Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 5, 2006

Dear Sis~
I'm feeling very energized as I just came out of a very deep and powerful vibrational state - something that sometimes occurs when I'm meditating. Anyway, I got up for supper, which proved to be hot dogs (we get them a lot). I wrapped the 'dogs up and saved them for the crows. There's the one, huge male crow that waits for me; he hangs around along the edge of the woods until I go out to the yard (the dog runs). As soon as I call him (Caw! Caw! Caw!) he flys over and I throw the hot dogs out on the grass. His mate, a smaller female, hangs back. She won't come that close. Instead, she lands in the grass near the perimeter fences, about 100 feet away. The male will land, eye me carefully, then hop over, grab a dog and fly away. He'll land by his mate, show her the dog, and she'll walk over to him and he'll share the dog with her. We've got a standard routine down now. The male always chooses a dog over, say, a sausage or some salami/bologna slices. Only when I have no dogs will he reluctantly grab the sliced lunch meat, and then he'll often caw at me as if he's disappointed or irritated. Yeah, he likes his dogs! He's a BIG crow, too, clearly the alfa-crow!
Anyway, sis, that's what passes for entertainment around here.
Did I tell you that I got a job a few weeks ago? Of the 22 guys here on the row, 8 or 10 of us have "jobs". Two of us are barbers (one white, one black) and the rest of us are "pod workers" (aka "housemen"). We get to come out of our cells (only one at a time) without handcuffs, but wearing leg irons, to sweep and mop the pod (the cellblock). Our pay is 20 cents an hour, which works out to about $18 or $20 per month, enough to keep you in stamps, envelopes, pens & paper, plus maybe some moon pies and potato chips. More importantly, for me, I get out of this damn cell and get to stretch my legs, and almost feel normal. After 18 years in a small cell, any degree of freedom is appreciated, even the most nominal...
You may already know about the bizarre case of California death row prisoner Michael Morales? A couple of weeks ago he was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, but just hours before he was due to die, the two anesthesiologists (who were present persuant to a specific Federal court order) walked off, refusing to participate. This led to an unseemly last-minute scramble to find a doctor or dentist or nurse willing to conduct the execution; unable to locate a willing executioner the State had to cancel the execution. As far as I know, it's the first time in American history that an execution has been cancelled because nobody would kill the prisoner. That night, Morales' death warrant expired so he's not set to die anytime soon. But his case has ignited a legal controversy in California - the same legal debate going on in Florida and several other states -- regarding the constitutionality of the 3-drug cocktail used to execute prisoners. (The whole reason that Federal judge ordered that two anesthesiologists be present was to, obstensibly, ensure that Morales be put to death without undue suffering). If you pause and step back for a moment and really think about that Keystone Kops operation - the State desperately searching for someone, anyone, to kill a man - it should give any rational person cause to reconsider the whole concept of capital punishment. I mean, is this really what we, as a society, want to be stooping to? Doesn't this bring home the absurdity of it all? It's not just bizarre, or unseemly, or embarrassing, not just macabre, it's simply uncivilized. But, that's just my humble opinion.
Ok, Sis, I'll wrap this up and post it now. Keep your chin up and a smile in your heart!
Love & Peace, Bill