Live from Texas Death Row - Reality Check

I came from Houston TX, lived in the Bloodly 5th (nickname) Ė a place where drugs were sold, human life wasnít worth one red cent. Being a hustler was a way to survive in the ghetto. For every city or country town has a ghetto, some are worster than others. In life one must make an intelligent decision in order to survive within this unjust world. Gangsterism isnít the answer to ones problems; it only causes more problems amongst our people, the people that exist in the world regardless of race, color and creed.

This brief missive is to attempt to reach out to other young people in this world. I ainít getting one red cent for writing this, Iím a brother trying to reach out to other young people as I owe a lot to the human race as a whole. I have nephews and nieces and I want them to know that their uncle made a difference within this world.

I ended up on Death Row because I wanted to be a gangster. I was overwhelmed with gangster life style. I wanted everything in life that was quick and easy money. I didnít want to work for a living. I wanted to rob, steal, cheat, con folks and hustle folks folks for their hard earned money. I felt it was my world and I could do what I wanted to regardless of the situation at hand because I thought within the deepest core of my heart, I would never be caught. My life changed in the wee small hours of July 4th, 1985. I went to rob a man. My sole purpose being to get his money nothing more and nothing less, but the man dies from a fatal gun shot. I never intended to kill anyone, things got out of hand. I truthfully say it was an accident however, 12 jurors in my case did not see it as an accident, they felt I was a cold blooded killer that needed to die.

But regardless of the label that the State attempts to put on my being, I know within the deepest core of my heart that I am not a killer, but a human being that made a mistake when I was 17. I can appreciate life to its fullest because I am on Death Row, yes I have a lot of bitterness towards the system and itís unjust ways but I keep a positive attitude through all events in life, even though the odds are stacked against me.

See we both are in the same situation Ė the odds are stacked against all you young people too, because the system wants you in their prisons and wants to throw away the key but I want to even it up just a little bit. I care about you, because you are our future. I hate hearing on the news that another young one is coming to Death Row for killing and robbing someone. Itís just not fair for me to sit on my butt and not give you a reality check. One can look into the eyes of the humans that exist on Death Row and see the fear in their eyes. Not fear of dying but the fear of how I can prepare my loved ones, friends, comrades for whatís to take place in our life Ė for everyoneís life will change once one comes to Death Row.

The friends you thought you had donít exist no more, now you are begging for family love, a letter here, a visit here and a visit there. There are the things that become extremely important in prison. There are the things that keeps ones being strong, without the love and support from the outside world, life becomes meaningless and human beings do foolish things like attempt to take their own life, go insane, be broke down like a double barrel shotgun. One is locked in a cage 23 hours a day depending on what level you are on. One is treated like trash, shit, you are not a human being when you exist behind the walls of death, you are worthless in the eyes of most that works in this establishment, only the strong can survive. Itís more of a mental thing than a physical thing. For one can truly appreciate life when one is behind prison walls, you may think itís a joke and things canít be that hard behind the walls of death but life on Death Row is extremely hard for any person; now others may tell you a different tale but I am speaking the truth!!

Things worth having are worth working for, that other stuff is not the right way to obtain things you want in life, if you desire to steal, rob, murder etc. it will take your freedom away from you, then you may be sitting in this same situation I am in. Iím keeping it real!

I could try and tell you this or that but itís not necessary Ė read my words, I want you to feel the power of the words in which I have wrote because itís all about realism nothing more and nothing less. For all life is precious and so is yours. If I can save one young personís life by writing this letter, I feel I have done my job, because you young people are the future itís not about me or this or that, itís about you!

Go to your room and enclose yourself soley to your room for a whole week. Come from school and go straight to your room, no friends, no TV, no phone, just your radio, no CD, no computer, only a regular typewriter and some food and your 3 meals a day. After doing this ask yourself would you be truly enjoy doing this for 6 or 7 or 8 years on a regular basis and this is for level 1, which happens to be the highest level on the row. Oh I forgot you get one hour of recreation in hour backyard by yourself, sounds like great fun eh? This is reality on Death Row and this isnít a game either, ones life is at stake every single day, death is as real as the air that one breathes. Believe me itís not a mendacity.

If one desires to reach me you can do so at this address:

Jimmy Jackson #835
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston
TX 77315