By Robert Pruett  999411, aka Simple Man
Week 3 2007

January 18, 2007
After a longer than expected hiatus, I'm back. I had to take a break from writing for a number of reasons, some of which are too personal to log in an online journal, but now I feel revitalized and ready to crank it back up. The format will basically remain the same, although I'm gonna try to loosen up some and express what's going on here and with myself in a more direct manner.

About a week ago I was moved to A-pod. This is where they keep the men who have execution dates. I lived on this pod twice before, but a lot has changed since I was here last. They now have cameras in two of the cells on the death watch. It appears that they'll be placing people in these cells that are about a week away from death in order to keep an eye on them. This was undoubtedly provoked by Michael Johnson killing himself the night before his execution back in October. And, in my eyes, this move speaks volumes about the death penalty. If its purpose is truly to deter people from killing and prevent those who've killed in the past from doing it again, then what's the big deal if a man sentenced to die wants to take his own life? Wouldn't that even save the state some money? The thing is, it's not about any of that really. It's about revenge and anyone with eyes can see that. They don't want you to kill yourself because there's no satisfaction in that. They want to see panic in your eyes when you're led into the death chamber, they want to hear you scream in agony as the poison flows through your veins, and they'd like to do a whole lot more to you if they could. If you kill yourself, then they will probably feel robbed of their "justice." And so they will monitor our every move the last week or so of our lives. I'm not sure how I'll respond if they try to put me in a cell with a camera. No privacy the last week of existence doesn't sound appealing at all, but then again, they aren't trying to make things easy on us.

They killed my friend Jonathan yesterday. I wasn't all that close to him, but I knew his co-defendant, Paul Cameron, very well prior to coming to death row. I was on McConnell and Connally units with Paul and he told me a lot about Jonathan before I even got here, so I felt like I knew the dude before I met him. I keep wondering how Paul's taking the news. He has a strong resolve, and he's been through a lot in his life, but the death of a friend has a way of fucking with your mind....... Another thing that bothers me is that I didn't get to tell Jonathan goodbye. The roads in Texas have been icy the past week and it's been near impossible to drive on them, so they transported Jonathan to Huntsville the day before his execution. I was in the dayroom when they were taking him out, but they told him he was going to a legal visit in order to get him out of the cell peacefully and that was the last I’d seen of him. He didn't even get to see his family/friends the day before his death because of the bad weather. I don't know if he’d seen them the day of his death, but I hope he did. The way things transpired with him his last two days continues to disturb me. My only solace comes from my belief that we go on after we pass and that we are reintegrated into the SOURCE of our BEING. No way can this be the end.
The last time I lived on this pod I wasn't on the side with death watch. Now I'm just two sections away from those dudes and there's a noticeable difference. The fear, anxiety, and despair emanating from death watch are so palpable you could cut through it with a knife. On the one hand it's good living over here because I will get to say goodbye to my friends (even though I didn't get to with Jonathan) before they die, but I fear that it might take a toll on me if I don't watch it. Another good thing about being over here is that I have several good friends living on my section (not on death watch) and we're here for each other through all of this madness. So yeah, I'm happy to be over here for that.

My plan is to start writing on my autobiography again very soon. I'd like to get it finished before the summer because I'm already in the federal courts and I might not be around very much longer. It's really tough writing all of this, though. Reliving the memories isn't the problem; it's determining which stories to tell and which not to. Some of the things I want to write about would be superfluous; they aren't essential to the story. So I might abandon a few of those stories. Whatever the case, I'm gonna get back to work real quick like. I've wasted enough time as it is.

On that note, I'll wrap this up. I'm gonna write another entry really soon and discuss some of the aspects of my case and its status. There are a lot of misconceptions about me out there and some of them are my fault, but I plan on dispelling them when I write again.

One Day at a Time,
Simple Man