LIFE ON DEATH
"It's no picnic"
Tommy Lynn Sells #999367
Polunsky Unit 3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351
Rev. Rick, 12-9-2000
Hello Brother. I hope you have not given up on me. I'm no longer in Del Rio. They shipped me off about a month ago, and life is not the same. For no reason, I had no I.D. card and could not go to the commissary for almost 30 days - not even for stamps or hygiene things. I was able to bring a little money with me, but it was no good.
I believe that free world people, to whom prisoners write, have a 1st amendment interest in hearing from those prisoners.
Prisoners have a right to basic hygiene, and a minimal measure of life's necessities for a civilized existence under contemporary standards from any pracitce which results in the unnecessary infliction of pain. Death sentenced prisoners have a right to remain free from punishment in the context of their sentences, because they are not sentenced to prison as punishment or for punishment, but merely to be "safely held" until their death convictions are either reversed, dismissed, carried out, or commuted.
Death sentenced prisoners retain the right, more so than any other type of prisoner, to freely communicate via mail with lawyers, courts, clergy, and the media. Even Bush said that death row inmates are paying the sacrifice of sacrifices with their lives. So for the Texas Department of Crimminal Justice to offer even more punishment is bullshit. They try to mess with your mind.
I know that you had asked your readers, that wrote to me, to send a stamp, but please don't do that any more. Everything we get must come thru the commissary. We don't have TV, but for those who can afford to buy things thru the commissary, they can get a radio, coffee pot and a fan. The food here? Well again, the commissary is a must. A lot of greasy stuff, and it's the same week after week. I really don't believe they understand that we are grown men. They are feeding men, not women or children - never enough. Some guys, that can not afford the commissary, look like survivors of the holocaust. I did put on a few extra pounds at the jail, so maybe my ribs won't start to show to fast.
Isolation pretty much says it all. Your only link to the outside world, if you can afford it, is a radio, and of course a letter or someone sending you a newspaper or magazine. As for sleep - I read that Al Capone, when he was in Alcatraz, said, "When a man is asleep he's not doing time, he has escape." Well I believe they understand this. The guards kick the cell doors all night long for security checks and counts - to make sure that you are still in your cell - and make all sorts of racket by slamming the barred section doors and yelling. You really have to hear this to understand what I mean. It's disturbing and causes a physically felt reverb throughout the pod. The noise is extremely loud as metal on metal clashes. No one could sleep thru it.
No TV, and no group or outside recreation. Some of us have no means of contact with the outside world, news or what's going on - leading to a profound sense of isolation. There is no stimulus to keep men's minds active and functioning on a human level. No activities are allowed. No chess, dominoes, checkers, or scrabble. All this leaves the men feeling hopeless, depressed, moody, and sullen - with little to do except contemplate their own approaching death while watching their fellow prisoners executed one by one.
|I remember, that in your last letter, you said to let you know how thing's were and what they are doing to me. I'm not worth a shit. But I will not let them rent space in my head. If they want it, they have to come and get it.|
friends of the
Tommy Lynn Sells #999367
art added August 22, 2002
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anyone wishing to help Tommy, must write
ask him for an inmate trust fund deposit slip.
do not send cash, stamps, or personal items.
obtain the deposit slip from Tommy. thank you.
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