Dear Ladies and Gentlemen
Hello, my name is Richard John Viera, and I’m a condemned prisoner on California’s death row at San Quentin State Prison. I am a 36 year old Portugese man with dark hair and green eyes, and I’m about 5’6” and weigh about 150 lbs.
I was arrested in 1990, and then I arrived at San Quentin in 1992. I’m single, I’ve never been married and I don’t have any children. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to meet new people while in prison, “especially a nice lady”. Whish has made it hard on me to find any special friends/correspondents who can or want to lift me heart to new heights, and to relieve some of the hardships of living in prison…
I like to write/talk about politics, religion, world events and life in general. I’ve written some poetry in the past which has been published (and I am enclosing one of my poems for you here). I am also trying to complete a book that I have been working on for some time now. But, dealing with capital appeals, and loneliness have weighed heavily on my mind and heart… which has kept me from accomplishing everything “positive” that I would like to do for myself. Such as, finish writing my book.
So, because of my circumstances, and the conditions that I am living under I would very much like to initiate a correspondence with someone who will enjoy sharing their lives, thoughts, emotions and time with me in a reciprocal manner. And, I would “really” love it if I could start corresponding with someone who lives close by, and could come to visit with me if and when our correspondence/friendship progresses in a successful and positive manner. But, that isn’t a condition or circumstance that I am insisting upon. I will be very happy to correspond with anyone who would like to initiate a great and meaningful friendship…or more… I know that there are a lot of wonderful people out there and it would only take “one” to lift my spirit, and make my time here on California’s death row a little brighter.
As you can see, just because I am convicted and sent to prison doesn’t mean that I’m less of a human being. I still have compassion and feelings which do not deserve to be disregarded or abandoned.
So Thank you for taking the time to read my introduction… and it you’re not going to write I hope that I have touched you in some way that has brightened your day. And for anyone who does decide to write… please know that the prison takes from 10-15 days to deliver our mail to us… so, be assured that if I hear from you, you “will” here from me to… so until then, take care of yourselves and I will try to do the same.
The poem I would like to share with you is called “Condemned”.
Each day I awake inside these two shells. One
is my body, the other is my cell. Knowing I’m more
than an animal in a cage; I long to roam free the
way it should be. Even with this body I can only go
so far…But, in spirit…, I can fly to any star.
Awaiting the day when I go or get a stay… That stay
may not be the blessed day
Richard John Vieira (H31000)
San Quentin State Prison (4-EB-86)