Tuesday, July 18, 2006

June 12, 2006 - PERCY COMES BACK!

Dear Sis~
Here's a belated entry about a sliver of good news that occurred last week. Percy (aka Crazy Horse) was scheduled to be executed last Thursday night, June 8th, and I has assumed it was a done deal, that his death was inevitable because he'd exhausted all legal remedies and avenues. But, at the last moment, our new governor, Tim Kaine, stayed the execution for 180 days to give psychiatrists a chance to examine Percy to see if he's insane. Under prevailing constitutional law a person has to be sane in order to be executed. (Isn't this a little bizarre? I understand the principle behind this, which simply stated is that "society wants you to know that you are being executed and why you are being executed." But when you pause to really consider this you see that the basics for such a rule is not grounded in decency or concepts of civility, but rather are based upon revenge and mean spiritedness. They're saying it's fine to kill people but we have to make sure they are aware of their impending death! When you mull this over, you see the true rationale - we want you to know (and thus suffer) that we are about to take your life. If you are not aware of your impending death, well, you don't suffer enough!)
Anyway, I was very pleased that Gov. Kaine had the political courage to do this (and in bloodthirsty Virginia it does take political courage to stop any execution). I was really upset and depressed about Percy's, then imminent, execution because to me, it was so barbaric and so representative of what is wrong with the whole capital punishment trip in America. You gotta understand that I've been around Percy for 6 1/2 years and he is absolutely insane, 24/7. Everyone here (prisoners, guards, staff, doctors) knows Percy is crazy, and yet the State has relentlessly sought his execution, pulling out all stops and employing all manner of dirty tricks to kill this guy. As the clock ticked towards his 9:00 execution that Thursday night (I was unaware that he had gotten that last-minute stay) I was profoundly sad and morose; my sadness was more about our society, about what this action says about us as a people, than it was about Percy himself, who remained blissfully ignorant of what was about to happen to him. They brought Percy back about 10:30 that night and I watched him, out through my little back window, as he shuffled up the sidewalk, chained & shackled, with the same crazy gait and expression he had when he left, totally unaware of how close he'd come to death, or why these unforeseen forces are so determined to extinguish his life. Percy lives a sad, miserable, solitary life in his bare, filthy cell, totally alone in his own befuddled mind, and yet the State is absolutely determined to take even that away from him. It was a sad spectacle to watch, but Governor Kaine's humane decision brought a narrow ray of hope to this dark corner of the world.
Love & Peace, Bill


Vladd77 said...

I had a great letter from Bill last week. Please send him my best and say I will be replying before this week is out.

Anonymous said...

I am a retired nYC cop and came across your blog when researching Piper Roundtree.I have read some of your blogs. I am quite amazed that they gave you a death sentence. In New York, Murderers rarely get death sentences. I am not convinced that a death sentence is the answer for a murderer. Let alone an accomplice. I have seen how the system works and how many innocent people go to jail. Good luck

Anonymous said...

I've just spent hours reading your BLOG and related web articles about your life, and am both warmly touched by your gift with words and saddened by your circmstances.
Sending you a word of kindness, a warm smile and a heart felt prayer.