DAY 076: I have been manipulated into submitting to their heinous plans

November 5, 2008 | Wednesday

IF HAD BEEN so absorbed by my own happenings that I had forgotten this day’s significance. Tomorrow should have been my execution date if it had not been moved to the 19th. You may wonder what got me thinking of this. I was in the shower stall only minutes ago. The door’s slot was open and since I was done showering, I was peeking through the slot, as it’s easier to breathe there. Elkie Taylor came walking through. He saw me and, despite being handcuffed, he forced his way a few steps to shake my hand Before thE escorting officers took him away. Elkie was on his way to the visitation area for the last of his all-day visits. I’m curious how it would have turned out had my execution date not been rescheduled. What would today have been like? I can only imagine.

It’s afternoon now. I was escorted to the Death Row captain’s office and back. Of all the most dreadful and dark places that I have had to face, going though with this execution summary ordeal has to be the most humiliating experience. Unless one would willingly deny seeing friends and family on those last days, not to mention allowing them to be close with you in those final moments, it is necessary to make sure the document is filled out correctly and turned in. I have been made to participate in my own planned murder. As soon as I walked in this cell, the door shut and the handcuffs came off, the thought struck, “I have been manipulated into submitting to their heinous plans.” I do not see a way around it, though. What could I have done different? This truly is the cold reality for a man condemned to death in the state of Texas.

Late-night entry: The maintenance crew did in fact come back to install cameras in those two vacant cells. Already the administration is preparing for the executions of the coming year.  


29 Responses to “DAY 076: I have been manipulated into submitting to their heinous plans”

  1. Tina Church Says:


    I received your message from Richard. I told you we would stand by you and fight, and we did, and we won! You my dear friend are so worth it. Rod, Chico, Shaun, Jodi, Jackie and all send their love and prayers. Prayers are answered. God is good.

    Love ya & glad you are healed.


  2. Kat Briggs Says:

    I am SO happy…
    I just recieved an email from Carmen Bitsch saying that you have a stay until March 2009!!!
    This is fantastic news, especially on the day before the 19th (Here anyway, im not sure if it’s still the 17th in texas or not)..
    Hopefully your case is reviewed very very carefully and you do not get DP, as it would be a tragedy to grant a man such relief only to make him endure the same experience of counting down his days all over again.
    I am so happy for you Roy, and for all your friends and family who im sure must be over the moon..
    I feel your faith has pulled you through and somebody up there loves you
    Best wishes and i hope to read more blogs very soon…
    Much Love From Oz,
    Kat xo

  3. Laura C Says:

    Rogelio, I have been reading your blog for the past week and it has touched my heart in a way that you will never know. I’m from Australia, and as you probably know we don’t have the death penalty. The insight you have given me (and all the other people who have been following your heart wrenching time in Death Watch) about what it is like to have your days numbered, will be something that I don’t think I will ever forget. Your words have really touched me and made me realise just how precious a human’s life is. You are completely right when you say the prison system is a vicious cycle of violence and stupidity. We seem to have forgotten that prisoner’s (no matter how heinous their crimes) need to be rehabilitated, so that they can better serve the community when/if they are released. You have a good heart Rogelio and I know your God has been with you every step of the way. The incredible mental strength you have developed over all these years of incarceration is mind-blowing. I know that if I were in the same situation, I would have lost my mind and my faith a long time ago. You are a testament to the human spirit of survival. Today (Nov 18 in Australia) I opened your blog to see a message about the stay of execution you have received…I was so relieved! Keep writing-keep praying-keep your faith-and keep your sense of humour!


  4. jess Says:

    Dear Roy,
    I am so glad that you have recieved a stay still march..
    My prayers are still with you at this time.

  5. Elizabeth Tamayo Says:

    Roy I received a call from Jose Luis Pena and he told me if I wanted to cancel the rosary we had scheduled for tuesday to go ahead because you received a stay of execution but I told him we were going to hold to give God thanks for granting you the stay. Remember I told you in the letter I wrote we had a much bigger and mighter lawyer fighting for us and He sure pulled it off for you. God is soooooo good!

    Love you Roy Tia Liz

  6. Elizabeth Tamayo Says:

    Grandma says she loves you too and wants to go visit if she still can. Your friends in La Feria will be at the rosary tuesday and will be so happy to hear the news if it isn’t on TV yet!!!! God bless Juan I sure would like to meet him and Isabel. You have good friends.

  7. Andie Says:

    Taco’s for dinner tonight in celebration!!!

  8. alisha Says:

    Will he continue to blog now that there is a stay of execution?

  9. Amy Says:

    I am very happy for you! I hope you continue this blog because I have really enjoyed reading it. It’s quite informative.
    All the best to you and your loved ones!

  10. Malakia Says:

    I am South African and have been touched by your journal. I still think the US should abolish the death penalty, as it has been proven all over the world that it is not a deterrant to crime. Roy you are twice the man I am, you have courage and your intellect will always be remembered. I have planted a tree in your memory and I hope everyone does that.

  11. BayLady Says:

    Thoughts & Prayers are with You!

    Congrats that You have been given a Stay!

    Be Well, Be Strong, Trust that God is with you!

  12. Rhianon Says:

    Sending you all of my love. Your Rhianon. xx

  13. Tim Says:

    This man has taken away someone elses right to live!!!!! I also do not believe in the death penalty but the way you all talk about this man you make him out to be a saint in which he is not by all means. I do think he should get life even know he’s taken life but thats for God to judge.

  14. Jennifer Says:

    I have read part of your postings and mistake me if I am wrong but all I have read is about how you are… have you said anything about your victim? I do have compassion for you, but I have more for the man that didn’t have a choice, and you were afforded the same feeling. I hope you are truly sorry and that you have asked for forgiveness.

  15. Colleen Says:

    I have been reading this site all morning now, and truly didn’t know anything about this crime. Reading some of the responses on here however makes me think you are all forgetting his victims, primarily the two children, Ricardo Garcia, 16 (stabbed 13 times) and Ana Robles, 13 (raped and strangled) that he killed prior to his murder of his cellmate.
    Yes, the death penalty is wrong and does not serve as a deterrent to murder, but this man is no saint and does not deserve to be treated as one. He may have found redemption while sitting on death row, but only God knows that for sure.

  16. Michael Says:


    I appriciate you writing these blogs for us. I think it is an insight that none of us really understand unless were in the situation. Just because you were young and dumb (like we all are at some point in life) you should not have to pay with your life. You can serve as a solid member of society even if it is just by writing blogs from you cell. I appriciate all the words you have writtin and I am praying for you…..

    ps i cant agree with you on the cowboys though!! go falcons!!

  17. Kiki Says:

    Dear Rogelio,

    something weird happened here (18th November). I was writing my entries on your ‘old’ dairy pages. Suddenly, the screen of my computer froze, then Firefox (my internet browser) collapsed and when I – two hours later – restarted my computer, after having been away – it opened on THIS page and not, as usual, on the last entry I had commented on…..

    So, although I wanted to go ‘day by day’ on your journal, I know now, together with all the others, that you have been given a relief and you can breathe a bit easier for the time being (even though it must be hell to be going through all the preparations twice to no ‘end’…)

    I am amazed, crying with relief and with frustration, all at the same time.

    I have just only read the comments by Jennifer and Colleen. I can very much relate to what they say, and I also didn’t know about your former crimes. All I see now, is a man with a great maturity, with much insight and wisdom, even a deep love for his fellow men. I bet you weren’t like that when you got caught out with your trespasses and I am absolutely sure you must have gone through considerable agony since, thinking of the victims and their families. But I hope that those families have forgiven you because the seed of hate and revenge is only creating more hate and revenge. DP is NOT a solution and will never be.

    Don’t misunderstand me, dear Rogelio; I have a son too and I don’t think I would just be able to forgive if somebody would do him harm…. But we believe in the good too, not only in the evil. If you have been forgiven and you have forgiven, you will be free…. maybe not in the hands of the so called law but truly free. I am not going to write that again because I have said so before but the man writing this journal is not the man who did evil all those years ago. I think you will have ‘a job’ to do once you are free – and it will be much work, but a necessary and positive one.

    For now I am just immensely thankful that a ‘pause’ has been rewarded to you. A while during which your case can be rolled out once more and in the end you will hopefully be treated as – by now – you would treat your adversaries. All the best, love to you and yours, to your friends who work for your case as well as for the others without tiring and complaining…. my prayers will continue, my thoughts too and my praises go to God.

    My heartfelt thanks also to Juan, Isabelle and all the others who were and are at your side NOW. I am in awe when I see how little I have to carry and yet, I feel so tired so often…. while they all go on, and on, and on…. with superhuman strength and a compassion that singles them out as truly special people.


  18. K Says:

    Dear Roy,
    I am very happy for you!

    Miracles can happen through prayer.

    Stay strong!


  19. Billy-Joe Says:


    Congratulations for the stay. I am happy for you. With some faith, miracles can happen.

    Thanks for opening my eyes and many others on the conditions that you had to endure.

    Remember to stay positive and be strong.


  20. Hector C Says:

    Hey Roy ive read all of your blog entries, i know people have written long stories, novels almost, but i honestly look up to you, you are a great man and even though you are on DW you can still aspire. Te me cuidas

  21. Margaret & Jean-François Says:

    Dear Rogelio,
    we are very happy for you that you got the stay! In fact, it’s the most wonderful present for me, Margaret, on my birthday – 18th nov.!
    We are thinking of you and all your friends, especially Isabelle and Juan, who must be so relieved! We’ll talk to Isabelle when she’ll be back in Switzerland.
    Keep going, dear friend, and stay with us in the blog!
    Take care and stay strong and hopeful!
    Big hugs, God bless you!
    Margaret & Jean-François

  22. Rodger Says:

    Has he really received a stay of execution? The TDCJ website isn’t showing him as scheduled on any date, be it today or in march…

  23. Andy Says:

    You know, last year I spent about 5 months in county jail for a technical probation violation and let me just tell you that it was the most horrible experience I have ever encountered. I just cannot for the life of me imagine being in prison, death row at that, wanting a stay of execution. What for? to live another day in that filthy, hell hole, where you are treated like a piece of garbage and everyday that you are in there you remember what it was like when you werent. Maybe you are stronger then me, maybe I am a coward, I am not sure, but what I do know is that if I had an execution date I would not be able to wait for that day, for peace, rest, away from that prison world. I don’t know the reason why you are on death row, what your crimes were, but from your post I see you are a strong person. May God bless you, may he take you in his arms when your time is up, I know today is your day, just be happy, for now you are to live in paradise… God willing.

  24. deathwatchjournal Says:

    Rodger: As I understand it, March is when the judge will hold a hearing to set a new execution date. -JRP

  25. corina Says:

    You know Rogelio, I’m not sure to be happy that you got a stay or not. I’m just worried that it is all going to come up again. Are you ready for that? I don’t think I am.
    I told my students about you, they looked really shocked that I could know someone on death roll. I’m not sure what your first crime was, but your second crime, seems like you should have been able to defend yourself. But that’s not the point, sorry for getting off of the point.
    My point is, what will happen in March? I cried just thinking that today would have been your last day. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday but I was clouded because of what today could have been.
    I keep praying for god’s help in what to do next. I will plant a tree in your name too, like the man in Africa. And I will join causes or groups to end the death penalty. it just doesn’t make sense to kill one person for another. what is that saying “an eye for an eye, leaves the whole world blind”.
    “Cuida te, ten fe. ” I keep praying and sending the positive vibes out there. Keep your head up. Don’t loose your faith.

  26. jacki Says:

    I’ve read a few of your entries & life you lead is truely awful but the fact remains that you have killed 3 people. The kids didn’t deserve to die. I’m not sure of the circumstances of the 3rd killing.
    You sound like an incredibly strong man; I wonder what your life may have been if things may have different for you. Perhaps you may have helped people instead of taking their lives.
    I hope you have made peace with yourself so the journey to ‘the other side’ isn’t so trumatic.

  27. Rodger Says:

    Any chance of the execution being permanently put off, i.e. never rescheduled?

  28. deathwatchjournal Says:

    Yes, there is a chance. The stay was granted to allow Rogelio’s lawyer to gather the evidence he needs to support a motion to throw out his initial convictions. Should he be successful, Rogelio would no longer be on Death Row. If he is not, then the judge will probably set a new execution date in March. — JRP

  29. Françoise Says:

    I am very late to sincerely thank Richard, Tina all the ones who helped them to get this wonderful result! I have been sooooo happy to learn about this stay we were all yearning for. No words to say it. Only warm tears of happiness.

    As Corina says : a new fighting will begin, there will be other days of fear, of doubt. You will have to face other difficulties. But your inner strength is still there, your deep faith in God too. And in the friends who loves you.
    No, of course, “you are not a saint”, as some persons say. But neither are we and we just love the man that you are right now, sincere, clear-sighted, with many emotions to share and affection to offer. I will continue to pray and think of you.
    Con un abbraccio forte

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