Day 027: Evening now. Scooter has been executed

September 17, 2008 | Wednesday

IT’S AFTER BREAKFAST and I am still up. Some of you may think that I am sad. However, that’s not really accurate because it’s more than that. Most of the night my thoughts wondered past years and my emotions have kept my mind sifting through memories of the same. It is what our minds do. All these years of incarceration have done something to me. I think you too would be guarded if you knew what its like to constantly lose friendships, knew the change of faces and places as a norm. I have grown accustomed to keeping my emotions in check. More than a decade of isolation will  do this to you. What all these years of isolation have not taken away from me is something we all share, empathy and humanity. It hurts to see Scooter’s bloodshot eyes, knowing that I can do nothing to save his life. He doesn’t want to die. Walking out from this place for the last time, his last words to us were: “See you all on the other side.” He walked out of the cellblock with officers trailing and toting his property behind.

Noontime and all movement has stopped. Scooter is being led into the van that will take him to Huntsville. He won’t return. I’ve seen others leave who never came back.

Evening now. Scooter has been executed. It was reported on the news. Mail is being passed out. The officer had a letter for him but Scooter is gone. It’s strange to think what his friend will feel when that letter is returned. Another day goes by on Death Watch and all of us here have to move on. Joseph Ries has replaced Scooter in the cell because “Joey” has an upcoming execution date. Another man has been brought to Death Watch with an execution date of his own. I got several letters that I’m grateful for and are totally welcomed. I have to keep living to friends.


9 Responses to “Day 027: Evening now. Scooter has been executed”

  1. Isabelle Says:

    Surreal. I would use this word if it weren’t much more. Cruel. Inhuman. A man walking to his own death. Saying good-bye to his friends. I understand why you try keeping your emotions in check, Rogelio. Isolation is the norm in your surroundings and yet, some feelings will not be crushed, eradicated: empathy, humanity. Sparks of life blooming like flowers in the most hostile environment. Good hearts sparkle.

  2. Paloma Says:

    Dear Roy, keep sharing your empathy and humanity (and sense of humor ;-)) with your friends. We are thinking of you and your companions all the time. Everything you are writing is valuable and moving, as always. It will remain for years and will touch many people’s hearts. Thank you so much.
    Lots of love from your friend

  3. Françoise Casanova Says:

    “Good bye, Scooter! May your “3rd ” life be more serene and bright than the two other one. I am sure they welcomed you well, up there!” God will recognize his children

    Oh my God, Roy !
    So difficult to read these lines. It breaks one’s heart and I feel crying, thinking to all that you have to pass through. So cruel!
    Last Saturday, I was in a shop called “Point Vert” (green point), the type of shop where they sell flowers, plants and everything for the gardening. As I know you love birds, I bought a card for you, which represented a small yellow bird, looking up to a big grey one showing a severe and hard expression; the small one had an open beak as if he was trying to explain or ask something.

  4. Françoise Casanova Says:

    Erroneous movement : my comment wasn’t finished!

    So, on that card there was a thought from Isaac Asimov : “La violence est le dernier refuge de l’incompétence” (Violence is the last refuge of incompetence.) So true!

    When you get suffocated Roy, be a bird : fly away, fly out of the cell with your mind , fly over all the places that you used to like in the past, the one you know and the one you imagine. Meet the friends you love and who love you in the places they were describing to you in their numerous letters.
    Feeling so near to you, dear Rogelio,

  5. corina Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Rogelio. I keep praying for you.

  6. Sr Ruth Evans Says:

    Dear Rogelio,
    I am so sorry to hear about Scooter and all he went through. You have helped him. It is hard for you to see friends go through this. May Jesus give you strength.
    God bless you,
    Sr Ruth

  7. Kiki Says:

    Rogelio, I am crying although I knew what had to come…. You must be very, very strong and really, really check your emotions or you would blow up like a straw fire in view of what happens around you. I cannot start imaging what goes on in a person’s soul when his friend(s) leave with those words and you know they’re not coming back!!! Indeed, let’s hope that you all meet up with each other ‘on the other side’.
    We will have a special remembrance day coming Sunday (we call it a (divine) service for the departed). For weeks now I’ve taken up praying especially for the souls gone such as Scooter’s el al. I’ve never prayed for them before; what a shame. There is SO much we do not know! Thank You for opening our eyes…. it doesn’t lessen the cruelty of the system but it opens the one or other heart of the one or other person!


    Facts show that capital punishment is not a deterrent.

    Innocent people have been executed.

    Are these, then, not two reasons for abolishing it?

    Executions can only be seen as a punishment – there can be no other reason for doing it.

    Having said that, we often lose sight of the victims, their families and friends, who will suffer the loss of a loved one for the rest of their lives and in a most horrible way.

    I wonder what the answer is…………

  9. SHAZZ Says:

    I have to agree, while this diary is tragic, it is shocking to think of the two young kids that were murdered, what they must have gone through, how frightened they too must have been and what their parents etc. feel about never seeing them again.

    I too wonder what the answer is?

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