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,


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