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NOTE:The writings posted by the Lamp of Hope Project are provided by prisoners. The Lamp of Hope Project does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of these pieces, nor do they necessarily reflect the opinion or views of any within the Lamp of Hope Project.

Michael Sharp:
     ". . . the combination of my drowsiness, the sweltering heat, and my thoughts of four executions in the next four days overpowered me. ..." More

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table of contents
prisoner writings

NEW: Poetry by Bill Clark, incarcerated on California Death Row

A piece of writing and some poems by Son Tran, incarcerated on Texas Death Row

Two pieces of writing, Am I Human and Live from Death Row - Reality Check, by Jimmy Jackson, Texas.

Poetry by Jose Uderra, Graterford, PA

Some factual information issues by TDJC which doesn't really fit anywhere else on the site!
Highlights of TDCJ rule alterations with regards to inmate property
TDCJ has issued a new document addressed to family support groups
TDCJ has issued a FAQ, generated from questions asked by family members.

A Journal of Daily Life on Death Row by Taurus Carroll from Alabama

Poetry by John Baltazar

Accountability by Anibal Canales (#999366). A controversial and throught provoking piece.

Writings by Jermont Cox from Pennsylvania (#CE-8242)

Poetry by Danny Jones from Arizona (#92576)

Hand-in-Hand. Poetry by Michael Lynn Blue (#943)

Martin A. Draughon #000878 has compiled a book of his poetry that he is offering for sale. The cost for a hard bound copy is $10.00, but any contribution above that amount would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please send a message to m_draughon@hotmail.com for more information on ordering. Thanks a lot!

An anonymous suggestion as to how the Texas Tax Payer could save $4.5 million a year.

Interview with David Goff, executed on April 25th

Gene and Son Brian Departure and Encapsulated, articles by Gene Hathorn about the post-Gurule conditions on the Ellis unit.

Truly Pro-Life by Bobby Fratta #999189

The Jericho Road by Michael Sharp, executed 11-19-97

60 Steps by Carlos Santana (executed)

A Change of Heart:  A Gift of God by Anthony Cook (executed)

My Testimony by Robert J. Anderson

Texas Death Row Sports Events by Bill Coble

Question of American Justice by Billy Nelson #999017

The Injustice System by Darlie Routier #999220

Poetry by Alvin Kelly: Father, Rock Me So Gentle Lord, Foundation, Walks With Me, The Choice is Yours, Freedom, Satan We're Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down, The Power of Love and a Sound Mind, Grace, Glorify You,
Joy in My Heart, If You Live the Life of a Bad Man, Intended, Use Me Lord, Life, My Prayer, I'm Walking With Jesus

Capital Punishment According to the Bible by Robert Fratta #999189

I Rant by Michael L. McBride # 903

Your Choice by Martin A. Draughon #878

It Is Written by Martin A. Draughon #878

Thank You by Martin A. Draughon #878

Trying to Describe by Martin A. Draughon #878

Long Distance Love by Martin A. Draughon #878

Angel of the Flower by James E. Sessions #669

Shaktipat by James E. Sessions #669

A Good Word by Michael Sharp #740

Rolled Up Slicker by S. L. Ranahan Panetti #999164

Monday, May 19, 1997 by Michael Sharp #740

Dawn of Time by James Sessions #699

From Broad to Narrow by Martin A. Draughton #878

Sorrow and Joy by James Sessions #669

The Master Plan by Martin A. Draughton #878
 

::

Monday, May 19, 1997
by Michael Sharp

It's 7:00AM. I overslept.

My plan had been to get up and stay up at the 3:00AM breakfast call, but the combination of my drowsiness, the sweltering heat, and my thoughts of four executions in the next four days overpowered me.

The new day didn't seem to hold much promise. After eating breakfast, I allowed depression to drive me back to my bed. I was awakened by a correctional officer banging on the security flap that covers the bean hole on my door.

I awoke in a stupor trying to remember the dream which was instantly lost from my memory. The officer asked me if I wanted to see Drinkard. Ricky Drinkard, a long-time friend, brother, a man who will be dead before the sun goes down.

Texas Death Row houses approximately 450 men on eight different wings at the Ellis Unit, all wthin a quarter-mile radius. Prison segregation design prevents many of the men from having contact with one another for years on end.

As I walked from one end of Death Row to the other to meet with Ricky, my mind was consumed with thoughts of how this meeting would go.

I hadn't laid eyes on Ricky for about five years and I was a bit overtaken by his request to see me. I was placed in the cage in which the two of us would be meeting and I waited for the officers to bring Ricky.

When I saw Ricky, I could sense his apprehension, that's when I realized I had a bad dose of anxiety myself.

At first, words were difficult and hard to come by. The many years of separation made the moment awkward, especially at such an extreme moment in time.

Ricky and I stammered through our hellos, looking each other in the eyes. That look for the both of us spoke more words than our mouths could speak in a thousand lifetimes.

Many claim the eyes are the gateway to man's soul. If thre was ever a doubt in my mind about that saying, that doubt has been forever erased.

Ricky's humanity in that instant was laid bare to me, one man to another. I could feel all the painful years of Ricky's life. I could see the marks left on his soul from the experiences.

In that same momment, I could also feel his relief, knowing that he would soon be free from his body of death, and in the presence of Jesus, to share in an eternity of blessings and happiness. Ricky had prepared well to meet his Maker and he was ready.

Small talk consumed us. We laughed, cried, and then we prayed together.

Ricky thanked me for being his friend in his early years on the Row, and for pulling him to the side and explaining life on Death Row to him. I was the first man Ricky met when arriving on the Row, he wanted me to be one of the last in such a meeting before leaving.

Primarily Ricky wanted to thank me for making such an impression on his life. Ricky then shared things with me I never knew.

I went to meet Rick feeling helpless and lost, knowing I had no answers for him, but hew knew and understood that.

Rick wasn't looking for answers or for someone to hold his hand, we were just friends, saying our goodbyes.

I have spent the last several years of my life struggling with all my might to make a difference in the lives of the men and women on Death Row.

I have worked hard for The Lamp of Hope Project, and in building a personal relationship with my Lord Jesus. There have been many times along the way, I have fallen into pits of despiar, desiring to quit my endeavors, often wondering and asking myself why I was even trying. No one really seemed to care or to be affected by my efforts.

I came away from the meeting with Ricky renewed in strength, knowing that I made a difference in at least one man's life. A difference so profound, he just had to share it with me before passing on to the other side.

The day has ended. Ricky was executed a short while ago. A day that began with what seemed to hold empty promises, ended with praises to God.

My friends is at peace, and I with a renewed desire to carry on.

Michael Sharp (#740) was executed on November 19, 1997.


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