The men and women on death row in Texas have no access to television. They are locked up in purpose built (no bars) six foot by nine foot cells for 23 hours a day. They have inadequate diets which can only be supplemented if they have access to sufficient funds. They are subject to barbaric and retaliatory ‘lockdowns’ which can be declared at the whim of the state governor (Bush had the whole of the system on lockdown during the election). And even for the ‘best behaved’ prisoners there are no contact rules, and extremely limited phone calls and access to stamps for postage.
My penfriend has been receiving ‘Socialist Review’ for several months now, and as a result he is able to have access to information and a perspective on the world beyond the mainstream media (although the odd newspaper clipping gets smuggled into the prison). He told me in his recent letter to say thanks to you lot for getting the magazine to him.
The vast majority of inmates in Texas are from ethnic minorities, and/or from poor and deprived backgrounds–and, suffice to say, so many of them have been stitched up by a corrupt and right wing police force working to the agenda of US careerist politicians. However, my penfriend says that the articles contained in ‘Socialist Review’ always lead to many interesting debates between the inmates (during the one hour a day where two of them are allowed to speak to each other in the exercise yard), and that your magazine is really valuable in prompting the inmates to challenge their conditions and the agenda that the current world situation is running to.
For comrades who are interested in signing my penfriend’s petition, you can read his letters and thoughts and sign his petition to get a fair hearing at www.anthonynealy.com
Other interesting websites on the conditions on death row in the US include www.lifelines.org and www.deathrow.at/welcometohell
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