Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am Troy Davis

I know it's been a while since I've posted here. I will catch you up later. Just of all my blogs, this seemed the most fitting for today's thoughts. It should be noted that Monty is not facing capital punishment for his crime.

I'm new to this story. I haven't been following it, I have heard no evidence, I have read no news reports (until yesterday evening around 1900). Even so, there is so much about this whole situation that just is not right.

Do I think he was innocent? I don't know. But in the wonderful United States of America, that doesn't matter either. He is presumed innocent. Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Was he actually proven guilty? I don't know, having seen none of the trial. Was there doubt? Hell, yes.

I saw this post on Facebook this morning, and there is so much more I want to say - far beyond the space that FB will allow me.

First I will repeat the comment that I did make.

From the article: "The U.S. Supreme Court even gave Davis an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence in a lower court last year."

No. No, no, no. That is not how our judicial system was meant to work. You don't have to prove innocence. If he was executed because he couldn't prove innocence, then everyone involved is a murderer because they forgot that the system was designed to presume the accused are innocent and the burden of proof is on the prosecutors. Does this mean we're moving towards a 'guilty until proven innocent' system? Get the lawmakers who support this out NOW!

Then, I need to talk about someone's comment.

I cannot adequately express how terribly ignorant this statement is, particularly the last bit. Look at it again: 'it's ok to kill someone, because if they did nothing wrong, they'll go to heaven." By that rationale, Mr Johnson can go around killing people all he wants, because he's doing them a favor by sending them to heaven. I just can't believe someone could think like this. I have more to say on the matter, but this is all I can get out. It is shocking.

The amount of people commenting on that post that we need more capital punishment is just staggering. Death is not the answer. It never has been. It has been studied over and over. The threat of death is not a criminal deterrent. It costs taxpayers more money to kill someone than it does to keep them in prison for the rest of their life. The research is out there.

And what makes righteous killing any better than murder? Taking a life is taking a life, whether you do it by force or with a needle and the approval of your government.

Another comment from that post, particularly the second sentence is of note:

The whole thing is very sad. A life was ended and no one can agree if he deserved it, or if he was innocent of the crime he was accused. I say he did not deserve it and being innocent or not is completely irrelevant. Even in that regard, there was more than enough doubt to stay an execution. The amount of disagreements in that FB post alone is proof of that.

We live in a frightening place indeed if this is what passes for justice.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I learned this morning that an acquaintance of mine is in a similar situation as Monty. Similar, but not the same. Where no person was physically hurt by Monty, someone was by this acquaintance. But, it appears that her sentence for the felony charge was ten years monitored probation, while his was ten years incarceration. That does not seem right to me. At. All.

Really, I'm quite angry about it. I know there are two sides to every story. I only have press releases and court records to go on for this acquaintance, so I only have that side of the story - the side that seems to be in the business of making things seem worse than they are. Still, two sides of the same crime and what feels like the lesser of the two gets the harsher sentence. I don't understand. And it makes me very mad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm moving. I'm buying a house. I move my things in this weekend, but I can't start living there until we close, which is June.

Monty was the only friend who was available to help me move two years ago. I have other dear friends helping me this time around, but I can't stop thinking about last time. That was before his trouble started, or rather, before I knew of it. I know he would be here for me again if it were possible.

His birthday is coming up too. His first birthday spent in that place.

Some times, I miss him more than others. This time is one of those. It hit me suddenly. It makes things very very hard to deal with. I can't help but think how things might be different if he were still here.

I haven't heard from him since I told him I was moving, but I'm sure he's waiting to write until I get to my new place. I'm not surprised, of course, but it makes his absence that much harder to bear. Life changes are times when we need our friends. I have others and they're wonderful people who I love dearly. But I miss Monty too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Callie, the diabetic cat I couldn't take with me when I moved out, succumbed to her disease a little more than two weeks ago. It's hard times like that when I really miss my friend. Monty understood the connection I have to my pets. He once came over to bury a fish because I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Because of all the snow, and life, I haven't had a chance to write Monty or Guy in a while. Because of this, Monty called me the following Saturday after Callie's death.

Now, my boyfriend, Robin, was doing a fantastic job at keeping my mind on other things. He knows all about Monty (or, as much as I could stand to tell him) and supports that I support him. He was very kind and patient while I took those two phone calls.

Monty said that Guy mentioned he hadn't heard from me in a while. I guess Monty had to admit he hadn't either, and that's why he decided to call. Truly, his timing has always been that good, and he even remembered the fish and what he wrote on a little piece of paper left on the grave (“Here lies Prexus. He lived and died as a god should: worshiped, feared, and loved” Prexus was named after the Sea God of EverQuest, you see). He said he'd pass along to Guy what's been going on. I wrote them both a letter today.

I actually had a really bad morning, and found myself again wishing I could call Monty. I wrote about it in the letter and I think he was going to try to call again soon. In any event, it's times like this when I realize how much I really do miss my friend.

It hasn't even been a year. Will it get easier as time passes, or harder? Will communication grow more scarce as we all settle into the place our own lives has brought us? I think of him often. I do wish things had been different, but I’m glad to hear he’s trying to improve himself while he’s there. We still have such a long way to go.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Phone Call

Monty called me on Sunday. I almost missed his call because I forgot that Caller ID simply says "call." I realized who it must be as soon as I rejected it but, thankfully, he called back right away.

He was surprised when he realized I was right that I hadn't gotten a call from him since November. He said that he could pay for calls for a while as I work to get the vet bills manageable. We talked about that, since he's only had the story from letters. We talked about his kids and I was happy to hear that he gets to talk to all of them at least once a week. I was worried about the eldest, because his mother is a bitch to the nth degree.

It's hard to sit and chat like you would want when you only get 15 minutes, but it was good to hear from him for those 15 minutes anyway.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Interesting Turn

I think Monty has discovered that I canceled my phone account. He asked in his last letter if he was paying for his calls to me (as they would come out of his account if I don't have one, I guess). I haven't had a chance to reply to his letter yet, but I'm sure he'll understand that I had a need for that tiny extra bit of cash that was just sitting there for two months.

I mentioned last time that I've also been writing to someone that Monty met on the transfer journey from DC to Texas. Monty describes him getting my letters like that scene in Harry Potter #1 when Ron tells Harry he has Christmas presents and Harry's face lights up as he exclaims "I've got presents?!" I hope it helps.

I'm going to call him Guy. I have no idea what Guy did to land himself where he is, and I have no intention on asking. I think somewhere I have learned that everyone is deserving of forgiveness and a chance to get better, even if they are deplorable people who have committed unforgivable crimes. It's an odd place to find myself, really. But I think the only person who is not deserving of compassion is the one who does not see that he (or she) did wrong and is not trying to get better. Truly, I don't really know how much Guy knows he did wrong or how much he really is trying to heal. Monty found compassion for him, though, and that's quite a nice recommendation in my book- knowing what I know of Monty and how he is to the people he associates with (ex-wives notwithstanding).

My mother warned me to be careful of writing to Guy and I understand where she's coming from. For all I know, Guy will be released in a year and come looking for me for one reason or another. I've decided the best thing to do is be honest. That way he'll have no reason to get any ideas, or at least, not much of a reason. For example, he spoke of his ex-girlfriend in his last letter, so I talked a bit about my boyfriend. I mentioned my Etsy business in my first letter, he told me he liked to draw, so we talk about art sometimes.

It seems like it was the right thing to do to start writing to him too. I'm not as afraid of being penpals with a stranger who is incarcerated as I might have been a few years ago. Maybe when he is released he will have healed and grown and maybe that will happen because some stranger found some compassion in her heart for him too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Had to Be Done

If you follow my main blog or craft blog, you would have read about my cat's sudden illness and trip to the emergency hospital. It would have really helped to be able to talk to Monty on the phone but, having had no calls since November, I have to accept that he can't waste his minutes on me. So, I canceled my phone account this evening. I have a need for that tiny bit of money I'll get back from it.

I'm not bitter about it. I understand that he has children and they need to hear his voice. And he needs to hear theirs. That's important. It so happens that I need the money to pay the vet bills, so it works out. Disappointing as it may be.

We've been writing to each other, though. I really look forward to his letters, and I like when he tells me how happy he is to get mine.

I did have grandiose dreams about actually visiting some day. It won't be any time soon.

I have also been writing to someone who he met on the trip out to Texas. This poor chap doesn't get any mail. It made me sad. I offered to write him before Monty even had a chance to ask if I would. I think support is important, even if I don't know this person's crime. Regardless, one day he will be back in society. Those of us on the outside can help determine the state of prisoners when that day comes. Maybe one stranger showing compassion is all this fellow needs to really heal. Maybe I have to believe I'm doing good somewhere. Who knows?