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Danielle Simpson’s Execution

November 18, 2009

Another day of death, the second day of the 3-day triathlon of death scheduled for this week.

Danielle Simpson (A.KA. “Dre”) is set to die today.

One who possesses a warrior spirit faces adversity head-on, with feet planted firmly on the ground. Every challenge — whether physical or mental — should be met with stoic resolve and determination to face the challenge and overcome it. Honorable sentiments surely … I wish that it were that simple …

Since Reg’s execution I’ve been fighting to remain motivated. It’s hard though. After seeing the initial process of Reg’s murder take place I told myself that for the sake of my sanity I shouldn’t watch anyone else taken to be executed. But, I know that I need to write about it — people on the outside need to know what goes on here. So, here I am once again: standing on top of my folded up mattress looking out of my little 3-inch window.

As I’ve said before, almost all of the cells on this building offer a view of some part of the process of executions. One cell might allow the occupant to see a person going to and from his last visits on the day he is scheduled to die. Another cell may allow a person to see the friends and family of a condemned man on their way to visit him for the last time. From my cell — which has a rather restricted overall view — I can see the death van come in, park and load people up to be carried off to execution.

Most guys here refuse to look out of their window on execution dates. Quite an attractive option, but one I cannot chose — my conscience compels me to do otherwise. People on the outside need to be informed about the nature of this environment and the system of capital punishment in general. So here I am, with my pen grasped tight in my hand — a battle-ax of Truth, issuing forceful blows to the dark shroud of ignorance and injustice that surround this system.

Its 11:35 am and I’m looking out of my window, talking to my neighbor who I’ve convinced to partake in this venture with me …

11:46am. An officer just wheeled a wheelchair out to the visitation. This was done in case Dre decides to refuse to submit to the demands of his execution and refuse to participate in his own murder. The vast majority of people who say that they’re going to protest their own execution end up not doing so. I think Dre may be an exception. We’ll see soon enough …

11:53am. The death van is here. It just parked outside of the Death Row building and an officer opened its back doors — great hinged jaws waiting patiently to swallow up another victim … I was just reminded of the fact that Dre is an execution “volunteer”: He voluntarily gave up his appeals. I read the court filings concerning this as well as something Dre wrote about why he decided to refuse his last appeals options. Dre did so because he felt that he no longer could endure the “cruel and unusual punishment” of this environment. I’m reminded of a remark Schopenhauer made in his short essay On Suicide: “It will be generally be found that where the terrors of Life come to outweigh the terrors of death a man will put an end to his Life.” The conditions of this environment, like an undefeatable band of perfidious little ghostly goblins, can indeed terrorize a person’s psyche — growing away at his sanity with razor-sharp piranha-like teeth. One can imagine Dre’s consciousness lurking about in a state of limbo in a dank dark swamp of despair, being constantly attacked from all angles by ghoulish hordes. An outline of a door appears etched in warm light. A soothing voice is heard emanating from the glow of the door: “I am Death. I am release. Come to me and end your anguish” …

11:56 am. The Emergency Response Team just went out to visitation. Another precautionary measure taken in case Dre resists. There are cute little birds hopping about on the deadly sharp razor wire on top of the fence in front of the death van. Beautiful little birds oblivious to the great Beast that sits in their midst with its treacherous jaws open wide. Small little cute birds darting vigorously back and forth from wall to fence, from razor wire to roof-top. The type of swift-flying graceful little birds one might enjoy watching and hearing sing their harmonious songs during an outing on a nice day at the park, a day full of Life and filled with the beauty of nature. The foot thick concrete walls and inches thick double plexi-glass window, prevent me from hearing their song. And today certainly isn’t a day full of Life. It’s a day of Death, a day of state-sponsored murder.

12:14 pm. The gate coming from visitation just opened. Ah-ha! They’re bringing Dre into the building in a wheelchair! Thus spoke the Soul of Rosa Parks: “Sometimes you have to sit down to stand up!” They just wheeled Dre back into the Death Row building so they can fully chain him down with extra shackles, belly-chain and security box before putting him in the van. Reg was the first person to protest his own execution in like 2 years and now only 3 weeks later Dre is doing the same!

12:27 pm. The gate leading to the death van just opened. Dre’s coming out of the building in a wheelchair fully chained up. They just put him in the death van. Good old Dre! — engaging in a righteous act of direct-action protest on the day he is scheduled to die. The death van just pulled off with Dre inside. Although I’m not one who seeks to impose my morality upon others — and I certainly believe in the right of self-determination — I don’t wish to see anyone give up their appeals. But if they do so, I certainly think that they, like Dre, should protest their own execution. Everyone who is going to be executed should refuse to participate in the process!

 

From Texas Death Row,

With Strength and Love:

Rob Will

* Do you agree or disagree? Why?

 

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