DAY 088: I walked off Death Watch


November 18, 2008 | Monday

JUST GOT back from my early shower. Today is the first day of my all-day visits. I still have an hour before I’m escorted out to visit. Joe B. is in the recreation cage, so I’ll speak to him for half an hour, or until I am called for and escorted to visit. Right now I have to get ready. Kat is on his way out. Today is his second of all-day visits. His execution date is set for tomorrow. Blake has just been told to get ready for his visit. It’s 8:30 and Joe B. is being escorted back to his cell. Still no visit. Something is wrong. It has to be going on 9 a.m. now! I hate this camera watching me pace back and forth.

Finally, the speaker has crackled for me! Should be escorted to visit soon.

Noon: Only now got back from visit. No all-day visit for me, but it’s OK because I GOT A STAY! 🙂 Major Smith, my favorite person right now, came to advise me while I was sitting with our Isabelle! She was with me during an important moment of my life. How fitting is that?! VERY fitting, I think.

I want to ask everybody who will read this to thank my legal Team, Richard Ellis and Tina Church. It was made possible because they cared. When nobody would listen, The Other Victims Advocate (TOVA) has taken up my cause. This organization is non-profit and assists those who need help. This stay is based on evidence that my attorney will present to the court against the initial convictions, which put me in prison. There is yet more litigation ahead, but this is a positive start.

So, where to from here? Where indeed?! At the moment, I am back in the same camera cell but will kiss the camera goodbye (literally) before the day is over. I will be moved from Death Watch and placed in another management cell on the cellblock that house Level III-status Death Row prisoners. The suspension of my privileges will remain in place for another three months, but I will be able to buy postage and hygiene items.

The speaker just crackled. I am being moved. Ironically, another man is being brought onto Death Watch.

An hour later: I’ve arrived on Cellblock F to shouts from familiar voices. I could hardly understand what they are saying because the welding crew is here and the noise level is almost deafening. I did recognize faces as I walked past their cells. I am on the second floor in Cell 78. The shower stall is to my immediate right. Cell 79 is to my left. I have unpacked nothing because this cell needs to be cleaned thoroughly. It will have to wait because I was just asked if I want to go out and stretch. 🙂 You know it!

Late night: Where am I now? I am in the midst of three hard-core members of the Aryan Brotherhood and other gang members. No sweat, I get along with them all. It may seem strange to you when you read this, but I’ve been here half my life. This is also who I am, although I like to think that this place has not institutionalized my thoughts. My thoughts do not totally reflect my environment, as happens with a lot of men around here.

I know that I should be cleaning right now, but I am going to leave it for tomorrow. The walls are covered in pepper spray. Whoever was here last must have been removed by force. The smears of pepper spray on the walls, the door, and the dried blood say as much. I’ll be on fire when I clean tomorrow because the pepper spray will get on me as I wipe it up. Not looking forward to that.

I can hear some guys talking about starting trouble if they are not given jackets. It’s really cold now because, in addition to the air vents, a cold front has come into the area. The back cell wall feels like ice.

What else about this place where I am now? The welding crew was here earlier. They were welding iron additions to the sides of the door and brackets for rubber extensions on the bottom of the door so all the cracks are sealed. This cellblock is designed for maximum isolation. All that I am faced with now, from the loss of privileges, the 24-hour lock-up, whatever. The isolation and all would be welcomed by anyone who sits on Death Watch at this moment. I feel a twist of sadness at leaving those guys behind. I walked off Death Watch and especially feel bad at leaving my friend, my homeboy, Joe B., behind. I hope he makes it off Death Watch too.



3 Responses to “DAY 088: I walked off Death Watch”

  1. Tina Church Says:


    Thanks for mentioning TOVA. For anyone interested they can go to Getting any case at the beginning is the key, and when one can’t it’s so much harder, but not impossible. Through God all things are possible.

    There is no need to thank Richard and I, as Roy is not just a client but a very dear friend. We will continue to fight, and stand by Roy to see the real justice is served.


  2. Kiki Says:

    I have read Isabelle’s report first and it’s quite interesting to see how much you agree on the same things but also to see how I. sees things even clearer. She sees all the details you are so used to whereas you are probably just SO relieved that you got to stay that – for once – words fail you. And yet, you still think of your friend (who luckily gets off too).
    Now we hope and pray that you DO get justice! Keep strong and positive, Rogelio; because it’s not over yet. I am sure you know that too…. We all stand by you.

  3. Sr Ruth Evans Says:

    Dear Roy,
    This is such good news. We carry on praying for you here that you may receive justice.

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