I believe all too often we tend to forget the important things in life. We lose sight of little things that make it living it so special. From breathing in fresh air, to being able to walk anywhere, anytime, and feeling the softness of wet grass beneath our feet. We take for granted the sound of laughter made by children at play, and the feel of a simple hug given by a loved one to show you they care. For too many of us, all this becomes second nature.
I no longer take any of this for granted. That ended more than six years ago, when my life was forever changed. Iím at a point in my life now where I must make every moment count. I must enjoy every privilege Iím allowed to have. I must be grateful for every day Iím alive Ė not complain because those days are spent behind bars. After all, I AM alive, where as every month someone around me loses their life.
My name is TONY MEDINA. The last six plus years of my life has been an emotional roller coaster. On August 1st, 1996 if someone had told me that I would soon find myself alone, I would have laughed. Sure, I had just that day been sentenced to death row. But I had a beautiful fiancťe who loved me and was determined to help me through my appeals. I had a wonderful family who was behind me 100%. I had friends I could depend onÖ then the roller coaster started itís downhill run and kept picking up speed.
By the time I started to catch my breath my fiancťe was married to someone else. My friends I thought I could depend on had not been heard from in over a year. And those of my family who were still behind me were struggling to lend me support while undergoing many of their own problems.
Now this wasnít my first time being in trouble with the law. Since I was about 13 I pretty much did what I wanted, My parents did their best to keep me out of trouble, but I was a hard headed boy with a fascination for running the streets. And where I grew up in Houston, Texas, those streets were rough. Iíd never been to prison, but I had been in jail and boot camp, and I thought I knew what to expect. I was WRONG.
For several years now I have basically been on my own in my fight. My family has been there for me, but having their own problems they could only do so much. And I have a couple of friends who have stayed on my side, but they too can only do so much. So Iíve been trying to handle all my problems myself. But I canít. I understand that now. But after having trusted and depended on others before, only to be let down, I couldnít bring myself to seek help. In all honesty Iím not sure how I survivived. How, when every time I turned around I was faced with yet another set back.
I found the answer within my heart. Iím a fighter! I donít give up. This is why I am writing to you through this site. I learned by trial and experience that every fighter needs someone in his corner. In mine, I need a friend. I know Iím asking a lot, and if you understand the meaning of friendship youíll understand what Iím asking for. Iíve learned that just one dedicated friend can make the difference in a persons life. I know itís a lot to ask for, but at least Iím asking. For so long I wasnít sure how to ask for this help. I could try to explain why to you, though Iím not sure my explanation would make sense to you, as it barely does to me. What I can do is to tell you a little about me and hope that one day, in time, my answer you will come to understand.
As I said earlier, I was a hard-headed youngster. My parents tried to rein me in, but didnít have much luck. My younger and older sister who I was always very protective of also tried their best to get me to sette down. But I wasnít ready to. All through my teen years I was a wild child. I taught myself to depend on no-one but myself. I was in the streets always partying, going to clubs or just driving round in my lowrider car. I did what I wanted to, not caring what others said I should Ėor- couldnít do. It was not until after I missed being there when both my oldest son (who is 8) and my daughter (who is 7) were born that I realised I had to change. I was in boot camp at the time. After I got out, I fell back into my old ways briefly. When I realised I was headed down the same road again, I started changing my life. I stopped hanging around the gang. I got a good job as an orthopaedic technician. And I started saving my money with the goal of buying a small business with a good friend of mine. I was doing goodÖ What I didnít realise is there were some people who didnít like my new life.
I ended up spending new years eve 95/96 with my cousin and some old friends from the neighbourhood, We went to a couple of block parties that night. At one was a young gang member who didnít like the fact that I was no longer hanging around on the streets all the time. He did a drive-by shooting that night with his cousin in their car. He killed two young kids in the process. The police picked me up for questioning four days later. Realising the trouble he was in he talked others in the gang into helping him. Since he didnít like me, and he knew the police already had me, he and his friends came up with a story to tell the police.
Seven months later I was on my way to Death Row. No one cared that I was at a party over 2 miles away when he committed the crime.
After arriving on death row I began to learn all I could of the law so I could work on my appeals, since my lawyers werenít helping me. I learned to love reading books, something I almost never did before. I started writing poetry. And I tried to find some pen-friends to help me, only to have several bad experiences. But Iíve kept on going. And after 6 years on the row, I think the most significant thing Iíve learned isÖ who I AM, And even though I was forced to miss my youngest son being born (heís 6), and even though my freedom has been taken from me, they can never take that away.
I hope that in some way my words have touched your heart, and if what youíre seeking or have to offer is friendship you will write to me. A persons race or sex are not important to me. I look at people as they are. Age, too, is not important to me. I am generally looking for someone 23-45, though this is ONLY because Iím interested in finding someone who has already found stability in their life. Someone who is mature, has confidence in themselves and is serious about building a longterm friendship.
If you are interested, I hope to hear from you. You can write to me at:
Tony Medina #999204
3872 FM 350 South
Please see my website for further information on me and my case.