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REGINALD BLANTON’S
LIFE
Texas DeathRow

Execution Date set for October 27th 2009


****EXECUTION DATE SET FOR OCTOBER 27TH 2009****

www.myspace.com/freereggieb

http://reginaldblanton.ning.com

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CONTENTS

1. Interview with Reg, By the Abolition Movement.

2. The Carepackage (written by Reginald Blanton)

3. Contradicting Justice(written by Reginald


Blanton)

4. Statement, about Judge Sharon Keller.

5. The weeds that Bind (written by Reginald


Blanton)

6. Whats to be done.

7. Death Salivates (statement Reg wrote when he


found
out about his execution date. (july 2009) and
Poem “Wounded” (written by Reginald Blanton)

8. Photo Gallery

9. Contact Details.

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*** Please note ***
Reginald has been issued a
Date of Execution for
OCTOBER 27, 2009!!!
Reginald's Legal Info

The following will highlight Reginald's struggle


throughout his appeals to be represented by the
lawyers appointed him by appellant courts. These
copies of Reginald's filings demonstrate how
appellants (i.e. Death Row Prisoners) are virtually
voiceless and invisible; taken advantage of by a
system supposedly designed to protect their
constitutional rights. Here is something different;
something despairing; something criminal...

INTERVIEW WITH REGINALD BLANTON

By

DEE FROM THE ABOLITION MOVEMENT (2008)

When I first received a letter from Reggie in December, he said to me "You know
what makes no sense at all? My having almost all my clothes on, I mean all the clothes
I own, including head covering and an ugly green jacket, just to stay warm in my cage.
I'm dressed as if I were outside." Reggie is a fighter, a fighter for human rights and
member of DRIVE, an online death row organization that uses peaceful measures to
fight against prison abuse, and injustices. Listed on the DRIVE site are numerous
articles and poetry Reggie has written. Reggie was one of the participants of the Texas
Death Row Hunger strike in which several inmates protested the conditions on the
Polunsky death row unit in Livingston Texas by going on a hunger strike.
Here is my interview with Reggie, from his death row cell, he speaks about his
case, about his friend who he was accused of murdering, and shows how he is
innocent.

Reggie,can you please give us a bio of yourself?

I was born blue behind my twin brother, Robert, in an Oakland California


hospital. My dad retired from the Navy and we moved to Texas, to be closer to
my mama’s side of the family, while getting away from California's earthquakes
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and rapidly growing gang culture. For 11 years I grew up in a household
possessed by dad's alcoholism, and because dad would quit his jobs a lot, we
had to move a lot. A new kid in the neighborhoods we moved to, I had to fight a
lot, not necessarily to fit in, but to be left alone. Though initially fighting was
something I didn't like to do, I had to eventually adapt to its norms. Anyway
early one morning mama rounded up my sister, brother, me and as much of our
belongings we could fit into her bronco and moved us to an apartment she
already had waiting, divorcing herself from dad, the fights, and from what
alcoholism was doing to our lives.
However my relationship with mama was shattered by what I felt was
stress-relieving, overkilling whippings she gave me. I held them against mama
just as I did the divorce. Mama and I began arguing just as she and dad did. I
would leave the house to either get into a fight at school, or on my way home
from school, then again once I got home with mama.
So when it came time to deciding whose rules I would live by, mama's or
the subculture, both of which were diametrically opposed to one another, I
chose the latter especially since the family I identified with was outside mama's
house. A family I identified with because we were all largely rebelling with anger
against something we didn't understand. So living as one of them, I became one
of them, a locc'd out crip”
Gangbanging and criminalism was the subculture norms, norms that led to
my incarceration several times for non-felony crimes. After going to T. Y. C.
(Texas Youth Commission), when I was 16, by the time I got out at 18, something
about me changed. I wasn't changed by their so called "resocialization"
program, but because I was disgusted with being caught up in the system, and
the subculture that had me enslaved to it. Interesting enough, when I said "it" I
meant both the "system," that is, the juvenile system as well as the subculture,
both of which should be seen as part of the same body. At the age of 16 I was
already in the 10th grade. When I was released, if that is the appropriate word,
from T. Y. C. I had my GED. I had intentions of taking T. Y. C. up on their offer of
2-years of free college education to become a licensed vocational nurse, but my
parole officer John Rubulcava, refused to do the necessary paper work to make it
happen. In what I felt was a dire attempt to save my life, which meant getting
away from my parole officer who seemed more concerned with violating my
parole by forcing me to work full time while reporting and doing more
community service than he was allowed to give me each week all by city bus,
then writing me up if I was late, I tried to get him to authorize, as they had done
for another parolee, for me to take the A. S. V. A. B. after which if I passed, I
would have been released from parole and into the hands of the military.
But he flat out refused to even do this. So I took him to his supervisor who
begged me to give him a chance, and I did. Then a week or so later, I was being
snatched away from my girlfriend and her 4 year old son whom I wanted to
adopt, for the Capital murder of a friend of mine.

Your currently on Texas Death Row, What was your conviction and how long
have you been on The row.

I've been on death row now for 8 years which can only be understood as
lifetimes of incarnations. As for what I was convicted of, you are speaking of a
different type of conviction that I only hope leaves people feeling convicted that
the Judicial system, at least here in Texas, is broken. My brother Robert and his

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girlfriend Latoya arrived unexpected at my apartment, to cruise around and visit
family and friends. With nothing to do, I left with them. Of the family and friends
we visited with, Carlos Garza was one of them, or at least we tried to visit him.
Here is where things get difficult to discuss. When we left from Carlos's
apartment after getting no response, we went to the other side of town to see
some other friends. On our way to our respective homes, I asked my brother to
stop by the pawn shop so I could pawn some jewelry. It was a last minute
decision on my part. What makes this difficult to talk about is the fact that the
jewelry had previously belonged to Carlos. So this alone is supposed to infer my
guilt. And, superficially, it would seem questionable. But while we were on the
East side, the particular side of town we were leaving from before we stopped
by the pawn shop, somebody was kicking in Carlos's door, killing him.

Carlos and I had always traded or rolled dice for jewelry we both wore. We
always had a lot of jewelry that was expendable to the both of us. Besides I had
been in a cleaning up process. I had moved in with my girlfriend and changed
my job to be closer to our apartment. I had told her that after I sold the rest of
my marijuana, I wasn't going to sell drugs anymore.
I had already been pawning my jewelry, not because I needed money but
because I was slowly cleaning myself up. The District Attorney asked the
question, which I couldn't answer because my trial attorneys wouldn't let me
testify, why I had gone all the way to the other side of town to pawn jewelry
when there were pawn shops in the vicinity of where Carlos lived. If I had
testified I would have explained that I didn't "go all the way to the other side of
town to pawn jewelry."The friends and my Dad we attempted to visit, who all
lived in the same neighborhood as Carlos, was already on "the other side of
town" from where my brother and I lived. We were just cruising, and seeing
friends. The DA said "the other side of town" to imply we were running from
something. Secondly, we went to "the other side of town" that is, the Eastside,
to see some more friends, not to pawn jewelry. Again, pawning jewelry was a
last minute thought. We were there,I had some jewelry I was slowly getting rid
of already, so I sold it. As for why a pawnshop on the Eastside instead of where
Carlos lived? Not only wasn't I thinking about pawning anything, even if I had, a
week or so prior when I attempted to pawn some jewelry at pawn shops in that
area, they refused to give me anything close to the jewelry's value.My dad who
had always pawned things, even warned me not to do business with the pawn
shops in that area. But this is not it. Two and a half months before Carlos's
murder, his girlfriend took some pictures of Carlos and me together with some
other friends. In these pictures, not only did he have on some of my jewelry, but
I had on the very same jewelry I was pawning. There were also pictures of
another mutual friend of ours wearing some of the same jewelry, which he had
gotten from me. These pictures were admitted into evidence at trial.
Furthermore, Carlos's girlfriend who took these pictures,and the mutual friend
wearing the jewellery I had given to him both testified at trial that the jewelry
did belong to me, and that Carlos and I had traded jewelry in the past. What
does this all mean?.

That anybody that has something that previously belonged to their friend
better not hope that friend is murdered? That's ridiculous! The real question is
why was all this evidence overlooked? The pawnshop was a rare incident of
coincidence. Carlos was my friend. Kill him for jewelry? Cheap jewelry? If I was

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hard up for money like that, why didn't I take any of that money that was said to
be just laying around his apartment? Then, why my friend instead of a stranger?
It doesn't make sense. Besides, I'm not petty like that. I mean, I drove a
Mercedes Benz. On top of it all, I'm loyal. Carlos and his cousin knew this. I've
spent my money on them and was willing to die for them. They knew this. My
realness is unquestionable. And though I have done some stupid things in my
ignorant years, never would I pawn something I stole. That is beyond
comprehension. It's a commonly known fact that pawned items are ran through
the computer to determine if they are stolen.

I must emphasize we weren't the only ones who went to Carlos's apartment
before his murder either.
A woman that spent some time with him before his murder gave the police
a description of a man with a silver 2-pac chain who threatened Carlos's life
before he was found murdered in his apartment, yet the police couldn't find this
man. A few days later, my brother calls me to tell me homicide detectives
called him and wanted to talk with him. He said that he was "going to see that
they are talking about." I found out at trial what happened.
Robert and his girlfriend had been arguing outside my Dad's trailer, down
the street from Carlos’s apartment. The manager of the trailer park called the
police. When a police officer arrived, he tried to arrest Robert's girlfriend Latoya
and was assaulted by her. Latoya wasn't only charged with assault on a public
servant, but for failure to ID and was also arrested for outstanding warrants.
Another police officer arrived and transferred Latoya to his patrol car, then
drove across the street from the trailer park to a church parking lot. where the
investigator that was investigating Carlos's death walked over and told the
police officer to take Latoya to homicide. She was in a vulnerable position and
connected to the "Blanton Boys”.

When she arrived to the homicide office, the detectives force-fed her
information on how they thought Carlos was murdered and told her if she didn't
sign a statement against either my brother or me, they were going to lock her
up for Capital murder. How does this play in the mind of a young pregnant
women? So she signed the statement typed by the detectives, placing me as
Carlos' murderer, and get this, while comparing me to 2-pac in an attempt to
connect me with the silver chain worn by the man they couldn't find, a man that
came out in trial to be somebody else. On top of it all, after Latoya was coerced
to sign the statement, she was released from the homicide office. She never saw
a jail cell, and all her charges were dropped immediately.
When we questioned the arresting officer during trial about what happened
to Latoya's charges of assault on a public servant, failure to ID, and all her
outstanding warrants, he said "I don't know". .."You don't know"? No, they know,
and now so does the people. The homicide detectives strategically used her to
further coerce my brother, whom they called and merely asked to come to their
office. And though Robert thought it was just a matter of going there, after he
got there, they not only threatened to lock him up on Capital murder charges if
he didn't sign a statement against me, but they threatened to lock up his
pregnant girlfriend. He testified at trial that he was scared and signed the
statement to get out of there. He said he didn't fathom the nightmare his
signature would lead to. This nightmare has ruined my relationship with my twin
brother for many reasons I feel are important to emphasize, as they are

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revelatory of the deleterious effects this vicious cycle of death called Capital
punishment has beyond the condemned. Before trial Robert had visited with me
a few times. And though the telephones were monitored, the district attorney
tried to persuade the jury to believe I was using these monitored visits to
persuade my brother to lie for me. Over the years we ended up growing apart as
opposed to witnessing each others individual growth. So, in the few times we've
communicated over the past several years. it has been disconcerting to not find
the level of communication we expected, we once shared. You see what I'm
saying? Now, because of this traumatizing experience, though my brother wants
to share emotions with me he has been holding inside, he's afraid that doing so
might be misconstrued by the courts as inference of my guilt.
But I can imagine what my brother feels, he most likely feels that he let me
down by allowing these detectives to manipulate him against me, his twin, his
heart, his soul, and for something I didn't do.

But I need him to understand that my love for him is one that can't be
devoured by this predatory system, one that was only concerned with using him.
The other day in utter disgust, I finally threw away the only letter I had from my
brother, one in which he was fighting to express emotions, another part of him
was fighting to conceal. And as I say this, I feel like puking. Never, I mean never,
has he told me he wanted to kill himself except for in that letter. I feel like I've
lost my brother. My mama and step-pops has even said he's not the same. And
just a couple of months ago, his girlfriend, a new girlfriend, searched me out and
left a message on my Myspace page maintained for me by a friend, concerned
about my brother. Here's a women I've never met telling me that all my brother
does is talk about me. She was also trying to find out the significance of the
number 7 because it was a number my brother was distraught over. I told her
my brother thought as I did, that I was going to be murdered by the state last
year, 2007. She said he's holding something inside that is tearing him apart and
that she is losing her boyfriend. This death penalty thing is a Frankenstein. A
living death that destroys lives. There is no healing in it. None! We are only
killing ourselves spiritually, morally, and physically, by letting it go on it's
rampage.

Well, anyway, as we prepared for trial the DAs offered me a capital murder
life sentence if I didn't force them to spend money by taking my case to trial
where they would seek death against me. However, when I went back to court
for an evidentiary hearing concerning my state habeas appeal on my wrongful
conviction, when my appellant attorney, Scott Sullivan, asked the district
attorney that tried my case, Tamura Butler, to take the stand, I found it peculiar
that when she was asked if she offered me a plea-deal she lied, saying she
hadn't and that doing such wasn't the practice in the D.As office.
Only later, after reading Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's opinion
in Furman Vs. Georgia, the 1972 case on which the death penalty was abolished,
I realized why Tamura Butler had lied. You see, Thurgood Marshall said, DAs
can't claim the death penalty as a deterrent to crime if they use it to manipulate
defendants to plea for a lesser offense. What I'm trying to say is how can they
claim that I'm such a "severe threat to society" that I need to be killed by lethal
chemicals that they cannot even use on animals, after offering to keep me alive
if I didn't take them to trial? Hypocritical.

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I know I'm being a bit long winded, but it is vital that the people are made
aware of how carefully constructed my case and conviction was. When we
paneled the venire members, that is, called the 100 people from which we were
going to compose our jury to come into the courtroom, after Tamura Butler
made a comment to my attorney about a black juror being the sole "holdout"
juror in a previous trial, which led to a mistrial, she called for a jury shuffle,
shuffling all the African American venire-members who were seated in the front
of the courtroom, to the back. This was her first attempt to keep African
Americans off my jury. She was hoping that we would amass a jury before
interviewing them in a process called voir dire. And listen to that, "them." Here it
is 2008 and we are still dealing with the "them" phenomenon.
Well, we fought our way through interviewing each venire member until we
finally made it to our first African African venire member. Yet, minus one, the
district attorney only ended up using her peremptory challenges or strikes,
which the defense gets the same number of, to exclude the rest of the African
Americans from serving on a jury.
In light of the comment Tamura Butler made about the holdout African
American jury and her jury shuffle, my court appointed attorneys raised a
"Batson" claim, requiring her to give "race neutral" reasons for using
peremptory strikes, which may be used to strike a venire member for any
reason except race or religion Little surprise Tamura Butler's reasons were
deemed "race-neutral" by the presiding judge, Juanita Vasquez-Gardner.
During my appeal, after examining the transcripts of the interviews of each
venire member it was revealed that Tamura Butler asked questions differently
toward those that became jury members than she had the African Americans
she kept off. Whereas she educated the former as to the application of the law,
she left the latter to their own misconceptions as to justify excluding them from
serving on my jury based on their so-called inability to apply the appropriate
law. Then when we, my trial attorney, educated them of the law and they said
that they could apply it accordingly, Tamura Butler claimed "vacillation,"
swaying opinion, as her race-neutral reason for striking African Americans from
serving on my jury. A classic example of using a persons ignorance against
them.

Going back to my State Habeas Corpus evidentiary hearing, after Tamura


Butler took the stand, my attorney had also asked her what her reasons were for
her jury shuffle. She said that she wanted to move to the back venire members
that were defense attorneys, social workers, and teachers, while moving to the
front those with ties to law enforcement. However in the first 20 venire
members, where 3 of the 5 African Americans on the panel sat, there was only
one teacher and nobody with any of. the occupations she said she was trying to
shuffle to the back of the courtroom.
The Federal Court Judge recently ruled in my case that the jury shuffle was
"racially motivated" and that Tamura Butler's race neutral reason for her
peremptory strike against one African American was "more rationalization than
rationale." Yet contradicting himself, the Federal Judge Orlando Garcia,
unbelievably denied my claim that this prosecutor, Tamura Butler racially
excluded
African Americans from serving on my jury.

Yet this is not, the extent of Tamura Butler's prosecutorial misconduct. The

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Northwestern University School of Law, Center on Wrongful Convictions,
compiled a study called "The Snitch System" in which they reveal that the first
wrongful conviction involved a "snitch." The study also revealed that of the 111
exonerated from death row, about half, 45.9% involved snitches. What is this
about? Every study I've read most cases I've read, as well as most stories I've
heard from people on death row right now had a "snitch" mostly "jailhouse-
snitches" involved in their convictions.

When I was going to trial my lawyer asked me if I knew a Frank Trujiilo. I told
him that the the name wasn't recognizable. My lawyer told me this person knew
me and would be testifying against me. One day after going back to the county
jail from trial, I saw this one prisoner in the legal booths in booking I had been
locked up around. I threw my head back to say "what"s up" to him, you know,
just to say hello. He faintly moved his head to say "what's up" back, but his
expression struck me. It was like he was either shocked or didn't recognize me. I
just kept on stepping to my destination. Then came the day during trial when
this Frank Trujiilo was supposed to testify against me. Into the courtroom walked
the same person I had said "what's up" to that day I came back from court. I was
beyond words.
On that stand he told one lie after another. He said that we were friends in
the freeworld though I didn't meet him until I was locked up in the county 6 for
this crime. He said that I use to give him drugs "under the table" at this motel
he supposedly worked at to pay for the room. He even said that I came to the
motel one day trying to sell him a gun of the same caliber used to murder
Carlos. When I was being booked for Carlos’ murder I was thrown into a small
room with about 15 people sitting around me. Everybody was asking everybody
what they were in for." When I was asked I said "for the Capital Murder of my
friend." When somebody else asked if I did it I emphatically said "hell nah, But
this jailhouse snitch Frank Trujillo who was also present in this room which is
when I first met him, said on the stand that I had bragged about killing Carlos in
front of all these strangers. I was enraged. But what could I do about it? I
wanted to curse him out but that would have only made me look worse. On top
of it all my trial lawyers had me strapped in a testifying straitjacket. This trial is
the reason why I now have high-blood pressure. Another day when I came to my
lynching of a trial, as I walked past the one-man holding cells behind the
courtroom, I passed one cell where Tamura Butler a pretty prosecutor I might
add, sat next to this same jailhouse snitch, knee to knee, talking to him. When
they saw me they sort of stared at me shocked, like I caught them doing what I
thought as I walked off: Tamura Butler using her sex-appeal to further coax
Frank Trujillo to stay the course in their plot to kill me. During my appeal I asked
my court-appointed federal attorney what had happened to this jailhouse snitch.
He said though he had several felonies pending in several states, after my
wrongful conviction, all he received was 1-year, time served..He went home.
Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. said "If justice is perverted when a criminal defendant
seeks to buy testimony from a witness it is no less perverted when the
Government does so."Where does it all stop? Little wonder why the majority of
brothers here on Texas' death row subsist in various levels of despair. Here
recently, we just lost another brother to suicide. That's some 4 suicides in about
as many years. It's enough to be urged by an imate force toward self-
preservation, only to have your hands tied as you watch your own murder
approach you; let alone to be encaged falsely under sensory-depriving

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conditions with a case like mine, as many brothers have; a case of endless
corruption, too much to begin breaking down. So what does most of these
brothers do? They sit silenced, until they are silently murdered by the state, If
they don’t silently kill themselves.

Are You Innocent?


As for your question of "innocence" I cringe at that word. What does it
mean? Obviously it has lost meaning to most Americans, or more specifically,
citizens of Texas since they didn't demand abolition or at the bare minimum, a
moratorium on the death penalty when this Lone Star State killed Todd
Willingham, Gary Graham, Francis Newton, Justin Fuller, and lord knows who else
that was also innocent. I sort of feel ashamed of that word "innocence." Probably
because I'm ashamed of being here. I don't know how else to explain how that
word makes me feel. It's not enough to be innocent here in America.

You either better have DNA evidence or a video of you at another location at
the precise moment of the crime, to prove your innocence. What does this mean
for people with a messy case like mine? Constant refusals from law firms I've
contacted to help me? Certainly everybody doesn't have cases where there
were DNA evidence.
This whole system will make you feel guilty without really knowing why. I
think innocence needs to be redefined because we are dealing with a situation
that goes beyond the black and white lines of guilt and innocence which, when
we are talking about capital punishment, respectively means life in prison or a
death sentence and freedom. What 1 mean is, what if I was indeed guilty? Does
this take away from the man I have finally become? My redemption? Anybody
who is keen enough to see who I really am through my words, let alone my
activism, knows the ghettos and hoods need people like me as much as they did
Tookie Williams, to encourage growth and development.
Texas, if not the whole American Judicial System, has a policy of
condemnation that never takes into consideration that change is an inherent
part of human nature. I mean, Texas' prison industrial complex is less concerned
with true rehabilitation, and more with mere imprisonment.
This says it all. I guess I will say that I've seen too many brothers around
here who admit that they were guilty for their crimes but it was clear that they
were changed men that could change the communities that they came from. yet
their stories were poisoned and their value died on that gurney with a needle in
its arm.
So what is innocence?

Do you feel that your lifestyle and gang association had anything to do with
your false conviction?

I absolutely do. They placed a spotlight on me. Police officers referring to


my brother and I as the "Blanton Boys" or "Blanton Twins"? That says a lot. It's
one of the reasons why I was cleaning up my look. I was even in the process of
downgrading my car from a Mercedes to something more practical. These things
made me a target. Then when you get in the courtroom and you have golds in
your mouth, Varsace glasses, tattoos, and you are a member of the "notorious
CRIPS" with a criminal history? It doesn't matter how petty that criminal history
is. It doesn't matter that you don't "gangbang.". Skilled prosecutors will scare

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the average juror into believing you are dangerous. I guess the real question is
how do you become dangerous just because you have these things? Perhaps
because when these images are arranged right, they become symbols that tap
into and dances with those misconceptions that dwell in the subconscious of
each juror.

Do you feel you were railroaded? Why?

I do feel I was railroaded and not only because of what I've already said,
but consider this: Carlos' apartment door was kicked in. Detectives were able to
take a clear close-up picture of the tread-print left on the door. The shoes I wore
the entire day of Carlos' murder was taken by police to be examined for blood-
splatter and anything else that would link me to his murder. Of course they
didn't find anything. However, I told my trial lawyer, Anthony Cantrell, to get
these shoes to show the jury that the 12-inch shoe-print on Carlos' door wasn't
mine. These shoes are a size 9. But my own attorney grilled me about it, saying
"Okay, okay, we're going to get them right now!" as if I was lying and to see if I
would freeze up. Needless to say, he never got the shoes.
Railroaded? I presented to my State Habeas Corpus attorney, Scott
Sullivan, several vital claims for him to include in the appeal he was supposedly
filing for me, one of which was about my shoes not matching the shoe-print on
the door. It was especially important that he included all the claims possible at
this particular stage of my appeal because if he didn't whichever claims he left
out would be lost forever, barred from ever being raised in later appeals.
Different character, same plot. Mr. Sullivan refused to raise these innocent
claims in my appeal. So I compiled all the carbon-copies of letters I sent him,
pleading to him to file my claims, and went to the court with it all showing Judge
Juanita Vasquez-Gardner, of the 399th District court in San Antonio, how my own
attorney refused to represent my legal interest. But she utterly ignored what I
sent to her certified mail. So, then I went to the State Bar of Texas about what
Scott Sullivan had done to my appeal but they felt he had not committed any
professional misconduct and referred me back to Juanita Vasquez-Gardner's
court. I was ignored and swept under the rug with all the other silenced. When
my Federal attorney attempted to file these claims to the Federal court, the
Federal judge said the claims were procedurally barred from being heard without
even considering how I diligently sought to have my legal interest represented,
only to be ignored by my state habeas attorney, the judge over my State
Habeas Corpus appeal, who was also my trial judge, and even the State Bar of
Texas, who is supposed to make sure that lawyers do their jobs. This stuff makes
me sick.

What stage is your appeals at? (as of 2008)

My appeal was denied by the 5th circuit court of appeals. My last resort, at
least judicially, will be the Supreme Court.

How do you spend your time on Death Row?

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I try to divide my day into 8-hours of rest, 8 hours of self-reflection,
research, and 8-hours of writing. Because I'm largely at war with Maya, the
Sanskrit term for illusion, I'm fighting my self-illusions, seeking to realize my
Highest self. I have found this is the only way I'm able to find that space inside
the pyramid of my being imperturbable by the harmonious-chaos that surrounds
me. From this place I find my inner-strength which I hope shines forth as
inspiration for all these brothers here on the row. From this place I find the
strength to delve into intense studies, searching for keys, keys that may unlock
within me insights, solutions to the problems that plague us within these walls,
and the us outside these wails; that is, our brothers and sisters in freeworld
society.
This is why I have embraced the name Omari Huduma, which is Swahili for
"The Highest Service." Not only do I strive to realize omari; the highest, that is,
my highest self, but I dedicate my life to the upliftment of my sisters and
brothers as the highest huduma, that is, service I have to give. Together with my
cadre of brothers, Christopher Young, Gabriel Gonzalez, Robert Will, and Kenneth
Foster, who is now serving a life sentence, we have breathed life into a
movement we call D.R.I.V.E.: Death Row Inner-Communalist Vanguard
Engagement.

We are fighting for the abolition of the Death Penalty and as humane living
conditions as possible as long as we must be confined under an inhumane
sentence of death. We're fighting by, not only educating the public of the
atrocious and far-reaching nature cf the Death Penalty, but by hopefully being
representative of the hope and human dignity that still exist within these walls
of death.
We have taken Direct Action within these walls of death nonviolently
protesting these sensory-depriving conditions and for better treatment by this
administration. We dedicate a lot of time toward helping brothers within these
wails overcome their self-illusions, whether it be racism or misogyny, while
trying to get them to see that they shouldn't just give themselves to a man-
made demise as their fate because they still have worth, one worth fighting for.
We are literally fighting from the inside out in every sense.

What are your feelings about the death sentence?

It's counter-justice. It doesn't promote healing with the victims' family; it


creates extended victims with the prisoners' family; it ignores the humanity of
the condemned; it hardens the hearts of those that in some way or some form
promotes the process leading up to the condemned's state sanctioned murder;
and it takes not only tax-dollars away from rehabilitation programs badly
needed but it takes the lives of the condemned, who could very well promote
the rehabilitation of others that will identify more with them than anybody else.

The death penalty is racially inclined do you see this as a form of genocide

You know genocide is defined as the systematic destruction of a racial,


political, or cultural group. Though the death penalty is racially inclined, if
racism wasn't a factor, it would be harder for District Attorneys to secure
convictions, we would still be speaking of a systematic destruction via the
Judicial Persecution System of a cultural group or as I would rather say those

12
largely from the subculture. And the bottom line will always be the bottom class.
If brothers and sisters on death row could afford a topnotch defense team, they
would not be on death row. If we look at those that made it off death row, it
was largely one of two factors that played a role in it: They either had a law firm
or innocence project fighting for their lives, or a mass grassroots movement.

What abuses have you and others endured at the Polunsky Death Row Unit?

I watched as a neighbor of mine, Kenneth Clark, died in his cage because


medical refused to help him. Geronimo Gutierrez is suffering from a painful
medical condition and the medication he is being given is not taking away his
pain. Michael Sigala's sinus condition has gotten so bad that fluid has built up in
one of his ears to the point that he has lost all his hearing in that ear, and the
medication provided to him is not enough. Medical has a notorious unwritten
policy of only being concerned about a death row prisoners' health only if their
lives are in immediate jeopardy. As long as we are alive until the state kills us,
they have served their purpose.
Our grievance system is broken. Generally, grievances either come up
missing or we get run-around responses to them. Some of the food they dish us
is uneatable. Some brothers who are suffering from mental illnesses are
mistreated by officers who don't know how to deal with them. Officers refuse to
feed or recreate some of them.
As for my brothers in the DRIVE movement, as a result of our nonviolent
protest, we have been subjected to excessive uses of force. We have been
denied food, recreation, and showers. We have had all our property taken away
from us against policy. We've had our mail tampered with or sometimes thrown
away. There was even one occasion where I was forced I mean carried into a
cage smeared in feces and urine.

HOW CAN THE PUBLIC HELP YOU?

I need an attorney that will aggressively fight for my life as if it were their
own in the Supreme Court should my 5th circuit appeal get denied. This attorney
may just want to work in conjunction with my Federal attorney. This attorney
needs to be knowledgeable in the law as it pertains to procedural default.
Likewise, if my case is reversed, I will need an attorney to aggressively
represent me at another trial.
My plight needs as much media exposure as possible specifically here in
Texas not only emphasizing the injustices in a wrongful conviction, but also my
genesis into manhood, my self-evolution, my redemption, in spite of charges
that I would never amount to anything.
I need people to relentlessly pursue,firstly, influential people that are
against the Death Penalty such as senator Rodney Ellis, Green Party's
presidential candidate and former Georgia senator, Cynthia McKinney, or Green
Party presidential candidate from San Antonio, Cate Swift and those like them to
persuade them to use their influence to persuade the Texas State Bar to accept
and entertain the grievance I'm trying to file against Scott Sullivan for refusing
to represent me; since the first grievance I attempted to file against him was
classified as an "inquiry" and dismissed. We need pressure on the Texas State
Bar to do the right thing. This grievance can be found on my myspace page.
We also need these influential people to persuade others like them to stand
with them in their demand for true justice in my case. I need people to use my
13
plight as a means to further build the grassroots movement to abolish the Death
Penalty.
I need people especially here in Texas and if they are not in Texas to
persuade people they may know here in Texas to be willing to take to the
streets; to be my voice and the voice for the voiceless; to distribute literature on
my plight everywhere they go. Until someone enlightens me of a more viable
approach this is the only way I believe we can level this imbalanced scale of so-
called justice.

At this time if there is anything you would like to add to the interview please
do so.

I need to say this to Carlos' Mama: Ma'am if that was you staring at me
when my defense attorneys told me to sit facing those seated in the courtroom,
if you are wondering what I tried to say to you I said "I didn't do it." I can't find
the words to encase what I feel about the pain you have gone through. Your loss
is mine. Though I don't know what you still feel I will say I hurt not only because
of all that has grown out of Carlos murder but every time the state of Texas kills
one of my brothers, And their guilt or innocence doesn't affect one way or
another this pain I feel. Just as I believe if Carlos was ever sent to death row and
the state of Texas killed him, whether he was guilty or not wouldn't affect one
way or another the pain that you would feel. The more important thing is I offer
all the love of my being to you and your family. I mean all the love of my being,
everything I am. And Ms. Garza please let me say also I would like for you to
consider meeting my Mama. Because I believe you will see yourself in her as
well as her pain.
May love, all our love, heal your wounds. I fight so mothers like yourself,
and family members for that matter, wont have these wounds.
Dee, thank you from the depths of my soul for giving me this opportunity.
Being able to spill all these things from my cup has done something to me.
*** Reginald needs your help NOW! ***

The Care Package


By
Reginald Blanton

When I came to Murder Row in 2001, I generally looked at it no differently


than other places populated with subculturalist- - I would be "tested" and would
have to fight hard, physically, to prove I deserved to be left alone; not "alone"
in what district prosecutors would love to interpret in an "anti-social" manner.
No! I'm too much of a peoples-person for that. I mean "alone" in the sense of
not having to be placed in a position where I would have to physically prove
myself to ignorant people. That's what I mean.

Now I can't say these thoughts were not heightened by the fact that these
were DEATH ROW prisoners; or should I say, what I thought would be a more
aggressive environment since these were "Death Row" prisoners. The "worst of
the worst" right?

14
So when I arrived to the section of the pod where they planned to entomb
me - - because they weren't just placing me in a cell unless we mean "cell" as in
the myriad cells that make up life—that make up this Living-Death Penalty- -, I
immediately noticed the sudden silence which affected the whole atmosphere.
It was a cold and wet silence; a gray, drizzling-cold I could feel inside my being.
It was so dense, so thick, so real, I was almost certain I left mud-prints with each
slushing-step I took deeper into this unknown.

I was then entombed, cage-door slammed shut with a metallic shriek


reverberating through the floors, walls, and air; or maybe it was the scream of
souls condemned to the belly of this beast, rattled by the reminder…

"Ti-ti…ti-ti…ti-ti-ti…ti-ti," ("ti" as in tick) is what I heard nearby. It sounded


like somebody shadow-boxing in their cage—they were getting ready for me;
getting ready to fight me! My heart was a climaxing afrikan drum.

"Ti-ti-ti…ti-ti…ti-ti-ti."

They were practicing what combinations they were going to use on me. I
tried to control my breathing. I rolled up the pants-legs to my jumpsuit and
stuffed them inside my socks, standard procedure. I paced my tomb-of-a-cage.
I stretched. I even started to shadow-box. If it was going down, it was going
down! I told myself, "You can't do anything but accept an 'ass-whuppin'." If
that's what I had coming.

I wondered how it was "going down." Were we allowed group recreation?


Were one of them cool with the guard and the guard was going to "roll" my cage
door so they could try me? What?

Suddenly somebody hollered at me wanting to know my name. He told me


his name was "South Park," and asked if I needed anything. I told him I needed
something to drink out of, but that was it. Too many times have I seen things
"given" with all sorts of tangled-strings attached. Not me! I was new, but not
that new. I wasn't going to get caught-up in that web. South Park told me he
and several other brothers were going to put together a "care-package" for me.

I refused South Park's offer again. And though I was hollering from one-row
to two-row where South Park was entombed, he understood why I was refusing
anything else, and explained that the giving of this care-package to "drive-ups,"
new prisoners, was part of this death row culture. We exchanged "right-on's"
and I awaited the package they prepared for me.

"Ti-ti…ti-ti-ti."

Yeah, and somebody else was also preparing for me.

Big Tank, one of the brothers from two-row, hollered down to my neighbor, P-
Nut, to help him get the care-package to me. I was amazed by what I observed.
Big Tank threw something from the bottom of his cage, over two-row's run, and
onto one-row with a home-made line connected to it. P-Nut slid out on the run a
makeshift pole with small hooks on the end fashioned out of paperclips, hooked
Big Tank's line, then pulled it all in by the line connected to his pole. This is
called "fishing." It's one of the few means brothers have to communicate with

15
each other during the 23-hours spent each day in solitary confinement; if we
can call this communication.

P-Nut connected his line to Big Tank's line, and as they ran line packages of
food tied to the line descended from two-row. Though these brothers were using
this fishing system to show me love, if caught, they could have been written up,
sent to lockup, with the care-package confiscated or eaten by the confiscating
officers.

"Ti..ti…ti-ti-ti…ti-ti".

As P-Nut passed the care-package to me on his line, item after item (soups,
pastries, and chips), I thought about how long-winded this shadow-boxer was,
and how out of shape I was.

By the end of the day, I had to laugh at myself; though, after thinking about
it, it's not funny at all. After observing, with my ears, my surroundings, I
realized the only boxing that was going on was finger-boxing. My so-called
opponent wasn't blowing-out air with each of his punches as I imagined him. He
was finger-boxing the keys to his old typewriter. What would have ordinarily
been the sharp "icking“ sound in the tick-tick-ticking from the hammer striking
the print-wheel was dullen away by the wear-and-tear of so many years of
typing.

My reality had been distorted by the stigma of past experiences with the
system; a system that has equally stigmatized the perceptions of the Americans
by distorting the Death Penalty question. I wasn't surrounded by a "special"
pack of vicious, cold-blooded murderers deserving of the "highest" security
measures (which amount to sensory-deprivation) until their time of sterilization
("execution"). While the overwhelming majority of Death Row prisoners await
Death for crimes others in General Population (prison) will never die for, the
brothers I had met were no different than most people I've ever known; some of
whom don't have a criminal record. The only thing "special" about them are the
labels thrusted upon them, which in return, is used by death penalty supporters
to disengage their sense of morality which would otherwise hinder them from
supporting such a barbaric fate of human beings.

This "System" not only pits human beings against their higher-selves, but it
pits them against each other. It promotes imperialism, classism, sexism, racism,
and ultimately ignorance, either actively, through instituting systems based on
these machinations, or passively, through allowing these systems to flourish.
The System thus encompasses: 1.) the injustices inflicted upon us by the State
and its tentacles; 2.) those that we inflict upon each other; 3.) and those we
passively allow to persist. However, a distinction must be drawn between those
that perpetuate these systems as a result of the institutionalization of these
systems, and those host institutions.

Reginald "P-Nut" Reeves was murdered by the state of the Killing Machine.
Ronald "South Park" Howard was murdered by the state of the Killing Machine
(10-6-05). Shannon "Big Tank" Thomas was murdered by the state of the Killing
Machine (11-11-05). And though I want to say "May these brothers rest in the
sweetest peace", know they are living through me—and many others—right
16
now, and won't be able to rest until there is rest for us all. However, these
brothers, along with several others who were also systematically murdered by
this Frankensteinian creation, had much more in mind when it came to this
"care-package.”

These brothers had pulled me into their war-room, darkened except for the
square-light on the wall from their small projector. Slide-by-slide they pounded
into my mind the necessity to expand my circumference of consciousness,
connect with people in the free-world through the "pen-pal" program, and most
of all, to stay on top of my court-appointed lawyers and appeals, It was—and
remains—warfare. But these brothers were war-worn. They had lost many
soldiers. They had lost many battles. They were fighting a technologically
advanced "adversary"-- as the Judicial System proudly refers to itself—with
merely their intellect, bodies, and spirits, when they needed aggressive,
professional legal representation and media exposure. They knew their next
battle(s) could very well be their last; yet they had to keep their struggle alive.
They saw a glimmer of hope in me, somebody new; somebody they could live
through in retrospect of past battles lost. It was as if I was the second chance
they were never given.

Those that had the courage and necessary intellectual capacity took a stand
for their dignity by writing their court-appointed attorneys concerning claims
they felt needed to be included in their appellate writ being filed in their names
by their lawyers. However, their voices were drowned out by the Machinery's
noise as the majority of these brothers were ignored by their lawyers, their
lawyers! And many were executed, though they could have prevailed on their
appeals if only their so-called attorneys didn't think they knew it all and that
their own clients were nothing more than a docket number. As a matter of fact,
the high systematic murder (“executions rate”) here in Texas clearly
demonstrates that these attorneys would rather botch their client's appeals than
to perceive their clients concerns from a two-heads-are-better-than-one
perspective. All the while, the appellant courts are merely giving cursory
reviews of this attorney's shoddy work, blaming the flaws in it on the prisoner
instead of their inept "representation."

Why were the majority of these brothers were being ignored by their state
habeas attorneys. Why? Because there is a critical void in Death Row
prisoners' constitutional protection at the state habeas level on down. Mind
you, the state habeas corpus is our most important appeal, yet receives the
least protection. The state habeas corpus is often referred to as the "Great Writ"
in part because of its great importance; it is where everything the lawyer finds
during a post-conviction investigation that may help their client, along with all
other relevant claims, must be filed or suffer a "procedural bar" where,
regardless of merit, the claims are lost forever.

These brothers were being ignored because they are only guaranteed
"representation" at this vital stage of their appeal, i.e. state habeas corpus, as
opposed to the "effective assistance" guaranteed during trial and the automatic,
but less consequential, Direct Appellate stages. As a result, we can't file
"ineffective assistance of counsel" claims against our state habeas
representation like we can our trial and direct appellant attorneys. Here lies the
crux of our dilemma. If the state habeas attorney refuses to represent us, i.e.

17
they ignore our legal concerns, merely filing what they want, we can't write to
the court complaining our representation has run amuck because we can only
communicate with the courts through our shadow of a representation.
Therefore, how can we communicate with the court through "representation"
that ignores us? The courts have effectively undermined our most important
appellatet stage, substituting it with some superficial "representation" of what it
should be.

When I embarked upon researching case-law, I didn't know what the hell I
was doing. Those "self-help" manuals in the unit's law library wasn't much help
at all. Little wonder why so many of these brothers, many of whom don't have a
formal education, give up taking any part in fighting their case, merely leaving it
all in the hands of their so-called representation. With time limitations on our
appeals as well as restricted access to the unit's law library, we have a
suffocating space of time for the necessary extensive research most of our
lawyers fail or refuse to conduct. However, I couldn't see myself placing my life,
utterly, in the hands of a lawyer appointed to me by the "adversarial process";
especially after hearing all the horror stories of lawyers filing one page briefs;
filing writs with claims that didn't apply to their clients; and ultimately, as stated
above, lawyers ignoring the very people they're suppose to be representing.

This was enough motivation for me to persevere through the thicket of


contradictory judicial jurisprudence, hoping to find something, anything, that
could help my and everyone else's- appeals.

The more case law I read, the sicker I became; not only of the type of
crimes I read about, but because people, Death Row prisoners, were losing their
lives to technicalities—lawyers failing to file claims a certain way, or failing to
"preserve" a critical claim for later appeals. In my mind, if a person was
convicted unjustly, their conviction was null and void, period. However, the
courts act as gatekeepers that grant certain lawyers entrance into justice only if
they know—what might as well be—code words in the form of combinations of
case law citing, or have backing by powerful organizations or people. Obviously
this "justice" is not based on systematic moral principles, but politics. Isn't this
what most wars are about? What else would explain why the courts, the Justice
System, turns a blind eye and deaf ear toward clear injustices merely because of
technicalities in how or when the claims of injustice were filed? I felt spat on.
These truths grabbed my conscience by the throat, jape-slapping it until I broke
free…falling upon the path that would eventually lead unto my activism.

All the case law I read helped me remember painful portions of my trial
drama and gave me ideas how to address certain issues. I poured these ideas
and issues of concern into the carbon copied letters I flooded my direct
appellant attorney's office with only to find I was addressing issues that were to
be raised at the following state habeas stage of my appeal. My direct appellant
attorney then forwarded these letters to my state habeas attorney, Scott
Sullivan. Over the course of the year Mr. Sullivan "represented" me, I sent him
letter after letter reiterating claims, virtually begging him to represent my
legitimate concerns, only to become another ignored victim. I felt like puking
when he sent me a copy of my writ he filed in my name to the court, devoid of
my voice; especially after asking him to let me peruse my state habeas corpus
before he filed it.

18
When the 399th district court in San Antonio, TX, called me back on bench
warrant for my state habeas corpus' evidentiary hearing, I had to bribe Mr.
Sullivan to address a few key innocence claims I had been fighting –to no avail—
to get him to raise. I was feeling desperate and helpless. I was somewhat
relieved when he said he would finally address my forced-compromised
concerns to the court during the evidentiary hearing. However when the
evidentiary hearing was over with, he hadn't addressed these issues he had
agreed to earlier. He only told me he would to keep me from jumping up during
the evidentiary hearing to express my disdain with his representation of me. I
was speechless, dumbfounded.

My thoughts and words were taken hostage by the adversary. I could feel,
taste my execution date.

Though one part of me felt like my life was over with, the other part of me
felt I had to find a way. I thought about all the people before me that had been
murdered by the state as a result of this predicament. I thought of all the
people that may find themselves in this same predicament if I didn't manage to
help bring attention to it. This war was bigger than me. Brothers kept asking
me about the status of my case; and though they didn't express it, I could feel
their feeble hope. My success would be theirs. I didn't want to become another
statistic; another nuclear mushroom cloud blotting out the light of their hope. I
feared the fallout. It wasn't just my life I was fighting for. I became their care-
package.

I immediately wrote the 399th District Court, certified mail/return receipt,


about my representation's failure to represent me, enclosing with it the carbon
copies of all my previously written letters to Mr. Sullivan. I asked the court to
"freeze all findings of fact and conclusion [a ruling] on the habeas corpus
[evidentiary] hearing… and find good cause to have a hearing on this filing to
avoid placing my 5th and 14th Amendment [due process right] in jeopardy. If
not, I wish to respectfully appeal your decision if possible your honor…."

However, Judge Juanita Vasquez Gardner from the 399th District Court,
whom presided over my trial, appointed me Mr. Sullivan, and presided over my
state habeas corpus appeal, ignored everything I filed to her court. I mean, not
even a word. I then went to the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA), but they
ignored me also. Finally, I went to the State Bar of Texas but they felt Mr.
Sullivan was effectively representing me, then pointed me back to the 399th
District Ccourt.

Bombs were falling everywhere.

Because of Mr. Sullivan's professional representation, all my innocence-


claims have been procedurally barred by Federal Judge Orlando Garcia from ever
being heard. My quadriplegic appeal was just wheel-chaired into the notorious
5th Circuit Court, and my hope is mist in my eyes. I'm a gurney-table away from
death and I remain with nothing but my heart. In fact, I'm all heart and no-body;
a heart pulsating beams of love; a heart aflame for something beyond some
false representation of Justice. This heart blazes heavenly warmth for those
whose hearts are frozen in shock, in terror, in inaction. Powerful bombs will do
that to you. Nevertheless, if the Judicial Persecution System gets to utilize their
chemical warfare ("lethal injection") to burst this heart, let this explosion be for
19
change. O' Machinery of Death, your own machinations shall birth your
annihilation. And the care-package has been born.

Written By Reginald Blanton

Texas DeathRow

CONTRADICTING JUSTICE

The Federal Judge, Orlando Garcia, DENIED my federal appeal,


procedurally barring all my innocence-claims my state habeas attorney (Scott
Sullivan) refused to file at the prior state habeas stage of my appeal (the
federal court will not entertain any claims unless previous courts—which in
my case is the state habeas court—had a chance to entertain them). The
Honorable Judge Orlando Garcia ran from the underlying reason my claims
were never filed to the state court by my legal representative (Scott
Sullivan), refusing to address how LAW officers no remedy for appellants, like
myself, diligently seeking to have critical claims filed in their own appeal but
are ignored not only by their so-called legal "representative" but by the very
court in which their appeal is pending. Then, as if mockingly, the Honorable
Judge Garcia opined, "Unfortunately for petitioner [me] the malfeasance
[wrongdoing or misconduct!] or nonfeasance of his state-court-appointed
state habeas counsel does not excuse petitioner's failure to exhaust available
[there are none] state habeas corpus remedies on his unexhausted
fourteenth through seventeenth claims herein' (see, "Additional Claims" my
federal habeas attorney attempted to file to Judge Garcia's court), before
denying me federal relief, justice….
My Federal court-appointed-attorney and I were essentially arguing to
Judge Garcia's court that since I would be blamed for my legal-
representative's "wrongdoing" I have an obligation to notify the court when
my so-called legal representative decides, on his own accord (outside of my
assent), to not file something critical in my case, opening me to a possible
procedural bar, wherewith my claims will be lost forever. However, though
the Honorable Judge Garcia's procedural barring of my claims relegates our
rationale to absurdity, later in his 200 pg. ruling, in justifying the denial of a
completely different claim, he said, "petitioner [me] wholly failed to

20
interrogate his former state appellant counsel during his state habeas corpus
proceeding regarding her reasoning for the manner in which she chose to
present petitioner's Batson claim [against racial discrimination] addressing
the peremptory strike of Ms. Johnson [an African American] from the jury
venire on direct appeal. This court has concluded that failure precludes
petitioner from establishing his state appellant counsel's performance was
objectively unreasonable."
Since that "failure" precluded me from establishing that my state
appellate counsel's performance was "objectively unreasonable," why didn't
my extensive interrogation of my state appellate counsel concerning the
claims Judge Garcia procedurally barred conclude that Mr. Scott Sullivan's
performance was objectively unreasonable?
The Honorable Orlando Garcia's contradictory jurisprudence led to a final
ruling contradictory to my due process rights (14th Amendment).The only
good thing that came out of the Honorable Judge's ruling concerned my claim
that prosecutors (both of which are white) racially excluded African
Americans from my jury (see, "The Ongoing Investigation into the Reginald W.
Blanton Case"). In Judge Garcia's "prejudice analysis", he said the following:
"The Supreme Court's opinion in Miller-El I and Miller-El II [Miller-El was
a former Death row prisoner from Dallas who had his conviction overturned
because Dallas D.A.'s kept African Americans from serving on his jury.] make
clear the significance a showing the prosecution utilized a racially-
discriminatory jury shuffle can have in the context of Batson analysis.
Petitioner [me] correctly argues the circumstances surrounding the
prosecution's request for a jury shuffle in his case raise significant suspicions
regarding whether the prosecution's motive for its requested jury shuffle was
racial. Three of the five black member of petitioner's jury venire were
located in the first twenty venire members of the initial venire panel; the
prosecution's jury shuffle removed all black venire members from the first 63
members of the new panel. Further, petitioner correctly points out the
prosecution's proffered race-neutral explanation for its jury shuffle request,
given years later after petitioner's trial, does not withstand even casual
scrutiny."
Above, Judge Garcia is basically saying my prosecutor's legal excuses for
keeping African Americans off my jury has no bases. Further, in a footnote,
Judge Garcia said: "During her testimony at petitioner's state habeas hearing,
petitioner's former lead prosecutor stated she exercised peremptory challenges
based on the venire members' occupations, preferring to move teachers and
social workers toward the back of the venire panel while moving venire
members with ties to law enforcement, the military, and accountants toward the
front. However, the teachers in petitioner's jury venire were spread out fairly
evenly throughout petitioner's initial venire panel, with six teachers among the
first fifty and five in the latter half of the venire panel."
Finally, Judge Garcia goes on to say:
"Having independently reviewed all the applicable evidence, this court
finds no correlation whatsoever between the occupation-related concerns
voiced by the lead prosecutor during her testimony at petitioner's state
habeas hearing and the composition of petitioner's initial venire panel. There
was no concentration of venire members serving in any of the occupations
the prosecutor found offensive among those persons seated in the front half
of petitioner's initial venire panel. Thus, a valid argument could be made the

21
prosecution's request for a jury a shuffle was race-based and the
prosecution's proffered race-neutral reasons for same a mere post facto
pretext. Moreover, as explained above, the prosecution's questioning of
venire member Michelle Johnson was significantly different in scope of
character from its voir dire questioning of non-black venire members.
Viewing the entire factual scenario surrounding the prosecution's exercise of
its…peremptory strike against venire member Michelle Johnson, this court
independently concludes the prosecution's proffered race-neutral reasons for
striking Michelle Johnson were more rationalization than rationale."
However, again, the Honorable Judge had to contradict justice by denying this
claim because of a technicality.
My appeal is now due for September 7th 2007 in the notorious 5th circuit
court of appeals, which systematically denies appeals 99% of the time. If
they deny my appeal, a state-sanctioned-murder date could be set for me at
any time.
What can be done? Maybe somebody knows a good law firm that will
fight wholeheartedly, my case in the Supreme Court, should I become part of
the 5th circuit court of appeal's 99%. Other than this, all I can say is stand by
for the petition DRIVE. And please don't let my plight go unheard. Tell
everyone you know… and don't know, THIS IS AMERICAN JUSTICE!!!
"…only with the power of the people are we able to achieve justice or
receive justice…It is not because of the justice of the court."
--Huey P. Newton
With all the love of my BEing,
Comrade and brother,
Reg "Omari Huduma" Blanton

STATEMENT FOR THE AUGUST 17TH RALLY SAN ANTONIO TEXAS 09

There was so much controversy over Judge Sotomayor and whether she
would be an activist on the bench, an activist akin to Thurgood Marshall; yet if it
wasn’t for Thurgood Marshall, the desparities in the application of the death
penalty would be much more lop—sided than they are right now. Emphasis on
“much more” because we must keep in mind that it remains lop—sided. And we
can thank Sharon “Killer” Keller, partially, for this. The intersting thing is that
we have all this talk about Ms. Sotomayor being some kind of activist on the
bench, grasping at straws in her past, trying to distort facts to support this false
image being thrusted upon her, when we have a bench activist facing trial right
here in San Antonio; albeit one dia-metrically opposed to Thurgood Marshall.
Sharon Keller would be the Rush Limbaugh to Thurgood Marshall’s Martin Luther
King, Jr.

22
If we look to Sharon Keller’s past we will find much more than straws. We
would find bells of hay. She is the judge that said, when one defendant asserted
that his DNA wasn’t found in the body of a rape victim, that he could have been
wearing a condom. That he could have been wearing a condom?! “Could have.”?
This is how she rules on cases. Another example is the case where the
defendants lawyer slept in a portion of his very own trial, and she held that
there was basically nothing wrong with it since the portion of the trial the lawyer
slept through was an insignificant part of it; An “insignificant” part of his trial?!
This is the way she rules. The sad thing is that this is no hyerbole. She actually
did this. Anyone can look up these cases to see what she said for themselves. I
would actually advise this; because its because of the ignorance of the people
that we are even having this conversation.
Nevertheless, the final straw was the Michael Richard case—The Deathrow
prisoner whose lawyer’s computer shut down at the last minute, litrally,
preventing him from filing an 11th hour appeal to the CCA, Sharon Keller’s court,
by 5 p.m., which is the cut off period for last minute appeals to be filed on the
day of the prisoner’s execution date. When the lawyer attempted to finally get
the appeal heard by Sharon Keller’s court mere minutes after five, Sharon
“Killer” Keller refused to accept the appeal—nevermind that the lawyer had
proof that his computer shut down—and allowed the State of the “Killing
Machine” to proceed with killing Michael Richard, someone I knew. This is ut
another reason why this judge is commonly refered to as “Killer” Keller.
All of these atrocious acts have finally caught up with her. And because of a
change of venue, she now awaits trial in San Antonio. Will Justice prevail? Well,
this is the same question that the Free Reggie B campaign is asking. It was her
court that refused to let justice prevail in my case. It was her court that felt that
there was nothing wrong with the dissparities in the way prosecutors questioned
black potential jurors in relation to white potential jurors; a racial injustice that
she may very well not have to experience in her trial. It was her court that saw
nothing wrong with the prosecutor in my case using a jury shuffle to shuffle to
the back of the courtroom all the blacks that were mainly positioned in the front,
as to avoid having to question them, and thus use peremptory strikess to keep
them off my jury. However, this is not uncommon with her court. Her court,
according to David Dow of the Texas Defenders service, denies Death row
appeals 99.9% of the time; which is a critical point because the 5th circuit court,
the final stop before the Supreme Court, gives deference to the CCA’s ruling: in
other words, whatever the CCA says, the 5th circuit is going to take that same
stance; thus why the 5th circuit denies appeals over 99% of the time as well.
These numbers should raise alarm, especially when we are talking about
against the wrong—doing of my state habeas attorney; which is true. There is a
void in Texas law, where we have no constitutional protection against run-away
attorneys at the state habeas stage of our appeals. And many death row
prisoners have been killed by the state because of this dark secret.
My question to you is this: were not my hands tied in this situation? And
would you say that I’m to blame for my lawyer failing to files theses critical
claims in the appeal that he was preparing for me?
If you agree that my hands were tied in that I did everything I could to get
my claims heard, and that I shouldn’t be blamed for my lawyers wrong-doing,
then you agree that my execution date set for October 27 th is much more than
an injustice; much more than a railroading.

23
Again, something has been brewing in our death penalty system for a long
time now. The question is whether we will begin to take a more proactive stance
against the inequities in our judicial system. We must ; or else people like
Michael Richard or possibly myself will continue to be swept under the judicial
rug of oblivion. And we have to remember, Justice delayed is Justice denied.
Please, continue to educate yourselves and hold the three branches of
government accountable. And do it now, for each minute that ticks only ticks off
another statistic, another life. Grassroots activism is the only answer. May the
grass continue to grow!

With everything I AM
Reginald Blanton

The Weeds that Bind


By:
Reginald “Omari Huduma” Blanton

Remember that “strange fruit”--African Americans hanging from that


“good ol’ oak” in the middle of the town’s square, burned and dismembered

24
before throngs of white, and sometimes smiling, spectators? This wasn’t only
the Death Penalty’s popular form throughout chattel slavery and up until the
early 1900’s but is the grave in which the Death Penalty’s roots are deeply
embedded. Eventually, the people began to decry this barbaric “justice” and to
appease society’s conscience; the Death Penalty took on a lynch mob-turned-
superficial-trial-type setting. Then, execution by electrocution spread like weeds
across American civilization.
In 1972, slavery’s ghost haunted the Supreme Court in Furman v.
Georgia(92 SCT 2726; 408 US 344), a case challenging the constitutionality of
the Death Penalty’s arbitrary infliction against African Americans who committed
murder or rape, but not European Americans who committed the same crimes.
As opposed to uprooting these deadly weeds by abolishing the Death Penalty,
the laws governing its application were merely mowed down (because of its
over-broadness allowing arbitrary application). Four years later (1976), these
weeds were back in the yard, along with new Death Penalty statutes
systematically narrowing death penalty eligible crimes and the juries sentencing
discretion. A mere “legislative-gauze”. For these “new” statutes didn’t do away
with the mentalities that led to the Death Penalty’s arbitrary infliction.
Each jolt and scream of the condemned in the electric chair jolted the
conscience of American people. One too many times the condemned burst into
flames, and civilization attempted another step away from its primitive and
barbaric past, only to stumble over those weeds, falling on yet another
“humane” substitute for executions: the condemned, strapped to a gurney
resembling a horizontal cross, I.V, in his veins, looks to his left and sees the
stone faces of the victim’s family behind a viewing glass, then to his right, the
distraught and crying faces of his family behind a separate viewing glass. In a
few moments, a lethal concoction of chemicals (banned from use on animals by
the American Veterinary Medical Association) will poison the life-streams flowing
through his veins until he’s murdered.
A relic of crucifixion? After all, the second chemical (procronium bromide)
in lethal injection’s 3-chemical concoction is a powerful tranquillizer that
paralyzes the diaphragm, causing asphyxiation, and paralyzes the body, hiding
the condemned’s suffering from the onlooker. The latest and more sophisticated
form the Death Penalty has taken.
Death Penalty advocates would have you think Americans still uphold the
blind principle of an “eye for an eye.” Though in recent surveys, the majority of
Americans say they would vote for life without parole over the Death Penalty.
The Supreme Court said the 18th amendment—against cruel and unusual
punishment—“must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency
that mark the progress of a maturing society. “So why didn’t the American
Government abolish the Death Penalty in accordance to society’s evolved
standard of decency revealed in those surveys? Specifically, why did Texas,
Governor Rick Perry merely make life without parole a “sentencing option” in
Texas, instead of abolishing the Death Penalty? What advantages does the
Death Penalty offer society to justify its existence? Here’s my case against the
Death Penalty.

Nothings Changed

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Since its not enough that innocent people have been executed and await
execution, from a legal standpoint, shouldn’t the fact that the majority of Death
Row prisoners have been found guilty under the following conditions:
 A jury devoid of their peers (which opens the door to subtle
prejudices)
 Mistaken or perjured testimony (e.g. jailhouse snitching)
 Faulty police work (e.g. Houston Crime Lab)
 Coerced confessions
 Inept defense counsel
 Circumstantial evidence
Illegitamize their convictions? Even if Death Row Prisoners were justly convicted,
the majority don’t fall into the “worst of the worst” category, which—supposedly
—justifies their death sentence.
According to Death Penalty law, the Death Penalty may be sought against
someone who, for example shoots and kills someone while stealing their wallet
(there has to be a murder and another felony, e.g. burglary or robbery):
whereas, someone who murders someone every day of the week with a
chainsaw may receive multiple life sentences at the most. Because the former
crime is considered more gruesome than the latter, the convicted is labelled the
“worst of the worst”—too violent to even be imprisoned around the chainsaw
murderer, and therefore, deserving of death.
One of the Death Penalty advocates biggest arguments for its use is that it
deters violent crimes. Yet, how can they argue deterrence when the Death
Penalty is not used to deter all violent murders (though all murders are violent)?
Remember the chainsaw murderer? Here we are 34 years since Furman, and
one of the reasons the Supreme Court cited in the ruling the Death Penalty
unconstitutional as it was applied then, still exist now--- it’s being inflicted
arbitrarily. They even observed that the Death Penalty seems to stimulate
criminal activity, as the higher crime rates in death penalty states than in non-
death penalty states continues to show.
Furthermore. In Furman, Thurgood Marshall (first African American
Supreme Court Justice) said “if the death penalty is used to encourage guilty
pleas and thus to deter suspects from exercising their rights under the sixth
amendment to jury trials,”a state” could not profess to rely on capitol
punishment as a deterrent. “I remember how prosecutors tried to coerce me and
several other prisoners (some successfully) to plead guilty for a life sentence by
threatening us with the Death Penalty. And if prisoners refused to buckle under
that threat (as I did), forcing the state to spend hundreds of thousands of tax
payers’ dollars in a capitol murder trial, after prosecutors utilize jailhouse snitch
testimony, manipulates the jury by igniting subtle prejudices they may harbour,
and the defendant’s inept legal representation, to say the least, he may wish he
had taken that life sentence!
Before Death Penalty advocates can hope to argue deterrence, those they
wish to deter from committing capitol murder must be aware of its imminent
threat. The Majority of Texas death row prisoners I’ve spoken to confessed the
Death Penalty never crossed their minds when they were in the free world.
Studies show now, just as Thurgood Marshall stated in Furman, “it is extremely
unlikely that much thought is given to penalties before the act is committed,
and even if it were…a murderer rarely expects to be caught and usually
assumes that if they are caught they will either be acquitted or sentenced to
prison.”
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If death penalty advocates wish to argue deterrence, they can at least
come up with a commercial concept akin to crashed cars as a result of drunken
driver, or deteriorating brains as a result of drugs. Maybe they can utilize “Death
Vans” like China does; driving city-to-city executing Death Row prisoners in the
communities they committed their crime in.
One of the most interesting things I’ve found is as opposed to imprisoning
Texas’ death row prisoners the same way they are now, but in general
population under a life sentence, at half the tax payers’ dollars (saving approx.
$1 million per prisoner; multiply that by the 430 death row prisoners currently in
Texas), the state would rather spend $2 million includes appeal costs, which
would make sense. Here’s why: Texas allocates $25,000 to court appointed
attorneys for indigent death row prisoners (which over 90% are) post conviction
appeals. Though Texas lawyers protest that $25,000 is not enough (e.g.
California’s death row appellant attorneys spend $25,000 just on investigation,
and can bill the court up to $142,375), Gary Susswein, American-Statesman
staff member, revealed in his 5-26-02 article that more than $5 million of the
“not enough” funds allocated for Texas death row appeals, not only went
unspent for the past 5 years at the time of the report, but was funnelled back
into the general state budget to fill state deficits. Perhaps this one of the
reasons Texas Governor Rick Perry chose to make life without parole a mere
sentencing option, preserving the Death Penalty, and the funds it brings the
state.

Moral Deterioration

“The deleterious affects of the death penalty are also felt otherwise than
at trial. For example, its very existence ‘inevitably sabotages a social or
institutional program of reformation.’ In short, ‘the presence of the death
penalty as the keystone of our penal system bedevils the administration of
criminal justice all the way down the line and is a stumbling block in the path of
general reform and treatment of crime and criminals.”
--Thurgood Marshall
Furman (408 U.S. 344,2792)

In Benedict Carey’s, “When Death is on the Docket, the Moral Compass


Wavers” (New York Times, 2-7-06) he reported ground breaking research
conducted by Stanford psychologists on prison staff members who work on
execution teams. These psychologists found “that prison staff members who
work on execution teams exhibit high levels of moral disengagement (a process
people utilize to buffer themselves from their own consciences to engage in or
permit acts that go against their morale) and the closer they “came to killing the
prisoner, the higher their level of disengagement was.” These “members of the
execution team were far more likely than guards not on the team to agree that
the inmates had lost important human qualities.” Otherwise, their conscience
wouldn’t allow their involvement in the execution of these inmates.
Some of the “justification” they cited to morally disengage themselves
were religious support such as an “eye for an eye” (quoting the Old
Testament),speculation that the prisoner cold escape and kill again-though
escapes by Death Row prisoners are rare, and the ones that have occurred in
Texas have never resulted in another killing. This reasoning forgets that
murderers like the chainsaw murderer, who can’t receive the Death Penalty, are

27
imprisoned in a less secure environment than Death Row prisoners-and
consideration of the cost to society for caring for such prisoners (though it’s
cheaper to care for the prisoner than to kill him).
Also highlighted was how the level of disengagement was about as high in
a prison worker that participated in an execution for the first time as it was for
those who had been a party to more than 15. Further, members of the execution
support staff, specifically counsellors working with the prisoners and victim’s
families, though initially “highly morally engages,” were found to share the
same level of moral disengagement as those involved, after being only a party
to 10 executions. In other words, while those on the execution teams had to
morally disengage themselves as much for each execution, the more those
mere parties to the execution aided it indirectly, the more their morals
deteriorated until they shared the same mentality as the executioners. Thus
why psychologists said, “shifts in moral judgement are often unconscious, and
can poison the best instincts and intentions. “Sounds like what Thurgood
Marshall said in the above quote. Yet, the weeds “bedevilment” doesn’t stop
spreading here.
The Psychologically torturing, sensory-depriving 23/24-hour solitary
confinement of Texas’ death row has and continues to push prisoners to various
levels of despair. Some prisoners lie in their own waste mutilate themselves, and
have committed suicide by a sheet or via the state (dropping their appeals to
expedite execution). Sick and tired of this dehumanizing and deteriorating
environment, several dedicated prisoners and I found the movement called
D.R.I.V.E: Death Row Inner-communalist Vanguard Engagement. DRIVE
implacably stands against the Death Penalty, while demanding as close to
humane treatment (because confinement under a sentence of death can NEVER
be humane) as possible as long as we have to be confined. We strive to create
a sense of dignity and brotherhood within these walls through standing in
solidarity with our fellow prisoners-turned-brothers, while relaying avenues the
death row community can and should utilize to attack these oppressive forces
that creates our environment, as opposed to permitting our own emasculation,
and ultimately our destruction… which amounts to the destruction of humanity
(see www.drivemovement.org ).
On one occasion, Warden Hirch of Polunsky’s Unit Death Row, walked
through Level 111 (where prisoners are subjected to the highest level of sensory
deprivation) where they had the DRIVE activists encaged. When DRIVE activist
Kenneth Foster confronted Warden Hirch about the deteriorating conditions,
Warden Hirch responded, “Well, you shouldn’t have come to Death Row. It’s a lot
of taxpayers that could give a shit less what you have, and think you have too
much!” Doesn’t this sound like one of the several justifications guards on the
execution teams used to justify the condemned so-called deserving of death?
Warden Hirch’s “justification” allowed him to morally disengage himself, even if
subconsciously, to permit the deteriorating conditions to persist, which only
leads toward the deterioration of the minds and spirits of the death row
prisoners he oversees. For these reasons the Death penalty is so inherently
unjust, anything associated with it is equally inherently unjust; because it must
function through the same corrupted flow: from the law legalizing the denial of
human right to life, to the minds of those who morally disengage themselves to
assist (whether directly or indirectly) in the taking of these lives.

28
What enriches civilization, fear or love? Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said,
“Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts….,Through violence you may
murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may
murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a
hater, but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light
can do that “But what is “light”.
I once read about how a tribe in a northern region of South Africa responds
to tribe members that commit criminal offences. The tribe members are not
ostracized, labelled” the worst of the worst,” and then executed. Instead, the
tribe forms a circle around their member and for days reminds him how special
and beautiful he is. Can you imagine how uplifting and reconciling this could be?
We should allow this light to guide us. I am not saying we should follow this
practice literally. But let’s analyze how we conduct business inside our homes.
Think of the person you love most; perhaps your mother. Now envision finding
out she committed capitol murder and the state is seeking the Death Penalty
against her. Would you want her to die?
Consider the victim’s mother’s pain. A pain she would want no mother to
feel; yet the condemned’s mother feels that same pain until the point of her
child’s execution, and even beyond. None of this pain is minimizing crime rates.
However all the time, there’s compassion in these respective homes-family
members sharing love to heal the pain, valuing each other’s lives the same.
We demonstrate our higher selves in the home, but feed our baser-selves
by not seeing our daughters, sons, brothers, and fathers outside the home.
Civilization doesn’t exist when it only exists inside the home. Only when we
begin to see ourselves in others will we attain that which we have been
unsuccessfully seeking through perpetuating the very atrocities we strive to
prevent. It’s time we try an alternative. Let’s uproot these weeds, throwing
them to our primitive past, and allow civilization to flourish. Tell your state
representative “life over death” because the death penalty is KILLING US ALL
…morally, spiritually, and physically.

REGINALD BLANTON

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

I need an Attorney that will aggressively fight for my life as if it were


her/his own, in the Supreme court, should my 5th Circuit appeal get denied
justice. This attorney needs to be knowledgeable in the that law which pertains
to procedural default. Likewise, if my case is reversed, I will need an attorney to
represent me at another trial. I have written a "media letter" which maybe be
downloaded and sent to various law firms and other legal organizations to bring
their attention to my case. The most important thing to remember is:
Persistence is the key.

My plight needs as much media exposure as possible, specifically here in


Texas, that not only emphasizes the injustices of my wrongful conviction, but
also highlights my genesis into manhood, my self –evolution, my redemption in
spite of charges I would NEVER change or amount to anything. This is more so
what the media letter was created for. The most important thing to realize is we
want to target media outlets or journalist that are either, firstly against the
Death Penalty or has been critical of it, and secondly, those media outlets or

29
journalist that has taken a neutral position in their coverage of Death Penalty
issues.

I need people to relentlessly pursue influential people that are against the
Death Penalty such as Texas Senator, Rodney Ellis, Green Party's presidential
candidate and Georgia Senator, Cynthia Mckinney, or Greens Party's presidential
candidate from San Antonio, Cate Swift, and those like them, to persuade them
to use their influence to persuade the Texas State Bar in San Antonio to accept
and entertain the grievance I'm trying to file against Scott Sullivan for refusing
to represent me; since the first grievance I attempted to file was classified as an
"inquiry" and was dismissed. We need pressure on the State Bar to do the right
thing. They have avoided this issue for way too long because they thought they
were only dealing with somebody on death row. (This grievance can be found on
my myspace page) We also need these influential people to persuade their
associates to stand with them in this demand for true justice in my case.

This same approach can be used if you live overseas. There are influential
people in your respective cities that could be contacted in the same manner.
Nevertheless, whether these influential people are in the U.S or is overseas, I
suggest that the media letter be sent to them first. Next a follow up phone call
or email, to see if they received the media letter and if they are willing to take
some kind of action. (When the media letter is being sent to these "influential
people", it may be a good idea to enclose with it a brief and respectful letter
letting them know what you hope for them to do). If they are overseas, perhaps
they know somebody that knows somebody influential in the U.S who can help
us. However if they choose to procrastinate or not take any action all together,
we will be forced to take a more decisive approach.

Each one of you has a circle of influential comprising of friends and family.
The goal would be to get those within this circle to embrace our plight. You may
only have to pass them the media letter to get them to see the necessity in
fighting to bring me justice. Once you have established that circle of support, if
the influential person you contacted to help us refuses to help us and is a public
official (politician) with picket signs in tow, the circle of supporters should non
violently protest in front of their office. During these protests, loud protest! a
call should be made to the local news station notifying them of the protest. (By
doing this we may acquire some media attention we may otherwise not get,
while pressuring the public official to use their influence to help us after all). I
will be personally mailing a variation of the media letter to Texas' Governor, Rick
Perry, everyday, from this point until we either receive justice or the state of
Texas Murder Me. This Governor letter will soon be on my myspace page too.
At the bottom of it will be a place for supporters to sign so they may also send
to the Governor I solidarity with me.

We are also starting to fundraise again. Eventually we will branch out,


wherever we have supporters willing to help us fundraise. What I ask of you is
please donate anything to my cause, as after as possible. Though the more the
better, if you are only able to donate 50 cents, eventually we will have enough
money to get the support we need to save my life and bring attention to why
the Death Penalty should be abolished.

30
Finally I believe in the creative power of thought, word, and action, all of
which, when infused with the powerful energy of conviction, of utter belief,
becomes prayerful seeds planted in the Universe. As we continue on BEing
victorious in our plight, our victory will begin to sprout, blossom with all its glory.
So what I ask is that we consciously keep in mind this creative power of thought,
word and action. We have already built momentum in all planes of existence.
The Universe is already working in our favour, Let words of power fill our minds
and hearts till our cups runneth over, spilling into the Universe. Whether its
fervent prayer or a mantra, which may be a word or phrase you find that allows
you to feel power, encouragement, it could be as simple as "Victory is Ours"

Please take time out through out the day to pour your energy on this seed
of ours we've planted so we may cultivate our VICTORY!

I Love you all


Omara aka Reginald Blanton.

****This article was written by Reg, when he found out about his execution date
*****

Death Salivates

2pm. 7-16-09. I just woke up. I had slept for exactly 8 hours. I am a night
owl. Yet, I was not rejuvenated. I did not feel balanced. I told myself that
something was happening in the Universe. In the distant dark galaxy of my
being I felt something approaching. I’d had an earlier hunch but dispelled it with
31
my exhale. I grabbed all my senses; all of my energy and brought them inside,
concentrating it. Concentrating on soothing the waters of what I thought was a
turbulent mind-body. Here I was, doing the same thing today. An hour went by. I
was frustrated because my meditation yielded very little. I decided to conclude
my meditation with the Tripod Pose, a Hatha Yoga posture where I ease into a
headstand, feet in the sky, while focusing on my breathing. This pose is
designed to calm your mind-body. I felt it might do the trick. It has always
worked in the past. I heard the gate pop. Then there were jangling keys as
somebody made their way upstairs to 2 row where I was encaged. I brought my
attention back, like, “Get back over here!” Like that. Then my senses went back
outside. “Blanton! What are you doing? The Major wants to talk to you,” said the
Sergeant. I eased out of my posture and into another called Child Pose before
getting up and telling the Sergeant I had been meditating and needed some
time to brush my teeth. I brought my attention fully back and noticed that I was
nervous. I knew what it was. Damn! I knew what it was… I gave the Sergeant
my jumpsuit, sort of spun while shaking out my boxers to try to keep from
having to degrade myself by stripping completely naked and having to turn
around and spread my…well, you know. The Sergeant wasn’t tripping today. He
told me to just come on. I didn’t like that. He was being a (little) nice. That was
not a good sign. Not good at all… Damn!

We get out in the hallway and he asked me if I knew what this was about.
But it was the way he said it. He said it like he knew what it was about. Damn. I
told him I did. I saw the nurse and asked him if he had my morphine shot. Ha,
ha, um, ha, *ahem*. That did not make me feel any better. I tried though. I just
decided to stay quiet the rest of the way. We get in the Major’s office. I sit down
and cross my legs, looking him square in the eye, all sorts of emotions flowing
through me: Anger, embarrassment, sadness…”What’s up, Major?” I asked. In a
slow and somber tone he told me that I had an execution date and he was going
to explain a few things to me and have me moved to Death Watch. He said that
he’d just found out himself. All I could see in my mind was my Queen. All I could
feel is what she would feel. I thought I was going to be sick. I tried to hide it. I
knew what time it was. I knew this was coming. And after the march we just had
outside of the courthouse in San Antonio, I knew that the D.A.’s weren’t going to
hesitate to immediately set a murder date for me. This wasn’t supposed to be
happening. It just wasn’t. Maybe I was naive. Me, the “realist”, naive. The courts
were going to see the injustice and refuse to let me be railroaded. Yet they
railroaded me. It was like the many stories I’ve read about battered women.
She’s getting beat by her husband. She knows that he’s going to keep on
beating her. He’s vicious. She knows he’s going to stop. He’s a good man.
Everything was suddenly happening so fast. Everything was surreal. Yet I had
been preparing for this for 9 years. No! You cannot prepare for something like
this. You just can’t. 28 years young. Just the other day that one officer cried
when she found out how young I was; how much I remind her of her own kids. I
have too much life where they said only dwelt death. I have too much life
pouring out of me to prepare to die. Die? Die for what?! Ya’ll are trying to kill,
wrongly, a loving, beautiful man. Not a killer. Not a monster. A man with a family.
A beautiful, loving wife. A beautiful, loving step-son. My Mama. My people. My
people need me. You are trying to steal me away from the people who need me.
The Major tells me about the number of witnesses I can have; talks about a last
will. A last will, ya’ll! A “last will”?! What about my will to live?!

32
The Major talks…I drift in and out of even being there at all. He talks about
disposition of any trust funds, disposition of personal property. He talks of my
last meal; how they won’t get me any lobster or shrimp, or T-bone steak. He was
trying to make light of the situation. But there was nothing “light” about it – at
all. It was heavy; heavy like my consciousness. “Lobster ?! I don’t give a damn
about a last meal! A last meal?! A last meal is the farthest thing from my mind.”
But this wasn’t what I wanted to say. I said it, yes. But it wasn’t what was just
beyond my ability to put into words. It just would have been wrapped in phrases
with the words: Love, Justice, Passion; Sun and Supernova; Consciousness, Soul;
Infinity, Eternity. Words like that. Words like that…..

The Major talks about disposition of “Remains”. He kept talking but


“Remains” kept echoing in my mind. Remains? Remains? Remains of what?! I
guess the Major saw my confusion and specified “body”. My thoughts went back
to My Queen; my precious wife. Baby…

The Major, who once told me I talk too much, talks. The Major, who I once
told, “You would rather me talk to you than to not talk to you at all,” talks about
my last commissary spend. He said I can spend $150 two weeks from the
execution date. I was outraged! I am not going to put $150 of money I don’t
even have into their pocket as something of a going away gift; that’s provided I
can manage to stomach any food at all. “I’m not trying to spend $150 two
weeks out on my commissary!” I said. The Major told me that he was only
letting me know what my options were. Those were my options? My options?!
That’s that problem: They are constantly limiting my options. If it’s not going
home to my wife’s sacred embrace then it is not an option for me! If it’s not
living then it is not an option for me! I am a man and will define my own options,
my own destiny, worth more than a hundred and fifty bucks. Finally, the Major
talks about the so called last special visits and how they would happen. “Mama
was taken off my visitation list”, I said without trying to say it. It just spilled out
with some of the anger. They took Mama off my visitation list last year to torture
me into telling them who brought the cell phones into this unit – one of which I
had used to call Mama every morning before she went to work to tell her I love
her. They took my damn Mama off the list because of it, we she did not violate
any visitation rules. “are ya’ll going to put Mama back on the list?” I ask. It was
more like, this is the least you should do for me in light, yeah “light” of things
they were trying to take from me:

“Gimme your freedom!”

“Gimme your mind!”

”Gimme your Mama!”

“Gimme your LIFE – “ Whoa, whoa, whoa. Now you’re just asking for too
damn much.

The Major looked at me for a moment, in silence, taking the measure of a


man that was containing himself, and lords knows how. A man whose words
were filled to the brim, no – brimming over, with all that I was containing; with
ALL, EVERYTHING spilling everywhere from the eyes of my words, those

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windows. There is just so much in me. Just so, so much… The Major told me
that he couldn’t promise anything, but that he would talk to the Warden and see
what he says. Just for that brief moment, that brief moment we shared in
silence, I could tell he gave in to his humanity. For that brief moment he and I
existed beyond the veil. But, just as brief as that moment came, it went. His
authoritarian, take-take-take-and-only-give-when-it’s-to-his-advantage
programming kicked in. I could see the change. He said, if it were up to him, and
he decided to put my Mama’s name on my list, under these exceptional
circumstances, and he stressed “exceptional circumstances”, if I were to get a
stay of execution, she would be taken back off the list.

Sick.

Because I saw he was thinking a bit too much, I asked him to set the
meeting up with the Warden and allow me to be there with him. The Warden
needs to hear the words from my heart, not the Major’s words of suspicion and
some obsessive desire to control.

Back to my pod and cage. How was I going to tell him? I have known him
for 9 years. 9 years! And now I have to tell him this. I sat at the foot of my bunk,
leaning against the wall between Obie Weathers and me. The little loose metal
bar that plugged the hole went all the way through the wall; I rattled to get his
attention. I put my ear to it to hear his response. When he answered I began to
tell him about everything that had happened. I managed to tell him that I was
given a date for October 27th, as well as what he could do but from that point on
my words slowly faded away as I slipped into the depths of an ocean of tears
that I struggled to push back. And I drifted…as my mind drifted back to the first
moment I met Obie; my first day on the tank after wrongly being thrown into
Bexar County jail for this horrible crime in 2001. Then, various experiences he
and I had shared over the years, one after another flooded my mind. …..
Suddenly I gasped, somehow able to push back the ocean of tears. I backed
away from the wall to breathe and gain control. Then my mind went back to
where my mouth left off at. I didn’t want to give him tears. They have had too
many of my tears already. No! They weren’t going to get anymore! I was going
to be strong. But I felt so weak. And Obie felt it. He said it. “It’s all just knocked
the air out of me”, I told him. “But I’m focused”, I added as feeble as it may
have sounded. “Obie, it’s just so messed up”.

“I know. It’s…nightmarish. It’s-it’s…surreal”, he said.

“I know I have so many brothers around here watching what happens to


me. I have preached to these brothers time and time again over the years to not
give up on themselves despite how hopeless the situation seems; to fight for
their lives; for their Humanity. And now this. I don’t want this to reinforce their
fears. I don’t want them to say, ‘See! Look at what happened to Reg. It doesn’t
matter what you do, they still gonna kill you.’” (silence)

“I don’t accept this date. I’m not trying to hear it, Obie. They’ve got me
messed up! With everything I am, EVERYTHING I AM, I’m going to fight this.
EVERYTHING I AM!”

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After telling him I love him and that I had to get my things packed, I left
the wall. The officers came back to the section. Lights came on. The gate
popped. They brought the little cart to carry my belongings. And I thought to
myself, so much for easing off the section. I didn’t want anybody to know that I
was going to Death Watch. I didn’t even want anybody to know that I was even
on Death Watch at all. The only thing I wanted them to know is that I got my life
back. Not that they were about to take it away. It was all completely humiliating
and sick all at the same time. My stuff was packed. I backed to the cage door to
get handcuffed, took a deep cleansing breath – and stepped into the run.
Fighting back that ocean the whole way, I went down the run and woke Tony
Medina up. I cringed at having to wake him to this. He came to the door rubbing
his eyes. I told him that I was moving to Death Watch and that I’ve got a date
for Oct.27th. He looked at me and the only thing he said was, “That’s fucked up”.

His neighbor was standing at the door, Juan Reynosa. “You moving, man?”

“Yeah, they gave me a date for Oct.27th…”

“Ah man, that’s fucked up! Man! Damn…keep ya head up”.

“A’ight, man, a’ight,” I said. Tears were beginning to breach the levees. A
deep breath. I stepped on.

Joseph Lave hollered at me from the other end of the run. “What cell ya
going to?”

“14 cage”, I reply.

“You know, that’s my old cage!”

Joseph was just off of Death Watch and, for whatever reason, made it off.

“Yeah, I know. And I’m trying to come back just like you did!” I said.
“Already!” he laughed. “I’ve been busy but I’ll get with you.”

I was in front of Obie’s cage. We looked in each other’s eyes for a


moment. I could tell he was taking measure of me. I let him. I wondered if he
could see through me. I wondered if I was hiding what I truly felt as much as I
thought I was.

“You’re ugly.” he said.

Though I was thinking you know damn well I’m not ugly, I couldn’t help
but smile. “I’ll catch up with you,” I said.

“A’ight.”

As I was coming down the stairs, I hollered at another prisoner I knew I on


the row. And with a smile that smiled through his words, he said, “Holler at me.”
I thought to myself, why is he smiling? Would he be the one who sends my wife
flowers at my funeral to entice her into responding with a “Thank you,” so that

35
he could respond and try to get her to write again? There are vultures like that
around here.

“I’ma holler at the whole world!” I returned to him as I walked of the


section.

Another brother hollers at me from another section – in Swahili. I tell him,


“October 27th!”

“”Ahhhhh man!” he gave.

And shut the door behind me.

When I got to Death Watch the whole vibe was different. There are eight
people over here right now. I’m not saying that they were happy to see me. But
it was like my company comforted them to some vague extent. A faint beam of
light that found a thin layer of clouds; as thin as a layer of ice that this beam of
sunlight stepped upon and fell through. All of this was mere layers of ice I had
to work through. Underneath all this lied the iceburg: How? How can I tell my
precious wife that her husband, her baby, that she hasn’t even had the chance
to properly and officially marry yet – has an execution date? How can I tell My
Queen this? I want to just cry in her arms but I cannot even tell her like that. I’m
disgusted with the State for even putting me in this situation. How do I tell
Mama that they have set the date to kill her baby? (Tears) The weight . God, the
weight. I have to tell them. I hate to tell them. My God! I have to.

WOUNDED (S.O.S)....
Baby, my precious baby, I love you with my soul. Baby, you know this.
(Tears) They set a date for me to die. I despise this day, My Queen. I despise
having to tell you this. I despise putting you through this. All I can say is that
She has never cried so hard, so utterly, in her life. She cries as if
you are my Queen-Self and I vow to you that I will fight this fight with all that I
her life depended on it. In fact, lives do depend on it. Dark, angry
have. I will not allow them to take me away from my Heaven: You, Queen. My
clouds haven’t even known raindrops the size of her tears. O’ the
life. My Heaven and my Life. I will have you, My Queen, I will.
hurt. Her gapping mouth frowns with wails from her agony. I
haven’t realized how my face contorts from the mere sight, the
mere sight of…my wound. I’ve been wounded by the
Reginald Blanton July of
mistreatment Humanity who sits curled up like an abused child,
2009
precious child, in the corner of our souls, neglected by the US;
neglected by the STATE; neglected by this administration; and
what hurts—o’ it hurts—even more, neglected by my fellow death
row prisoners, whose faces turn away from this child because they
feel they don’t deserve her. And when they turned their confused
faces with tears in their eyes, it ripped a hold through my flesh;
one so profound, I can peer through it to my Soul, to that child, the
child that cries.....

I lay wounded in the ditch of my cage, left to die, this child and
me. Passerbys hear the cries from my wound—their reflection, but
they refuse to face themselves, passing US by. My wound cries for
US, which means YOU. The child in me, in US, needs YOU. WE can
heal, but it must be TOGETHER; I can’t do it alone,....

…My wound is bleeding my Soul.....


36
Please…....

please don’t pass US by.....


REGINALDS PHOTO GALLERY

Reginald 2009

37
Reggie’s Mama, Sandie, & Reggies Grandparents Sis Morrison, Mama, Reg

Reggie and Sandie

CONTACT DETAILS

Reginald Blanton 999395


Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South,
Livingston
Texas 77351
U.S.A

www.myspace.com/freereggieb

http://reginaldblanton.ning.com

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http://savereginaldblanton.weebly.com

Email:-

procedurallybarred@hotmail.co.uk

sandrablanton@hotmail.co.uk

Go online to sign Reginalds petition

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SaveReginald

Lawyers Information

John Carroll. Telephone Number USA (001) 210 829 7183

HELP SAVE REGINALD BLANTON'S LIFE


1981-????

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