World Day Against the Death Penalty 2022: “Torture”, contribution by Pablo (Texas Death Row)

Death Penalty:
A road paved with TORTURE

On 10.10.2022 the 20th World Day against the Death Penalty is dedicated to the focus on TORTURE,

because confessions are sometimes forced through physical or psychological torture,

Prison conditions on death row are often tantamount to psychological torture,

Members of the perpetrators suffer trauma through executions or even last-minute postponements,

the stress of killing a person by execution sometimes leads to occupational disability,

… Victim relatives repeatedly relive the trauma of the crime – in some cases, execution occurs against their express will …


Yet, I was lost. Everything felt like it was all a dream and I was hurt inside, because of my stupidity believing in the gang life.

I lost my life and the chance to be there for my little months, to get my head in the right direction or at the least out of that dreamy stage I was in. Yet I was still dealing with different emotions, but the two that drove me, as the hurt and hatred, I had inside me and carried me on for the 13 and half years!

When we were moved to this Unit, yes, what every freedom we had, we lost TV as well! So it was a challenge for all of us, some that acted like there where tough at Ellis this cell kicked them in the ass right off! Some it took a while, some years, a few came back to their senses with a little help “medication” some haven´t! The ones that were already sick got sicker!

There are different stages or kinds of mental sickness and craziness “that´s” what I´ve seen personally in here! I´ve had a close friend seriously try to commit suicide and hearing that hurt! I´ve been around others that succeeded in taking their own life and even though I didn’t know him as a friend, it was still sad! I just found out today that a friend was given an execution date. Don’t know for when but its confirmed since he’s now in death-watch and I’m sure all kinds of things are going through his mind because I´ve been in his shoes before.


Yet I´ve seen individuals receive dates and change. One can say enough that he is not the same person as before. Yet still there! Some lost it before they got a date because they knew their fine was up, some just didn’t know how to act so they did things that were out of their character and it was sad!

Big-Cat I´ve been knowing since Ellis always carried himself right. Yet in the last two years or so, it has been losing it and it’s sad. He’s not a friend of mine but at one time he was one. Others would say that Big-Cat is a good person and could be counted up on when necessary! Not anymore!!!!

As of June 1st, I lost my level two and three are housed and there´s 7 D/R inmates that are either crazy in some way or sick mentally. The worst one doesn’t flush his toilet and to some point plays in his own filth, to what point I don’t know, but the smell is really bad sometimes. Yet the officers don’t care. They don’t have a problem given us our trays while the smell is that bad. Yet we have to live with this all day sometimes for days until Rank comes around and those like me point it out to them.

Inhumane detention conditions

It being forced up on us to live and eat in condition that are inhuman! So it they can´t get him to flush his toilet, they will get maintenance to come do it from inside the pipe chase, when the mental-health doctor comes to check up on him is the only time she will get the officers to get him a change of clothes, socks, short and jumper. Believe me, the ones they take from him are soil so bad, I can’t believe how officers can see him and not care enough to get him clean clothes!

It’s sad and it´s not right but one can only do so much and yet deal with our own situation! Losing my radio really depressed me, I depended on it for daily news to music, to listening to a movie on the prison radio station to keeping up with time. Now I don’t have any of that! But I deal with it, (“I have to”) because either way that I have to accept what can happen to me if things don’t work out with my appeals. I´m mentally ready for that day. Yet, until that day, I carry on with hope in me that things will fall in place for me in some kind of way! I´m not scared of death but I am scared of losing my mind.

The day I saw an inmate covered in his own filth, head to toe, was the day I made it a point to do everything I can to keep busy in this cell and to keep moving forward at all costs! It’s been a struggle even more with Covid since we don´t get our 5 days of two hours of recreation a week as we should – but I´m still here!!

Everybody is different… Yet those that keep moving forward as I do is what makes all the difference! Everything we deal with in these cells can be mental torture but if one let´s it get to one is when it becomes a problem!

Grown up

It took me year´s to let go of the hurt and hate I carried for so long and letting it go made me a better person. Yet it did some with me as well when I still had it in me because when I still had it I was trying to get it out of me by exercising. I still had my other daily struggles that came with this cell and the things that happen around here! I´m not any better than the next man in here. Yet I know I´ve grown up in this place and have found myself in a way that I call tell you: I now appreciate what life I do have, no matter how the conditions are every day that is given to me. It is another day of facing life and it´s daily struggles and for that I am grateful; for each day of fighting for what I believe in and hoping for a better future!

I´m on level three and have lost privileges and yet these people don’t take it into consideration that it was their fault that things got out of hand in the first place! But if I dwell in that it will make my days even more depressed in here. All that matters is what the officer says about what happened, whatever the inmate said has not grown in anything!

I can fight these people but it will just make things harder on me. I have to accept things that I can’t change. Yet, it’s sad, especially when it’s a lie and to this day they can’t even tell me why they wouldn’t pick up my mail. Yet it´s the past and for the next 90 day´s I´ll deal with how things will be without a radio and not being allowed to buy food! I simply have to accept how things are so that I can move forward! Yes it´s sad for those that can´t figure out how to move forward because of the mental torture this cell is to them! 

Pablo Melendez,
Death Row, Texas


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