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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bill's Final two Blog Posts

Dear Readers:

I have received Bill's final two blog posts:

June 3, 2013

Dear Sis~

Ten days 'till departure time. You already know that they killed my neighbor, Elmer, 5 days ago. Then they moved me into his cell. After they execute someone they move the rest of us down one cell, working our way to cell#1, the launching pad to the gurney next door.  This is a bad luck cell; very few of us get out of here alive!  In two days I'll go onto Phase II and they'll move all  my property from my cell, and post a guard in front of my cell 24/7 to record everything I do.  These will be hectic days, freighted with emotion, all the final letters, all the final phone calls, final visits, final goodbyes.  Things have become even more regimented as "established procedures" increasingly take over.  More cell front visits from high ranking administration and DOC officials asking if everything is O.K., forms to fill out (cremation or burial?).  I declined the offer of a "last meal".  I'm not interested in participating in that time-worn ritual, to feed some reporter's breathless post-execution account.  Besides, material gratification will be the last thing on my mind as I prepare to cross over to the non-material planes.  Watching Elmer go through his final days really drove home how ritualized this whole process has become; the ritual aspect perhaps brings some numbing comfort - or sense of purpose - to those not really comfortable with this whole killing people scheme.  This is akin to participating in a play where the participants step to a rote cadence, acting out their parts in the script, with nobody pausing to question the underlying premise.  It's like a Twilight Zone episode where you want to grab someone, shake them hard, and yell "Hey, wake up! Don't you know what's going on here?!!!"  

My very accelerated appeal is before the Florida Supreme Court; my brief is due today, (Monday), the state's brief tomorrow and oral arguments are scheduled for Thursday June 6th (D-Day Anniversary).  I expect an immediate ruling, or perhaps on Friday.  By the time you read this you'll already know the result and since there's no higher court to go to on this you'll know if I live or die on June 12th.  I am not optimistic, Sis.  Although I have some substantial, compelling issues, as you know (e.g., my appointed direct appeal attorney who turned out to be a mentally ill, oft-hospitalized, crack head, convicted of cocaine possession and subsequently disbarred whose incompetence sabotaged my appeal) the law provides the courts with countless ways to deny a prisoner any appellate review of even the most meritorious claims.  I won't turn this into a discourse on legal procedures; but many years of observation has taught me that once a death warrant is signed it's near impossible to stop the  momentum of that train.  Issues that would normally offer you some relief, absent a warrant, suddenly become "meritless" under the tension of a looming execution date.  Nobody wants to be the one to stop an execution, it's almost sacrilegious.  

So many people are praying and fighting to save my life that I am loathe to express any pessimism, as if that's a betrayal of those supporting me.  And, there is some hope, at least for a stay of execution.  But honestly my worst fear is a temporary stay of 20, 30 days.  Unless a stay results in my lawyers digging up some new, previously undiscovered substantial claim that will get me a new sentencing hearing, a stay simply postpones the inevitable.  What I don't want is to be back here in the same position in 30 days, forcing you and all my loved ones to endure another heart-breaking cycle of final goodbyes.  I cannot ask that of them.  I'd rather just go on June 12th and get this over with.          This may be disappointing to those who are trying so hard to extend my life, even for a few days, but there it is.

Time - that surprisingly subjective, abstract concept - is becoming increasingly compressed for me.  I'm staying rooted in the here and now, not dwelling on the past or anxiously peering into the future, but inhabiting each unfolding moment as it arrives in my consciousness (F.Y.I., I highly recommend The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, for anyone facing imminent execution!)  I'm still able to see the beauty of this world, and value the kindness of the many beautiful souls who work tirelessly to make this a better place.  I am calm and very much at peace, Sis, so don't worry about my welfare down here on death watch.  I will endure this without fear, and with as much grace as I can summon.  Whatever happens, it's all good, it's just the way it's supposed to be.
             Much Love, 
                 Bill




June 12, 2013


Dear Sis,

If you are reading this, I have gone the way of the earth, my atonement fulfilled. When your tears have dried—as they will—and you look up at the sky, allow yourself to smile when you think of me, free at last. Though I have departed my physical vehicle, know that my soul—timeless, boundless and eternal—soars joyfully among the stars.

Despite my many flaws on earth, I was blessed to be loved by so many special souls who saw past my feet of clay and into my heart. Know that in my final hours, it was that love which sustained my spirit and brought me peace. Love, like our souls, is eternal and forever binds us, and in due time it will surely draw us all back together again. Until then, Godspeed to you and all who have loved me!
                                                                                                       Light & Love,
                                                                                                             Bill



22 comments:

Mark said...

I feel privileged to have shared in Bill's final journey. Many of us go through life, spending all of our time enjoying the simple pleasures that Bill was denied, while missing out on the kind of inner peace that he managed to find.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing his last letters. peace be with you as you continue to fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Words so beautiful,


clara said...

BILL YOU WERE Truly an amazing MAN AND WRITER you are as well as a gift for those of us who will reap the benefits of your wisdom borne of an experience that is every person's worst nightmare. It takes guts.BILL your writing helped me so much in those last years .i miss you every single day of my life .clara from italy

dave mccracken said...

What a clever man you were bill.what a wonderful writer.and clearly you were a man utterly transformed by your years of prison torture...a man who was bursting forth with love and concern for others .shame on florida for taking your life.shame on florida for murdering such a kindly soul.i hale from the distant shores of ireland but have prayed for you from afar.my prayer dear brother is that you are now at peace in the arms of the God who loves you infinitely.i pray especially for all who love you so dearly...that they may be able to find peace...especially your poor sister..you will all meet again but then dear bill i suspect you already know that.
God bless you brother
Dave mccracken

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has read this blog could continue to believe there is any merit in the death penalty. It is a tragic reflection on humankind.

dave mccracken said...

Dear bill.what wonderful soul you were.a trully gifted writer bursting forth with lovingkindness...after your years of solitary prison torture you clearly had become a new creation.shame on the unforgiving state of florida for murdering such a fine example of humanity.my prayer is that you are now at peace in the arms of your loving God and that those who loved you dearly will also find solace.they will see you again
God bless you brother
Dave mccracken from dublin ireland

P J Westerman said...

Thanks for posting these words Lisa.

Paul x

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sister, for sharing Bill's words. I am truly grateful to have read what he had to say. Again, thank you. I wish you strength and peace.

Anonymous said...


I Love You, Bill

BJ

Jon said...

Regardless of Bill's legal status, these words are so eloquently written. Thanks for sharing with us!

Eleanor Davis said...

thank you for posting these-just beautiful! may your spirit rest in peace, Bill!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these letters. It has been quite insightful and heartfelt. I've wondered in the past whether someone who dies in their sleep, or in an accident, or however suddenly, misses out on a part of life that some people have the opportunity to experience, that of knowing you are going to die and the process that having that knowledge takes you through. The goodbyes, the reflections, the time to get right with God, the sadness and for those who believe, the joy of the anticipation of the other side. We are all going to die. In some ways having knowledge of an impending death can be viewed as a blessing. May God be with you and your family.

Bonnie Hall said...

Dear Lisa and Jeff I finished Bills book "A "Checkered Past" on the 16th of July then found out Bill had been executed yesterday.

I cried for hours yesterday and have been reading his letters on your blog today. I know how you feel and my love is with you. My son was only 16 when he received a life sentence for killing a man who sexually molested him. Davin was paroled after 27 years. We were blessed to have 100 days with him before he died of B cell Lymphoma. The stress of prison life killed him. Like Bill he studied the law and was a writer. He would have loved to have read Bills books and letters. Bill was an amazing writer and his books will open eyes and hearts. I hope my sons work will do the same. Anyone interested can see Davin Doumas essays on prison reform at Mothers for Prison Reform . Wordpress.

We never know the depth of our love until the one we love is gone.

Bonnie Hall

Bonnie Hall said...

Dear Lisa and Jeff I finished Bills book "A "Checkered Past" on the 16th of July then found out Bill had been executed yesterday.

I cried for hours yesterday and have been reading his letters on your blog today. I know how you feel and my love is with you. My son was only 16 when he received a life sentence for killing a man who sexually molested him. Davin was paroled after 27 years. We were blessed to have 100 days with him before he died of B cell Lymphoma. The stress of prison life killed him. Like Bill he studied the law and was a writer. He would have loved to have read Bills books and letters. Bill was an amazing writer and his books will open eyes and hearts. I hope my sons work will do the same. Anyone interested can see Davin Doumas essays on prison reform at Mothers for Prison Reform . Wordpress.

We never know the depth of our love until the one we love is gone.

Bonnie Hall

Anonymous said...

There are many things to say, but they all feel inadequate after reading these last messages from Bill. Arriving late to his blog and so far just reading the end of his earthly messages, I am amazed at the grace and LOVE in the heart of a man knowing his life would be taken from him, the precise day and time. I can not imagine. No doubt his soul lives on as do the memories of all who loved him as do his writings that tell so much more about Bill than so many have not realized. Thank you for sharing and God bless.

ManAndAVan London said...

Nice! I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

Man And A Van

Anonymous said...

I can't stop crying and I don't blame you if your tears never stop, Sister. I am so sorry for this tragic loss.

Judi said...

Lisa, I just discovered that Bill is gone. I know how you agonized over his sentence and how you never gave up hope that his aquittal was just over the horizon. He loved you with all his heart and soul and you reciprocated. So many siblings never experience the connection you two shared. Do not let his death have been in vane. Continue fighting against the death penalty and make him proud.

jaine000 said...

Dear Bill, you live on in the hearts of those of us who care ... Only a thought away .... X

Anonymous said...

thinking of you DEAR BILL

Anonymous said...

I was watching tv this morning, something I rarely ever do. I came across the show "I almost got away with it" horrible reenactments but decent story lines. This guy was on it and I was interested what happens and just found these letters and blogs. I am not against the death penalty. However, this very much stuck with me. I know how our laws work, and when a crime is committed those involved are all tried the same. For a death sentence I don't agree that should be. He messed up, deserved life in prison, trigger man or not, but death? No way... It does not matter now. Just thought this was one of those cases that should not have gone how it did. Too bad he did not quit after the first car... Or stayed straight after release. I can't imagine the anxiety leading up to the execution. Seemed nice otherwise. Very unfortunate on all sides. Ben