My name is Tekesha Brown and I'm a senior at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. I would love to hear anything you have to say about my page.

Thank you to the many people who have written me to both encourage and criticize my efforts. I'm glad to know people are at least paying attention to the message. I hope I can inspire you to be against the Death Penalty as I was once inspired by someone else.

Before I get into the problems with the Death Penalty, I felt I should tell you just how I got started being involved with Death Row and its inmates. I was surfing the net one evening, when I came across the case of Rickey Roberts who was slated to be executed in Florida's electric chair in a couple of days. After reading the facts of the case, I strongly felt that this man was going to die for a crime he did not commit and my heart ached knowing that this injustice was taking place in my own state. The time had been set for 12:01 am. I stayed up the night of his planned execution and watched the clock as 12:01 am came and went and I cried knowing that Rickey Roberts' life had ended. I returned to my computer the next afternoon as I got home from school to find out anything new regarding Rickey Roberts' execution. I was elated with the news that he had been granted a last minute stay of execution and his life was spared for the time being. From that moment on, I promised myself that I would not allow the Death Penalty to continue without at least trying to educate people on its evils and dedicating my life to helping inmates on Death Row. I began searching for more material on the Death Penalty and I then broadened my search to general prison issues and overall crime. And that's basically how I began my journey into the examination of our Death Penalty. I have since written to Mr. Roberts to express to him the tremendous impact he has had on my life. We correspond semi-regularly. Check the bottom of this page for any updates in the status of Rickey Roberts' case.

The Death Penalty is the biggest disgrace of our judicial system. Death Row inmates are often low-income males who have never had a remotely normal family life and very little education. Often times, their trials and juries were biased against them from the start. Many had inexperienced lawyers who had neither the time, the resources, or the concern to take an interest in their case.

A lot of people believe that Death Row inmates are psychos with no feelings or remorse, just waiting for the chance to kill again. These ideas are the result of the media's glorification of serial killers like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy.

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They don't tell you about the police who grill mentally retarded people for hours trying to get them to confess to a crime. They don't tell you about the children that are executed by the United States every year in our Death Chambers. They don't tell you about the so called "witnesses" , many of whom were facing similar charges, who were given favors by the police if they testified against the defendant. An innocent man on Death Row is about as common as sunshine in Florida.

There are those who say the Death Penalty teaches others not to commit heinous crimes. How can an execution carried out in the middle of the night, behind miles of security and gates, stop me from anything? And worse, how does killing an inmate prove to me that killing is wrong.

Please follow the links on this page. They will give you more insight into this realm of injustice. To get an idea of exactly what it's like to be waiting for death on Death Row, a very talented writer and Death Row inmate named Michael Hunter has written a short story called Waiting on the Row.

*REMEMBER* JUST BECAUSE THE STATE DOESN'T EXECUTE SOMEONE, DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL BE RELEASED FROM PRISON. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DESERVE TO SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIFE IN PRISON, BUT THEY DON'T DESERVE TO DIE. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE DON'T DESERVE THE RIGHT TO KILL THEM.

"Capital punishment - them without the capital get the punishment." -Michael Spenkelink, executed in Florida on 5/25/79

RICKEY ROBERTS UPDATE:
Rickey is still going through the appeals process. Things were somewhat delayed until the State of Florida ruled on whether or not the electric chair was inhumane. Unfortunately, they have decided that "Old Sparky," as it is affectionately called by lawmakers, is not inhumane as long as it is used "properly." However, Rickey is still in good spirits and would love to hear from any of you.

If you would like to write to Rickey Roberts, he can be reached at:

Rickey Roberts 100866 A-1, 45-1262
Union Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 221
Raiford, Florida 32083
USA

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Deadman Talking

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Russ Ford, Chaplain on Death Row

Botched Executions

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Eyewitness to the Execution

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Please E-Mail me or sign my guestbook if you have anything to say about my page or my views. I would love to hear from you. If you're having trouble finding information for your area, I would be more than happy to help you. If you know of any links you think I should add to my page or any mistakes I need to correct, I would be grateful.

THANKS!!!

P.S. I will be updating this page as frequently as possible, so keep in touch!

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