I sit alone in my isolation cell on Death Row, knowing that my life will come to an end at 12:01 A.M. I glanced at the wall clock in the hall, the time was ten fifteen. I’ve had ten years to reflect on what brought me here to this point. I was raised in a small Texas town by an alcoholic prostitute mother, I never known who my father was, my mother never showed any form of love for me, I actually believe that she despised having a child around, when her gentlemen friends came calling she used to tell me to get out of the house, and only come back in when she called me. There were times when I stayed in the yard for half of the night, not even given a glass of water to drink and nothing to eat all day long. I was left to fend for myself at a young age. I ran away from home when I was thirteen years old, I slept in barns, and stole food to cure my hunger, I did whatever I could do to survive the world that I was born into.
Yet I think to myself, that’s a poor excuse, I have no one but myself to blame. The drugs and theft’s that I was involved with. No one put a gun to my head and told me to do those things. I brought all of this upon myself. If only things had been different when I was growing up, if my mother would have read me a good night story or kissed me on the head and tucked me in at night, things might have turned out different. I don’t feel sorry for myself, but I’m scared to die. I’m thirty three years old and have been in prison since I was twenty three, I have exhausted all of my appeals to the courts, and tonight I was informed that the Governor turned down my stay of execution.
The first five years here I was in General Population, and then I was transferred to Death Row. Earlier this evening the guard asked me what I wanted for my final meal, they give you anything you want. I thanked the guard and told him that I wasn’t hungry; I’ll be dead before the food gets a chance to digest in my system. As I think back to when I was in General Population, I had become friends with this old guy, he was doing life for kidnapping. That old man will never get a chance to taste freedom again; he will probably die of natural causes one day in his six by eight foot cell. The one question I keep asking myself is, when they inject me with the Sodium Thiopental, will I just close my eyes and go to sleep, or will the drug cause me to have violent convulsions.
I never believed in God or prayed to him, but I keep recalling that young girl I strangled the night I tried to rob her, she kept screaming “Oh God help me!” I was high on Crack Cocaine, but I never forgot her screams. That girl should have been left alone by me to go on with her life. It all started off as a purse snatching, but when she screamed I panicked, all I tried to do was stop her from screaming.
As I glance to the clock on the wall, it’s five minutes to eleven. Today the time is moving rapidly; usually the time goes by slow when you’re in prison. If there is a God, please forgive me for my sins. I hear the entrance door to Death Row open, I now hear footsteps coming towards my cell. I look up and there is the guard and next to him is Preacher Brown. I met the preacher a few years ago, he comes by once a week and tries to ease the souls of the condemned prisoners. Preacher Brown asked me if I would like to pray with him. I told him I’m not accustomed to praying, but I would like his company and that I will try and pray with him.
Preacher told me that I would feel better knowing that the Lord has heard my prayers of redemption. As we prayed together, the Preacher told me to ask the Lord for his forgiveness, he also asked me to forgive those who may have hurt me in my troubled life. The Preacher said it would make my journey to the hereafter easier knowing that I spoke to the Lord. The time spent with Preacher Brown was like lifting a huge weight off of my chest. The Preacher opened my eyes to things I wasn’t aware of.
I heard footsteps approaching, as I looked up, there stood Warden Jones along with two guards. “It’s time Billy Joe.” The Warden said. As we began the long walk to the execution chamber, I had to be assisted by the two guards, my legs felt so heavy it was hard to walk on my own. I had a difficult time breathing and I soiled my pants. I glanced towards the other Death Row inmates; they all had a sad look on their face. I heard the Preacher's voice say, “Keep praying Billy Joe the Lord will hear you.”
As the door to the Death Chamber opened, I saw the gurney that I will be strapped onto. the guards helped me onto the gurney and I was strapped in.
While lay on the gurney I looked towards the glass window where the witnesses were seated. The front row was taken up by the victims’ relatives; they all looked at me with a multitude of hatred on their faces. In the back row sat an old lady who was wiping tears from her eyes with a tissue. The Warden then asked me if I had any final words to say, I shook my head no. The old lady was staring me in the eyes; she had a sorrowful look on her wrinkled face. As the clock struck twelve O one, the executioner administered the lethal injection into my system. I recognized the old lady now, the years of self inflicted abuse had worn away her beautiful face. A sense of calmness enters my body, it was my mother, she mouths the words I love you. Good bye mamma, I’ve always loved you.