Friday, October 27, 2006

October 23, 2006-John Yancy Schmitt facing death

Dear Sis~
I'm sitting here on my bunk only half-heartedly watching the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants on Monday night football; I'm not really into the game because my mind is on the upcoming November 9th execution of a friend of mine, John Yancy Schmitt. That's only 17 days from now and it's hard to get into sports or any other entertainment when the guy a few cells away from me will be dead in a mater of days. Yancy is a young guy too, only 33, which is way too soon to die. When I think back at how little I really knew at age 33, and how far I've evolved since then, it just reinforces how there is no substitute for time, and the experiences it yields, in this endeavor we call life, this struggle we endure in Schoolhouse Earth (that reminds me of an old proverb: "Experience is the fruit of the tree of errors.") You know, I've seen a lot of death in my 34 years in prison - too much death - and yet the fleetingness of human life still astonishes me. Yancy, for his part, is taking his eminent death like a trooper, with a fine-tuned mixture of stoicism and humor ... I'll write again, Sis, when I can better get my heart into it. Meanwhile, keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart!
Love & Peace, Bill

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October 8, 2006

Dear Sis~

I'm glad that you are finally settled in in your new home in your new state, the Commonwealth of Virginia! As you are already learning, Virginia is the heart of the old Confederacy, and while the culture is different from say, Mississippi or Georgia, there still exists an element of the plantation mentality, at least in the minds of the power structure (including the court system). This is still the deep south, culturally, if not geographically...

It's interesting to watch this latest Washington DC sex scandal play out as the Republican leadership scrambles to contain the fallout. A lot of these guys were the same smug, self-righteous crew who campaigned so vigorously to impeach Bill Clinton, and now they are being hoisted on their own petard. I think the voter disillusionment now reflected in the polls is a reflection of not just this scandal, but a belated recognition by the people of the imcompetence and arrogance of this administration and the Republican leadership in general. In their hearts, most Americans sense that this nation is heading in the wrong direction on a lot of fronts. I think this latest scandal is just the tipping point. Today I saw that the latest poll has President Bush's approval rating at a record low of 33%, and I'm wondering how it's even that high. Who the Hell are those 33%? Anyway, now there's at least a reasonable chance that the Democrats can recapture the House and/or the Senate. If they do, it won't be because the Democrats have put forth any great and grand alternative policies, nor do they have any real telegenic or personable leaders, not anyone I'd be willing to charge the hill with, so to speak. It's amazing how the Democrats can be so singularly successful at failing to find and put forth sound, strong, sensible candidates who can inspire confidence in the electorate. These people exist, they just never rise to the top, through the filter of the political machine. Sometimes I feel like saying "a pox on both of your houses". I'd really like to see the Democrats come up with a Democratic version of Senator John McCain, but I don't see that on the horizon...
Alright, Sis, enough pontificating from my soap box. Give the dogs a belly rub for me and I'll see you soon!
Love & Peace,

Monday, October 09, 2006


To the many readers who have asked about Bill's website being down, please visit his new website at . I have been unable to get his original website transferred to a new provider and when I saw his new website, designed and developed by a close friend of Bill's, I was thrilled to see how beautiful it is. It gives you all the info with links to other stories about Bill and is much better than his original website.

I visited Bill last Saturday and he is always so happy when we meet...I am mailing him the pages from his new website as he doesn't know about it yet. Bill also told me he will send me a blog entry soon so he can continue this Death Row Diary. Thanks for all your patience and may God Bless you in all you do.
Lisa Van Poyck, Bill's sister.

Friday, October 06, 2006

We're back!

To all our readers:
I have moved from Las Vegas, NV to Virginia to be closer to my brother, Bill, who is the writer of this blog. I post the letters he sends me, but was unable to do so during and shortly after my move to Virginia. I am visiting him at Sussex I State Prison almost every weekend and Bill will now begin sending letters again for me to post. I'm sorry for the confusion this lapse in letters may have caused. Please know that Bill is in good spirits and I'll be posting his next letter as soon as I receive it. Thanks to everyone who reads Bill's blog. God Bless you. Lisa Van Poyck. Oct. 6, 2006.