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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