Sunday, November 28, 2010


I was in Dallas County Jail (Lew Sterrett) for 19 months following my trial, during the initial stages of my appeal.  Once I settled in I started writing book excepts.  Following is one:

The slamming of the heavy steel doors convulse with such finality.  I am surrounded by ugly, drab grays and beiges that speak no words of comfort.  I have no choice but to touch the ice cold barren steel of the tables, seats, sinks, showers, toilets, "beds", walls and bars.  All of them closing in on me as my heart shutters and my skin crawls and itches.  There is the constant clanging of the keys against one another and against the doors, sounding like fingernails on a blackboard.  I hear chains being dragged, scraping across the cement floors but can't glimpse the living corpse they are attached to...only pictures in my starving mind.  I smell stark disinfectants trying to cover the foul odors of those detoxing as they expel the rancid chemicals they have ingested while on the streets of the free world.

There always seems to be at least one woman wailing; for their soul hurts unbearably.  I join them sometimes, but only in my mind, so as not to show vulnerability and weakness.  I see the constant artificial light pressing in on my eyes.  Even when I try to sleep its vibrating fluorescence pierces my closed eyelids.  I dream of an invisible protective film forming, leaving a heavy thickness, covering the windows of my soul.

We argue among each other for toilet paper - the measure of gold in here.  The guards tell us there is a shortage and sometimes leave us with none.  They tell us this is due to budget cuts, as they shrug their shoulders and walk away with a smirk on their faces.

Over the intercom system I hear the blaring of names and numbers for women going home or on to the next place in the system.  I keep waiting to hear my own name, even imagine it sometimes, but it never comes as I remain a prisoner.

I found ways to survive.  In the beginning I was mad at God for allowing this.  I'd pray to Him about my anger and tell Him I was no good as a vessel to Him.  I turned to reading books, reading about a book a day.  I'll have to admit it took me two days to read Rhett Butler 's People by McCaig.  In almost three years I read over 1,000 books.  I wrote in the quiet times while everybody else was sleeping and I would play an occasional game of Spades or Canasta while at Dallas County.  Cards were not allowed at the next stop.

I came to realize I was getting an opportunity to see if I really believed what I had been teaching my son with autism.  Before the trial I had worked many hours, weeks, months and years to convince my son, Nate, that our world was a good place and gave him compelling reasons to join us in our world.  I showed him that happiness was a choice and could be attained anywhere under any circumstance.  Now the universe was testing me.  I would survive, with my sanity, choosing happiness and maintaining a positive attitude....but it took me some time to get there.  I would not play victim to the men who falsely accused me.

Friday, November 26, 2010


For three years I was locked up following my trial.  Falsely accused and wrongly convicted didn't matter inside.  I was accepted in just like everybody else for we all had the same problem....the system.  And I came to find others like me.  The same ole dance...those with money and power prevail in the justice system.  A system that was originally set up as "truth and justice" is far from that.  Quite often the guilty are set free because of technicalities and the innocent haven't a chance.  There is a joke among Dallas prosecutors I am told..."It's much easier to get a conviction for a guilty person than an innocent person."  So, they have to work a little harder, but the challenge is there and their quotas are met.  Why do you think Craig Watkins, while running for reelection as Dallas County DA, could brag about a 99.4% conviction rate?  They are absolutely motivated to put everybody away....that's politics for you.  Pray that you are never falsely accused, I guarantee you it took me by surprise.  I have learned from are a few of my learnings:
  • Document everything in every possible way.
  • Surround yourself with trustworthy witnesses (those without a price).
  • The people incarcerated are just ordinary people (for the most part).
  • Faith is the only thing that will get you through with a semblance of sanity.
  • Family and true friends are always there.
  • We absolutely are not islands but need people in our lives.
  • God does work through others.
  • God keeps his promises, even now, even though we are dirt poor, we have everything we need.
  • Everything happens in God's time, not according to my schedule.
  • Under every stone is a treasure.
Leave no stone, understanding and love are all there if you are willing see them, receive them and cherish them.  I do know there is justice but not always on earth.  I trust that God's plan will prevail and that it will be for the greater good of all.  I do not know how that looks in my life but I am trusting that my family and I will be okay and safe.  Three years seemed like forever on the "inside" but now there is such a healing that has occurred being with my loved ones again....almost as if no time passed.  Remember, no stone unturned...look for the beauty and wonder in everything.  Live fully in the present for tomorrow (on earth) is promised to no one.

In my appeal/habeas corpus...absolutely no stone will be unturned.  The answers will come.  For the remainder of my life I will live in gratitude for each moment.  Each moment absolutely is a gift.  Sometimes it takes a real shake-up in a person's life to get those old priorities right.  Let that lesson be easier for you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Because of unusual circumstances I have been away from my loved ones for the past three years...but we are together again.  I am grateful beyond words.  I have come to treasure each moment, even the tough ones.  I have seen things I never wanted to but believe I am a better person for all the experiences I have been afforded.  In wanting to understand the passage in Romans 8:28 "And we know God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose"...I am believing that even the past three years were not a waste but give rise to a powerful opportunity both in sharing my experiences and in facilitating change in a system that has exceeded it's boundaries.  How I go about all that is yet to be seen.  I pray for guidance daily.  It can be no other way.

For now I am wishing each of you the best Thanksgiving holiday and family time together.  Wrap your arms around each moment, make the most of it, let everybody know you love them and how that looks.  For one thing I am certain, there is nothing more important than love.

Loving each of you.....