Some of you are asking who Martin Woolley is -- to answer that question, Martin Woolley is one of my newest pen pals. This letter is in his words describing the nightmares of living on death row. I wrote Lethal Injection just before writing my first letter to him. I decided to publish his letter on my website and will post his mailing address up with the close of this introduction. I was looking to write a few prison inmates because I am looking for some real insight on the inside, and if anyone wants more information on writing other death row inmates, visit the site for the CCAPD since they create homepages for inmates on death row. I had colaborated with another inmate in Canton, Illinois, and I lost contact with him, but with writing Marty, I thought that I would start writing the other prison pen pal. I have some of his poetry on my homepage that I designed at
N-719365 P.O. Box 711
Menard, Illinois 62259
April 9, 2000
Recieved your letter and two short stories. They were very interesting and very good. Shall pass them along as you requested.
Let me begin by saying I apreciate you taking the time to write. Yours is the first mail from anyone in some time so it was very welcome. Would enjoy having you or anyone in your correspondence circle in the future. Any mail allows me to escape from my surroundings of only for a short time but a time valued. So write as often as you wish and let others know their will be gratefully accepted and answered.
Dante used the words, "Abadon all hope ye who enter" to desrcibe the inscription above the gates of hel. May sound like a fitting statment for a person in my sitituation. Yet hope is what I grasp onto though it was my life line. Hope that the system which is virtually trying to murder me for something that I did not do will relent.
You wrote of someone in Kewanee telling you details of my situation. I can't say that the name sound familar, but I am glad to see someone has taken the time to look past the bullshit the prosecution would like people to believe.
Something that you have to understand though. The system I've found myself in caught up in has caused me to become a bit paranoid of people and their intentions. Not saying taht you are playing any sort of game, but as I've watched family and people I thought were turing against me. Think you see my point. As stated earlier, I don't recieve any mail from anyone. Oh I may get the occassional letter from some stranger claiming they are concerned and want to save my soul, but that's it. As welcome as your letter is, I cannot discuss things about my case to you until I am sure what you're really after. You continus to write and I see not you're not out to exploit something or worse show up on witness stan. I may answer some of your questions. Though the system hasn't shown me. I can put any faith in it. I'm positive I will recieve a new trial where the facts will be better presented; those assigned the job to judge me will see that I didn't kill anyone. I can understand your curiousity but think you can see my point. All that about a preson is innocent until proven guilty is a false statement as I'm proof by having to prove my innocence instead.
What is it like to by in here? You'll never get it from a book. Even me describing it will leave you short and you may under, but never know without experiencing it. Be like you describing your bout with clinical depression. I may be able to understand but never know what it is like to suffer from it. Then I can only try to make you understand from my viewpoint and experiences. Others may be differnt.
I spend most of my time reading law books trying to figure out the rules to the system that seems to have no rules. I don't really write much but know exactl;y what you mean when you describe maintaining your sanity by drawing. Whenever I am not reading, I am drawing. It is my way of distracting myself from my surroundings. I can get so caught up in a drawing and reading as means to fend off sleep. I dread falling asleep and fight it with all my being. In the beginning it was to avoid dreaming then it was my goal that it if I just past out from complete exhastion I wouldn't or couldn't dream. Someone who has lost their freedom many would think they would of pleasant things. Not my case, my dreams consist of being strapped down to a table where a figure in surgical gowns is filling a big hypodermic needle with sodium thiopental (an anaesthetic and depressant), pencronum bromide (a paralyzing agent) and potassium chloride (a salt that stops the heartbeat.) The figure described as the executioner injects this violative cocktail into an I.V. that allows it to flow into a vein in my arm. A feeling of absolute terror embaces me as the executioner leans down; a whisher so on one can hear but me, "Everyone knows that you didn't deserve this but you can't stop it."
He then steps back giving a long manual laugh. As the fluids drip into my arm, I can feel death creeping in. My breath comes in wheaming rasps. My fingers tremble. Then my body stiffens and I can no longer move. The executioner steps forward with a sinister grin on his face; then places a stethoscope to my chest and shines a pen light into my eyes. He lets out another laugh that the words, "I pronouce this man dead" are barely audible. I suddenly awaken in a cold sweat and it takes time for my eyes to focus and my body to untense. Slowly reconition comes back to allow me to see my surroundings, and I know my struggle to prove my innocence has started for yet another day. Not a pleasurable to say the least.
With that I am going to wind this letter to a close. Know I truelly do appreciate you writing and sharing your stories. Also know I'll be alive for some time, years in even if the state should have its way. Would be interested to correspond with you on a regular basis and welcome anyone who would care to write. The only thing that I ask is to keep it real. I don't have time for head games. I recieve plenty of that here without having to outside for more. Please pass along my gratitude to Dareka for passing along my info and to both of you for believing in my innocence. In closing I look forward to hearing from you again. Until then take care of yourself.