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Tony Ford Got A 90 Day Reprieve

Tuesday

Jaime just hollered down the run and told us that Tony Egbuna Ford got a 90-day reprieve! We’ve all been talking about it for the last 30 minutes. Everyone is over here wired up and happy. Or, like we say down in H-Town (Houston), we’re all “crunk”!


KDOL, the radio station out of Livingston that broadcasts the shout-out show, broadcast the info about Egbuno’s reprieve. Only 8 days away from his execution date and he got a 90-day reprieve. Wow, I know he feels good. Actually, hold up a sec, let me holler down at Egbuno to get a quote on how he feels….


“I feel like I can breathe, I’m happy and I’m more determined than ever.” Cool. Well, well, well! –Just as I finished writing that last sentence Sgt. Jones knocked on my door: “Will, you’re on the shakedown list.” The officers had been sitting in the picket for about 2 hours, completely done with their work for the night and now I’m suddenly on the random shakedown list? Yeah right!


It was only Sgt. Jones and the two officers so I figured I might as well come out without any excessive dialogue so I could hurry up and get back to writing. If they had had any devious intentions there would have been more officers.


They cuffed me, pulled me out and Sgt. Jones held my arm while the officers went through my cell. They were thorough but didn’t mess anything up. I took the time to address a few issues with the Sgt. – mainly maintenance problems. They put me back in my cell and guess where they went? Straight down to Egbuno’s cell. They “shook him down” and left. In the middle of the night they came to shake down only me and Egbuno: a little tactic to show that they have us on radar. Or, perhaps, they’re just mad that Tony got a 90-day reprieve. The staff surely have been on point with their tactics lately.


Check out some of the things they’ve been doing: Second shift always pulls me and Tony out with a Sergeant present and the officers stay locked right on us so we can’t do anything. Today, a sergeant and 4 officers escorted Tony to an attorney phone call. Most of the officers – especially on Lt. Richies shift – won’t let Egbuno go to rec. or shower. They’ve been trying to keep me in my cell as much as possible also.


Almost everyday it’s a huge ordeal to get a shower or go to rec. The officers will conveniently “forget” about my rec. and shower. So, I’ll have to raise Hell to get a Sgt down here. Then, the absolute only way they’ll let me out is if I give them my word I won’t “do anything”. The staff knows I’ve never, in the 4 years that I’ve been here broken my word, so, they’ll let me out only under that condition. Plus, they’ve been giving us rec restriction as disciplinary court.


Being that it’s just me and Egbuna conducting direct-action protest demonstrations on this pod they can marginalize us rather easily. The guys down on E-pod protesting are able to do more because there are more of them but they’ve been locking down the pod or just the section where guys are housed who are protesting. If more people were protesting we could achieve much, much more.


Though only 7 of us {as of now} are conducting actual protest demonstrations others are helping in different ways. I won’t list their names because if I did the staff would retaliate against them very quickly. They’d be put on disciplinary status and put on every type of restriction available.


Speaking of restrictions, as of now I’m on 30 days commissary restriction and 10 days rec restriction. I’m on level III – which is the worst restrictive disciplinary level – so I’m not allowed to buy and food, clothing or other things from commissary except 1 shampoo, 1 toothpaste, 10 bars of soap a month and $ 10 in writing supplies every 2 weeks. Now, I’m not even allowed that since I’m on full commissary restriction. I’ve never even heard of such a thing but that’s what the commissary officer said. The more oppression they force upon me, the more motivated I become. I’m not a great fan of theology, however, I’m reading a theological work right now by Stanley Hauerwas, professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University Divinity School, that’s rather interesting. The book, which is a collection of essays, is entitled “Sanctify Them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified”.


In one essay, speaking on “Christian thinking about the relation of truth and freedom”, Hauerwas quotes Colossians 2: 8-15 which ends with this sentence: “He {Jesus} disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example out of them, triumphing over them in it.” Since the beginning of time there have been tyrants and oppressive “authorities”. Left unchecked these authorities have grown more and more oppressive until the strong and righteous have stood up and made “public example out of them….”

Love in the Struggle,

Rob Will

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