow them to rent space in my head and keep my focus on my objective (getting out).

Now for an insight on this unjust system towards minorities. The majority of the public don't know that the politicians have been using the death penalty to enchance their elections to office for years. Now the same strategy is being taken up by Judges & Prosecutors, regardless that they are entrusted by the law to persue justice with an even hand. Also the District Attorney's are entrusted with unviewable decision whether which case he/she should seek the death penalty, and run for office pleading to have more people executed.

A quick history lesson; From 1930 to 1967 of the 3,850 people send to their death 54% were African American and once again the majority of death row prisoners are African Americans. It was these conditions that lead to the Supreme court's invalidation of the death penalty in the 1970's. Now the same thing has arisen in the 1990's today : the rate African Americans were setenced to death was neary 40% higher that the rate of other eligible defendants. IS the 38 States with the death penalty laws, 794 prosectors were white, 56 were black, 22 were hispanic. IN the state I reside (Pennsylvania) according to a law professors and the statisticians who have examined cases between 1983 and 1993 for the Death Penalty Information Center, when all factors were equal, black defendants were sentenced to death at a rate of 42% higher than others. As of July 1998 there are 223 defendants on death row here in Pennsylvania;139 blacks, 71 whites, ll hispanic and 2 asians.

Nationally, politicans convince society that there is a need for the death penalty by flaunting the Jeffery Dahmers,John Wyane Gaceys and Ted Bundys. Now with the addition of child killer Jesse Timmondequa and Oklahoman bomber Timothy McVeigh, they are always spotlighting such high profile defendants, but label us all as psychopathic killers.

In Pennsylvania when the talks about the death penalty arise, the politicians feed the media who then feeds the public and spotlight the most high profile cases, such as Gary Hidnik, Harty Graham and Mumia Abu Jamal, but you never hear talk about the cases with very little circumstantial evidence. Once again their smoke screen (only get to see what they want you to see).

In Philadelphia alone, 95% of death row prisoners are minorities,and more than 65% are black. There was a time in Philadelphila when the state funded an Public Defender Program. The result of the prisoners having experienced & dedicated lawyers was "shocking". Death row prisoners were being aquitted or given lesser sentences. The politicans who ran for office saw what was happening an took away funding for the program to win office and then brought in death penalty juries, the ones who favor the death penalty. Then 85% of defendants that were eligible were sentenced to death.

Our society needs to realize and understand that the only ones who benefit from execution are the politicans, putting a person to death does not deter crime (never did, never will). It's used as a stepping stone to boost their careers and move up the political ladder. They continue to blind the public of the injustices done unto minorities and why so many blacks are the ones on death row.

Lets examine some key points: Now 90% of death penalty cases against blacks and minorities are lost from the start,because of the inexperienced lawyers they recieve. Only top District Attorneys with at least 10-12 years of experience prosecute death penalty cases. The majority of minorities facing these charges have little to no income and cannot afford a good lawyer, so one is given, free of charge. Yeah. One that may be fresh out of law school for a year or two and other lawyers who may have never handled a death penalty case in there entire short career. A lawyer who works for the Center for Legal Education Advocacy & Defense Assistance spoke of this last year; "I have handled cases where the lawyer who is appointed as guardian of a defendant's life is someone who has been out of law school 15 months." Also, I have seen a case in which the appointed lawyer was a divorce lawyer who had never handled a homicide case. She had done court appointed family matters and if she did not accept the death penalty case, she was going to lose her livelihood and not be able to contuine taking cases for which she is qualified for. What kind of sentence did her client recieve ? I don't have to tell you. You know (Death). I myself had a lawyer on one of my appeal stages. After he filed my brief, I recieved a letter from him stating that he had never filed or handled a death penalty case before, and you know the result of the appeal? (I'm sitting here!!).

Some of the men here are first time offenders who committed their crimes while high on drugs or alcohol and not in their right state of mind, but the prosecutor seems to get the public to believe that all people on death row are there because they deserve to die. Well if one believes in the death penalty, one must also believe in justice. No one can make this kind of statement unless one has absolute assurance that the defendant had a fair trial. It's part of the constitution. So ask yourself this question: is it fair for the defendant to be assigned a lawyer with very little experience or none at all in a death penalty case and have to go up against a prosecutor who has 10-12 years of experience in captial murder cases?

When the pubic is not aware, then they start cutting corners and it doesn't matter who the defendant is,as long as he's a poor one. Prosecutors are prone to cheat,they wine and dine witnesses, purchase them things at times to win their trust, imply bad things in their heads concerning the defendant and why he is guilty and should be convicted of the crime he's charge with. Then, during trial is able to coerce them to say and agree with everything to help them obtain their conviction. Also, they (prosecutors) like to go into prisons and get inmates to lie and say that the defendant told them about the crime he committed. The inmate would say under oath in front of the judge or jury that he wasn't promised anything for his testimony or recieved any compensation. So, a question that might come to mind, why would an inmate come out the blue sky & become a witness and put his own life in jeopardy while still in jail? But you must remember that these people you are dealing with are professionals and have ways of compensating an inmate for his testimony. Example: once a prisoner testified against another inmate, he then is tranfered to a better jail for their safety, then is told to file a reconsideration petition to their judge who knows ahead of time that its coming, by the prosecutor informing him of the help he recieved to get a murder conviction (note: at times they may use this in other cases,) then the inmate gets early parole for a reason no one knows and 97% when seeking help from inmates believe me they are murder cases.

Its in a discussion in the higher courts at this time, about prosecutors that are using jail house snitches to help them win a conviction. Then they're the judges that take sides with the prosecutors. I just read in the papers the other day, how there was a delay in a trial beccause of a missing witness (police officer). The judge stopped the trial and told his clerk to find out where the witness was and I'll go get him. And yes, the judge left the courtroom, got into his personal car and went and picked up the witness and brought him to trial. What was the outcome for the defendant? Guilty!!

Then there are the juries who are biased (will talk on that a little later). One Philadelphila police officer, a 12-15 year vet, named Jack Baird who was arrested for corruption along with other officers and stated in Federal Court; routinely police officers lie under oath and fabricate evidence, especially against blacks, now remember this a person who took an oath to uphold the law.

Now for juries. The top district attorney, Lyann Abraham, was running for re-election against a former district attorney, Jack McMahon, who became a defense attorney. What enabled Abraham to win the election is she brought out a viedo tape that McMahon had made while working under her,showing young prosecutors how to pick a jury that will convict. Now this tape was some 10-12 years old,some of the things that were said on the tape; "Keep certain blacks off juries, especially young black females from low-income areas off murder cases, like the ones from around 33rd & Diamond because they "STINK". You don't want smart people they will try to analyze the hell out of the case. They have higher standards. They will take the word reasonable doubt and will actually try to think about it. You really don't want teachers or social workers.But maybe a white teacher who works at a black school, she may be tired & sick of these guys, but its bad luck with teachers, social workers and doctors" Without them is the only way that you can get an unfair jury that will convict. The prosecutor aims not to get a fair, impartial jury, but only one that will convict.

Even Abraham showed her bais once when she was a judge presiding over a murder case involving nine defendants. 1 black & 8 hispanics. The victim was white. She told the defendant's family & friends who wore ribbons to show support for their loved ones, to remove the ribbons because she (Abraham) didn't want any voodoo in her court room. One of her clerks told her during jury selection, an ideal jury consists of 12-Archie Bunkers (this was a old TV show back in the eary 70's of a white man who didn't like blacks or hispanics). Now with this kind of biased people running the system, how can a minority recieve a fair trial? When the playing field is so uneven from the start?

Now here are some quotes from judges and politicans around the state.

"Well I will go along with that as long as you allow me after the sentence to reach down my left leg and come up with my pistol and shoot the defendant right between the eyes" - Florida Judge Richard Stanley

Another one tells the defendant, "I'm only doing God's work to see that you are put to death." - Texas Judge, William Harmon

Now again, with this kind of climate it is extremely difficult for a person who may be well innocent to obtain a fair trial. As I stated before they only show one side of things, you don't get to hear stories like the 28 men who serve a total of 197 years on death row before establishing their innocence. A state representative had this to say about that, "If an innocent person was put to death, thats fine and dandy with me. I'11 take the percentage" - Rep-Leslie Johnson of Arizona.

There is another story about an inmate who stayed on death row for 12 years and six hours before he was to be put to death, he was given a stay, which lead to a new trial and then personal freedom. The sad fact about cases like these, is that most prosecutors know from the start that the person is innocent and almost put to his death, but the prosecutor continues their zealous ways of proving other innocent people guilty by any means and will never admit that they almost put a innocent person to death. They are just concerned with moving up the political ladder. These days some lawyers are just as bad. Some don't really care if a defendant lives or dies, it's all about the money.

I had a lawyer assigned to my case for over 3 years. During that time I had written him over 20 letters, leaving messages at his office by phone, but still this lawyer never answered one of my pleads. But these are the type of court appointed lawyers we are assigned 90% of the times. Next thing this lawyer files your appeal without your knowledge, until you recieve a letter from the Courts that your appeal was turned down. Now ask your self this, Is it right for a lawyer to file an appeal on that person's behalf without communication with the most important person at trial, the defendant? This causes issues to be overlooked and years to get another court to hear them.

There's an investigation going on against a Resource Center in Florida that handles death penalty cases. One lawyer exposed how they have a betting pool set up on who lives or who dies. Their job is to defend, not to gamble on that person's life.

So you see? Nothing is fair towards minorities in this system. It's about who has the money and power. I'm often asked, "What keeps me strong?" Number one is my faith in "ALLAH" (GOD), then I have my son & daughter, along with my family, children who energize me through letters and talking to them on the phone. But, the must important people, I have to say are my sister (Rita) and my brother (Ron) they've always been there for me, they encourage me to always look for the light at the end of the tunnel, but not to stand back and look at it, but be a part of it, of the uncertain brightness, and that the uncertainties which will give me the incentive to go deeper & deeper until I reach that Light (freedom).

There are others who came into my life by letters. They have become family to me,they all help me to maintain balance and stay positive and look forward to that brighter day, and with all this put into one and "ALLAH'S" Blessing, I vindicate myself not just off death row, but out of jail. While I'm here, I spend time helping the other brothers. I find that some are innocent and that most shouldn't have recieved the death penalty from the start. Their cases didn't meet the criteria, but in the eyes of the politicians they do. They're poor & expendable.

People like Thurgood Harshall, Hartin Luther King III, Justice William Breman and Harvey Blackman would probably never be appointed to any Federal Court. Why? Because they hold the minorities' point of view of the injustice that's being done to them. But then again still the politicans will continue to convince society that it's fair!!!!

by Robert Talib Douglas (Graterford death row prisoner)


If you would like to send stamped envelopes to Talib to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.

Robert Talib Douglas

Dec. 25th, 2005

First, I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your life to write to me. Secondly, consider this as a blessing. I'm one who has great insight of prison life in general population and on death row.

I have written many stories (essays), about my life, prison life, the system and some world problems.

What I write is real (truthful), I'm not into con-games, but into touching people's hearts so they cannot just read what happened to me, but feel what happened to me. Now at times, it might be a delay in recieving mail from me, I'm working with a $15.12 to $15.84 per month pay which I recieve (Idle-pay).

Now, I have a booklet titled, "Blind Justice" which consists of 41 pages and over 35 exhibits (showing and proving the truth of matters). The booklet will give a deep insight of all the foul tactics that was used to convict me of two crimes, robbery and murder. I know you have heard many stories of people saying they are innocent in, please believe, there are many innocent people in prison, who become expendable to help enhance careers (judges, prosecutors). I'm living that now. Here's an article to start you off, "The Death Penalty and Injustice Toward Minorities".

Peace be unto you,


If you would like to send stamped envelopes to Talib to help him get his letters to me, or if you would like to send him or I any comments regarding our correspondence, please click here to email me.