Prisoners seek help

There are prisoners who turn to you for specific assistance:

In many cases, prisoners have too little money to finance their defense or to make their lives a little more bearable. Often, they are also looking for someone to bring their case to the attention of the outside world, because they cannot do it themselves.

Ivan Cantu on Texas death row asks to listen to the “Cousins by Blood” podcast about him and his case:

Charles Douglas Raby was born in 1970 and has been incarcerated on Texas’ death row since 1994. He is asking for support because, according to him, he is innocent and there is no physical evidence of the crime.

Charles Raby was sentenced to death for an alleged murder he committed in 1992. The death sentence was based on a confession he made specifically. However, he had made this out of fear for his fiancée, as the investigator in his case (Sergeant Waymon Allen) informed Raby that his fiancée would be imprisoned and their child placed in child care if Raby did not make a confession:

“On October 18, 1992, I was arrested for the murder of Ms. Edna Mae Franklin. Under pressure from the police to arrest my fiancée and take away her newborn son, I signed a stipulated statement that was in front of me. Despite this confession, which contradicted both the facts and the physical DNA evidence of the murder, I was sentenced to death on June 17, 1994.”

Charles Raby described his case in more detail in a letter to his pen pal Karin Herrmann, whom you are welcome to contact with any questions or further interest: . His case is also presented on the website If you would like to support Charles, you can do so through the foundation set up for him:


A nine-part podcast about Charles Raby is titled “Murderville, TX”
at “The Intercept”:

Also, there are various media reports that have been critical of the case as well as the forensic investigation, such as from the Houston Press

“Death-Row Inmate Finally Gets A Break In Crime-Lab Case,” Houston Press June 29, 2009

“True Confession,” Houston Press Jan. 13, 2010

A recent Raby’s take on a December 2019 Supreme Court decision can be found here.

Charles Raby describes a typical day on death row in this article.

Charles Raby is hoping for support from both the media and private citizens. Anyone with information, questions, or recommendations can contact him directly by mail:

Charles D. Raby, #999109
Polunsky Unit – D.R.
3872 F.M 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351

The content published and information provided on this website about Charles D. Raby is subject to copyright. Any kind of reproduction, editing, distribution, storage and any kind of exploitation requires the prior written consent of the author.

As of August 2020

Lancelot Armstrong, is asking for help. The text below was sent to us by his pen pal Peter Koch:

Lancelot Armstrong was born in Jamaica in 1963 and moved to the US in the 1980s. He is the father of six children.

In 1990, he allegedly shot one police officer and injured another during a robbery. In 1991, Lancelot Armstrong was sentenced to death for the murder of the police officer. Wane Coleman, who is actually alleged to have shot the police officer, received 15 years in prison for robbery.

At the beginning of 2017, the death sentence against Lancelot Armstrong was overturned, as it was reached under unconstitutional circumstances. Nevertheless, Lancelot Armstrong still had to remain on death row until the summer of 2021. Then he was transferred to another prison because he was sentenced to life in prison. Lancelot Armstrong now has no defense attorney because he is no longer entitled to a public defender. That is why he is hoping for support to be able to prove his innocence with the help of a lawyer.

Lancelot Armstrong: “I was wrongfully convicted of being a first-degree murderer. I did not commit this crime!”

The main prosecution witness, Kay Allen, says today about her interrogation that led to the death sentence, “When I said Lance didn’t fire a shot, they said it wasn’t true what I said…. how else could it have happened. What I would believe, how else could it have happened, etc…. And this was while they were showing me the pictures of Greeny in the morgue…. When I go through Broward, I go through it very quickly, because those pictures will haunt me until I die…. Nothing seemed to change their minds, this guy didn’t do it, but this guy did it, that was the basis of what I had to say, I’m saying they just didn’t want to hear anything else. And they wanted to hear that he did it, and that’s what they wanted…. They wanted someone to blame for the death of their colleague, I understood that, and I was going to have to live with this guy’s blood on me until I died…. I know he didn’t do it, he only ever carried a gun for his own safety…. Like I said, Lance was just in the wrong place with the wrong person that night.”

Kay Allen was present at the entire crime scene.

Lancelot: “There is an eyewitness and evidence of my innocence, but I am deprived of my basic rights.” – Exculpatory evidence was ignored!

There are many inconsistencies in Lancelot’s case. He tells of how he was prevented from being able to adequately defend himself. In part, he was denied access to paper, pens, envelopes, and even important phone calls.

Lancelot: “The injustice I suffered destroyed my life and the life of my family. Not only my life, but especially that of my children, from whom their father and supporter was stolen, by this unacceptable situation. Prejudicial prosecution and knowingly violated laws disadvantaged me in my legal case.”

Lancelot has become an artist in detention and paints beautiful pictures

For more information on the case, recent developments, statements, and text and drawings of Lancelot and how exactly you can help, visit the homepage for Lancelot Armstrong:

Update: November 2021


My name is Michael Flinner. I was born in 1967 and live on death row here in California. I am writing with a fairly simple approach to prison policy reform that I would like to share with you. Please give me your attention.

Several years ago, I discovered that the California Department of Corrections had no statutory provision allowing state prisoners – regardless of their particular offenses – to legally donate vital organs and tissues, without coercion, to matching biological and immediate family members – blood relatives who might die without such a transplant. I thought to myself, “This has to change.”

Further research led me to the Federal Bureau of Prisons guidelines, where I found a well-established rule on living inmate donation that gives federal inmates the legal means to save a family member in need. Who knew?

With a compelling concept, meaningful arguments, and passionate willpower, I drafted a handful of letters to California senators with a very modest and worthwhile plan to create a Senate bill that, by all accounts, was originally intended to be modeled after the existing federal disposition protocol – a bill whose context would benefit the continued lives of others in the free world.

After a while, I received a brief response from California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D). She decided to draft a bill to be called SB1419. Not surprisingly, this effort was so well received by her colleagues that it quickly passed through both the Senate Public Safety and Health Committees.

However, when we appeared before the Appropriations Committee, we encountered a “roadblock” from the Department of Corrections. As it turned out, Department of Corrections financial officers refused to provide the small amount of funding needed to train state prison staff and educate prison inmates about their rights. Instead, the agency demonstrated apathetic indifference to the need for and impact of important life-sustaining interventions.

The Department of Corrections’ deliberate lack of cooperation forced SB1419 to cut back to little and abandon its original intent – to allow living organ donations from state prisoners. Now, state prisoners in California who wish to make such a donation may do so only in the event of their death (posthumously).

Had SB1419 been handled properly the first time, my own father might be alive today. He died in 2016 needing a lung that I would have ripped out of my own chest to save his precious life. He was my best friend, my mentor, and my hero.

2.3 million Americans are incarcerated in this country, but ironically, only a tiny fraction of us (less than 10%) are in federal custody. That means there are about 2 million men and women nationwide in state prison systems who are intentionally and systematically excluded from voluntary living donation. This is NOT okay, especially while countless (of our) family members listed on several different donor registries are hoping in vain for an organ – all while we could (and should) be doing our part to save their lives.

Where the success factors are obviously promising, it is deeply irresponsible not to pass a national state and federal inmate law granting these inalienable rights. I have no other way to put this.

Because success depends on quality communication, it is my hope and goal to shift the narrative a bit. I strongly urge social action, political awareness, and public policy reform, while inviting bright interested parties, tech-savvy volunteers, bloggers, innovative frontline health care citizens, and a new partner in the legislature to reimagine and realize this meritorious concept, rather than simply accepting second best.

While hope and healing are still in short supply, I pray for empathy instead of apathy – a place where the prisoners of this great nation are welcomed into life-saving conversations. Why should only 10% of the nation’s prison population be allowed to donate vital organs and tissue to our dying immediate family members?

Undoubtedly, many Americans on the donor registries mentioned above have biological, match donors just beyond one or more of this nation’s state prison walls.

I encourage you to reach out to me to support this tribute of love and loss as I work to replace destruction with life.

Thank you,
Michael Flinner
CSP-SQSP # V-30064 NSS-4
San Quentin, CA 94964-0001

For more information, visit; (COMING SOON)

PS: And if you can spare just a few (American) stamps and send them to me, a few more of my letters will find their way to possible supporters of this deserving campaign.

The following text was sent to us by a Pen pal of Eric Cathey:

Eric Cathey was born in 1971 and has been on death row in Texas since 1997.

The father of two children swears to this day that he is innocent of the crime he is accused of.

In 1995, Eric Cathey is said to have been the leader of a gang that kidnapped and shot Spanish Christina Castillo.

Eric Cathey : “I am an innocent man deprived of liberty and now held captive on Texas Death Row.

My life is in danger of being snuffed out for a crime I did not commit! That, my friends, is the reality I must live with. And it is a nightmarish experience that I wish on no one in the world.”

There are countless inconsistencies in Eric Cathey’s case and his trial with a public defender was an utter farce.

Here are just a few of the obvious inconsistencies:

*A witness accused Eric Cathey during the trial of confessing to her the murder of Christina Castillo, in February 1996 in Brookshire, Texas.

However, Eric had already been in custody in the Harris County Jail since early January 1996!

*Eric Cathey had an alibi for the evening of the crime … he was at home with his girlfriend and their children.

When his girlfriend wanted to testify, the prosecution put massive pressure on her, threatening her “that you could lose custody of your kids real quick these days.”

As a result, his girlfriend did not testify at the trial and no one ever questioned her again.

*There were various indications of another perpetrator. Several notes were found at the crime scene with Spanish writing and one day the investigating officer received an anonymous letter, also in Spanish, with the following content:

“Detective, this note is to help you find the real killer of Christina Castillo. It is the leader of a gang.”

Underneath it was the name of a man who keeps coming up as a suspect in this trial. Just like the victim, he is of Hispanic origin and from the victim’s circle of acquaintances.

But those leads were never followed up.

*The only thing the prosecution was able to present as Eric’s evidence of guilt was a coerced testimony from Eric’s co-defendant Lionel Bonner.
It later emerged that Mr. Bonner had committed perjury on the witness stand.

Mr. Bonner admitted to lying because he had previously cut a deal with the State of Texas.

But when the prosecution reneged on their promised agreement, Mr. Bonner put on an affidavit and recanted everything!

These are just a few of the many contradictions in Eric Cathey’s case.

Eric wants only one thing: justice and for the truth to come out.

He hopes to raise enough money through donations to hire an independent investigator who can find new evidence of his innocence and bring down the previous web of lies to allow for a new trial.

We would be very pleased if you would get involved with Eric Cathey.

Eric Cathey hasco-editeda book of poetry with his penpal: The Seven Chambers of our Expressions!

Update: August 2020


my name is “Jay Drummond”, I was born in 1977 and I am currently incarcerated on “Chillicote” (C.C.I.) “Death Row” in Chillicothe, OH, 45601 (Box 5500) USA where I have spent the last years of “my life” since 2004 for a crime I did not commit, which a fair trial will prove based on the facts.

Because of the injustice I have been subjected to by overzealous prosecutors and court-appointed public defenders, the Federal District Court (of Appeals) saw fit to overturn the unjust sentence of guilt and death against me and granted me a “new trial” as of now. I am in prison without any sentence, and because of this new development, I would humbly ask you and everyone you know who is passionate about justice righting wrongs to read the following summary about this case against me!
And please help support the “Jay Drummond” Defense Fund, which will allow me access to competent representation, something I was denied during the first trial and will greatly exonerate me in this next trial.

There is no physical evidence, no DNA, no ex-witness (or witnesses), no weapon, nothing to link me to this crime, and that is because I did not commit this crime. How could someone with no evidence not only be found guilty (wrongly) of a crime, but even more, be sentenced to death!

The state (prosecutor) had two guys perjure themselves (knowingly) to get a conviction. Judge “Lars Lioi” proved to be a fair judge and rightfully granted me a “new trial” on appeal. Because of this false imprisonment, I have missed so much over the years. My children were 18 months and 9 months old.

I truly appreciate everyone’s help in this unfortunate situation I find myself in and I want to thank you for your time and compassion in this matter. All proceeds, checks and money orders should be sent to “Jay Drummond”, Box 260, Brice, OH 43109 – or Chillicothe Correctional Facility here.

Jay Drummond

C.A. Please feel free to contact me personally through my website and email address or institutional address here at C.C.I. if you have any questions. I would really like to hear from you and will respond right away!

Jay Drummond
P.O. Box 5500 DR 3 423
Chillicothe, OH 45601


Jay (actually John) Drummond gives as his email address for contact: m

Note: We do not verify the representations published by or about the detainees. Therefore, we do not guarantee their accuracy.

Prisoners have the possibility to ask for donations, e.g. for a defense fund, on our page “Prisoners seeking help”. However, the information on this page cannot be verified by the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, we only make sure that we receive the texts either directly from the prisoner or from direct relatives or lawyers.

Only in very rare cases does the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty itself call for donations for individual prisoners. There are strict guidelines for this, as we can only do this in cases where we are absolutely sure that the money will go to the stated purpose. Some of the requirements for this are, for example, that funds are always transferred directly to a local lawyer or non-profit organization, that we receive confirmation from the prisoner’s lawyer as to what funds are needed for, etc. This is checked on the basis of the individual case and such an appeal for donations must be approved by the board of our association.