Post 13: The passage of time

The older we get, the more valuable our time should be, because it seems like, at some point in your life, the time decides to speed up. We go from feeling like we can live forever, to one day looking at the image in the mirror and wondering what happened.

When I first got to the row and was meeting guys that’s been incarcerated for 15, 20, 25 years and more (I also met a few guys that’s been here over 40 years), longer than I was alive, I couldn’t believe it. That sounded like forever, and I wondered if it felt like it’s been forever for them. Now I am in that position, quickly approaching my 20th year. I really can’t tell you what it feels like. Some days it feels like it has been forever, and some days it doesn’t feel like it’s been anywhere close to being that long.

I want to say that I’ve made the best of my time, but I do have those days when it feels like the day was a total loss. You do have to make a conscious effort to not let that one day turn into days, or weeks, and so on. That’s the challenge. You never want to feel like you haven’t made the best use of your time. Being here, one don’t get many opportunities to create memorable moments, so whenever the opportunity presents itself, you have to take full advantage of it. I now have a better understanding of the saying “you always make time for the things that are important to you”. It’s a sad feeling when you think about not being able to spend time with the ones that are important to you.

Time is one thing that we can never get back, and it’s very easy to lose track of time. Hopefully, when that day comes, I can look back and not feel like I’ve wasted my time.

One Love


Post 12: Mass shootings and the Death Penalty

A post from David…

With the recent increase in mass shootings in this country, which I hope isn’t the “new normal “, I’m not surprised to hear that there’s been talk of making it mandatory to seek the death penalty for people convicted of mass shootings, especially when it’s of the hate crime variety.

It’s all a part of the “tough on crime “ rhetoric. If you’re on the fence as to whether there should be the death penalty , these are the cases that can flip you to being pro death penalty.

“Aren’t these the type of crimes that the death penalty should be reserved for?” “How can you defend cases like these?” These are the obvious questions. It is sad to see, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for people who have lost loved ones to such senseless violence. I imagine that revenge is one of the many emotions that they experience. It’d be hard to convince me otherwise.

The whole “tough on crime “ mantra, and threats of the death penalty for offenders, is the easiest way to stir things up, but that won’t change anything. We’re just ignoring the actual issue. Like, how are people with obvious mental health issues, and questionable backgrounds, able to legally obtain high powered weapons? I’m not anti-gun, but someone with an AK-41 with a 100-round drum usually doesn’t have good intentions. They have more than hunting animals on their mind.

Sorry to say, but until we address the real issue here – gun control – we’ll be having another conversation about this in the near future. Expanding the death penalty to include hate crimes, won’t change anything.

One Love

Post 11: Thoughts about freedom

By David

Is freedom a state of mind? It’s not an easy question to answer from this side of the fence, so I’m going to need your help with this!

Some days I think that it is, depending on my mood and my headspace.

The reason that I’m saying this, is that I often hear people saying “you’ll have more freedom if you get resentenced to life.” It is true that I’ll no longer be in solitary confinement, and I won’t have a death sentence over my head, but I’ll still be a far way from freedom, or my understanding of what freedom is.

Of course, I’m still limited in many ways but I still have control of my thoughts, so in that sense I do have freedom, but when you’re looking at the years fly by through a fence, freedom isn’t the first word that comes to mind.

One love,


Post 10: A Thank You

From David

It’s on me to share my experience on Death Row, and to give people a better understanding of life on The Row.

I’m very thankful for the people that have shown interest in the Death Penalty, who aren’t directly affected by it. It’s easy to focus on the things that directly affect us- as we should of course. Sometimes we have a hard time even doing that.

I’ve met some amazing people over the years, including the people that made this blog possible.

This is just a quick thank you, for caring.

One love


Post 9: Today…and today….

A post from David…

I know the importance of making the most of today, and not dwelling on what could’ve been, but it’s something that I struggle with on a daily basis.

No matter all of the things I’ve forgotten, I still get some of the most random thoughts, and it takes me there. No one really plans to end up on death row, at least I haven’t met a single person who said that ending up on death row was a life goal and trust, I’ve met some interesting characters (interesting is one way to put it.)

I’m guilty of taking things, and people, for granted at some point in my life, and I’m sure we can all say that, not knowing I would find myself in this position.

Maybe it’s okay to dwell on the “what could’ve been”every now and again, as a reminder to appreciate what you have today.

One love.


Post 8: Re-set

David writes:

There was an execution on May 23rd. The first for the newly elected Governor. Now everybody is anxiously waiting to see what he does next. The previous Governor set the record for the most executions by a Governor of Florida. Hopefully, topping that number isn’t a goal for this Governor.

As long as I’ve been here, you would think that it’s just another day. But you can’t ignore the reality of the situation. When you exhaust your appeals, you’re eligible, and there’s no way around that. This was the 39th execution in Florida during my time on the Row, and it doesn’t get any easier. Of course you don’t ever forget where you’re at. You’re reminded by the cell bars every morning. But when there’s an execution, it’s like a pause, and you have to re-set.

Some executions affect you more than others, more so when you got to know that person, but even if you have never met that person you feel something, because deep down you know that could’ve been you.

So it’s time for me to re-set, and hope that this Governor didn’t get the satisfaction that the previous Governor obviously got, with each one he oversaw.

One love,


Post 7: As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods…..

As David’s friends, we don’t want you to feel sorry for us. We’re happy to have a good friend in our lives. And actually David doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him either. 
But we want you to, sometimes, feel angry. As we do. With the random twists and turns of a system that, as David said in his last post, is all about politics. And plays with people’s lives as political flips of a coin. Last week we came across this article. It made us angry and scared…..

“More than 100 inmates condemned to death could face a major upheaval, as a revamped Florida Supreme Court ponders whether to undo a 2016 ruling that allowed nearly half of the state’s Death Row prisoners to have their death sentences revisited.

With a conservative bloc of justices led by Chief Justice Charles Canady now in the majority, the court has begun the process of reconsidering whether changes to Florida’s death penalty-sentencing system should continue being applied retroactively to cases dating to 2002.

The court’s reopening of the retroactivity issue, which came in an April 24 order, sent shockwaves through the state’s death-penalty legal community.

“This is judicial activism. The right has always complained about judicial activism and not wanting judicial activist judges. But when you don’t respect precedent, that really is the judicial activism,” Marty McClain, a lawyer who has represented hundreds of defendants in death-penalty cases, told The News Service of Florida in a telephone interview.” (

So where now? Will those currently in the Re-sentencing program (like David) progress? Will only those not started yet be revisited? Will those already resentenced be resentenced again? We, his friends, feel anxious and helpless. Imagine what he must feel.

And yeah, I can hear people saying “so what?” Or “they deserve it”. But – sometimes against our experience, we still believe in due process. In treating people fairly and transparently. And consistently. Are we naive? You tell us.

Post 6: It’s all about POLITICS!

Like with everything, politics is very much a part of the death penalty, and most importantly, how it is applied.

In my case, the State Attorney spoke out against the death penalty. The attorney had a change of heart regarding the death penalty, citing how broken the death penalty system was, the flaws that could lead to an innocent person being executed, and the financial burden of the death penalty. However, speaking out against the death penalty is basically career suicide in the State of Florida. The Governor quickly intervened and had her removed from any death penalty qualified case. The issue went before the courts, and they sided with the Governor – who in turn, handpicked a State Attorney from outside of the District, who of course is pro death penalty to take over the cases.

To keep it simple, the judge hired a hitman to do what someone else refused to do. That’s the easiest way to explain it.

It will probably be a while before someone else dares to speak out against the death penalty again in this State. So this is what I’m up against for my pending re-sentencing hearing.

The truth about the system…

It’s been two years since my sentence was overturned, but before then I was going through the appeal process. It was during this time that I started to realise the significant part that politics plays in the death penalty, and how disproportionate things are. You also learn that the judicial system treats you significantly differently, if you’re wealthy.

In my case, where I can’t afford legal representation. I’ve had to make do with attorneys that are often overworked, underpaid and have a lack of adequate means to present a proper defense. Some are even lacking in experience required for death penalty cases.

Note: my last attorney was removed from my case when it was revealed that he wasn’t actually qualified to be on a death penalty case. It took a year from that to come to light, actually 19 months!

The only thing that the public knows is that we’re given legal representatives, they’re not being told that a lot of these lawyers are incompetent and how much of a waste financially, the death penalty system actually is.

One Love


Post 5: Reflections

In this latest post, David reflects on the past 20 years…

Lately I’ve been thinking about a milestone that’s quickly approaching. I was 20 years old when I caught the case, and I’ll be 40 years old next year. That’s half of my life on the other side.

I’m having mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, I’m thankful to have had those 20 years and some may say “what’s 20 years in a whole life?”, on the other hand, some people may say that it’s 20 years that I didn’t deserve. Of course, we won’t always agree but I do respect all opinions.

As I reflect on the years passed, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. The reality is, I can’t say that I won’t ever do wrong again, but everyday the goal is to strive to do better, and to be better. Hopefully, I’ve made some progress in those 20 years, more than someone who is just existing.

One Love,


Post 4: It was a good day when…

When events, political appointments and cases take place in other American states that issue the death penalty, there is a knock on impact.

In this latest Blog post, David discusses the impact of the new Governor of California and their decision to place a moratorium on executions.

We hope you enjoy this fourth post…

It was a good day when we got the news that the Governor of California had placed a moratorium on executions in that State. He said that there will be no executions during his term.

I’m not sure how this will affect the death penalty in Florida, and it probably won’t at all, but it’s uplifting when you see news like that.

Good news stories are far and in between when it comes to the death penalty, so you rarely ever wake up to an entire floor in good spirits, and in a talkative mood, first thing in the morning, but that’s what happens when you get some good news on this subject.

I don’t know a single person on California’s death row, but I’m happy for each and every one of them, and there’s over a 100 people on the row in that state.

Now, I’m not saying that the moratorium will make their situation any better, because that won’t change their sentence, but it has ignited the conversation again and with California being the state with the most people on its row in the USA, it will be hard to ignore.

I do often wonder if the people on death row, those in other states, also get excited when people on death row in states different to theirs get some good news? When over 100 cases were overturned and given re-sentencing hearings in the state of Florida, I wonder how the people of death row in Alabama felt? Why Alabama? Well I thought about Albam particularly because their sentencing procedures were very similar to the sentencing procedures in Florida and so I’m sure it gave them some hope (although as of today, they still haven’t made any changes to their procedures – unlike Florida).

It’s a good day when a state abolishes the death penalty, but deep down, I wish that it was the state of Florida, and I know for sure that I’m not the only one who wishes it was their state that was abolishing, rather than just the one that is.

The State of Florida quite recently elected a new Governor, but I truly cant say where he stands on the death penalty. The outgoing Governor did set the record for the most executions during a term, and we can only hope that topping that record isn’t on the new Governor’s agenda. A moratorium would be nice, but I reckon tath’s wishful thinking. First, let’s wait and see what type of impact the decision in California will have, because speaking out against the death penalty is usually political suicide in this country. Hopefully it won’t effect him in a bad way, and instead, it will lead to more politicians speaking out against the death penalty because that’s the reality. Like almost everything, the death penalty is a political issue but that’s a conversation for another day.

One Love,


UPDATE: In one of David’s latest letters (26 April 2019) to his blog helpers, he wrote:

“Before I go on, a bit of bad news to share. The new Governor [of Florida] signed his first warrant this week, an execution is set for next month. This came days after there was talk about him not signing any warrants. I’m guessing that word got back to him (that people didn’t think he was going to sign any warrants) and he had to do something… The guy that he’s signed for has been on the row for well over 30 years, and has a high profile case, so the media will be all over it…

It’s still a sad day when a warrant gets signed, no matter who it is.”