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

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