Friday, June 09, 2006

Reflection

May 2nd, 2006
Tuesday, 7:45 a.m.

What's going through Joe's mind right now? Is he praying? Is he crying? Is he aware that we're all thinking of him this morning? Is it as beautiful a morning in Lucasville as it is here? Did they let him smoke while he was there?

I believe executions are carried out around 10 a.m. My guts are twisted up inside of me, and I could cry if I allowed myself. If it weren't my day to clean the showers. I wouldn't even go out for rec, but I'll do my share.
I love you, Joe. God Speed.


11:00 p.m.

The execution was delayed for about an hour because Joe's vein collapsed. An hour more of extreme anxiety.

With lethal injection being scrutinized for the drugs being used, how they're used, and whether or not the person is being tortured before death, I have other issues for the courts to consider; #1) The person who inserts the needle and/or administers the drugs must, by law, be licensed by the state to practice medicine. #2) Any person who inserts the needle to be used to put another person to his/her death violates the Hippocratic oath to...do no harm...and should be reported to the American Medical Association to have their license revoked. #3) Anyone who inserts the needle or administers drugs WITHOUT a medical license is guilty of practicing medicine without a licence, and punishable by law (for which the penalty is much higher if such actions lead to a fatality).

The test of "cruel and unusual" has been hampered by the word "and" because a showing of Both, CRUEL and UNUSUAL must be shown. In the past "UNUSUAL" never stands because it is NOT unusual in the U.S. to execute those convicted and sentenced to death. But, "UNUSUAL" would stand if it were applied to global standards! The U.S. flies in the face of the world's democracies, and holds itself above the world view of human rights.
Self-righteous, arrogant, spiteful America! I love my country...but I hate my government and our uneducated society.



May 8th, 2006
Monday, 10:00 p.m.

Seventeen years ago, today, my reactions destroyed four families; The Sponhaltz family, the Vargo/Stone family, the Hill/Nogy family, and my own family. No one really knows how sorry I really am. I was extremely sorry even before I was arrested. As I watched my kids grow up without a father, I got to see some of the stuff Mr. Sponhaltz's and Mr. Vargo's children must have gone through. I thought of Mr. Sponholtz's children every year in May, because he was returning chairs borrowed for his child's birthday on May 8th, 1989. I am so, so really sorry. That child grew-up with birthdays reminding him of his father's death. That child's mother trying to be strong for the child every May. Mr. Vargo's son was waiting to be taken to baseball practice.

I've always wanted to say "I'm sorry" to their families. Knowing it'll never be enough, but wishing to say it anyway. I never wanted to cause them MORE pain by writing to them.

I see my kids struggling to make their way through life without me. I can only hope Mr. Sponhaltz's and Mr. Vargo's children will find their way without THEIR fathers.

I would trade my life to undo the past. I'll end up giving my life for revenge. But, maybe my execution is necessary in order for the Sponhaltz and Vargo/Stone families to understand that hating me isn't the answer, nor the way to find peace. Maybe they'll figure that out once there's no one to hate anymore.

I never set out to kill Mr. Sponhaltz and Mr. Vargo. I never meant to kill anyone. But, I can't undo May 8th, 1989. I can only believe I am forgiven by God and go forward in my life. This is the 17th year I've felt all of this, and have thought of, and prayed for, both families. May God continue to bless them, and send His peace and comfort to each and everyone of them.

"Duke"



May 15th, 2006
Monday, 9:00 a.m.

I've just had a great weekend! I visited with Debbie for 3 hours on Sat. and 6 hours on Sunday (yesterday). I feel like I'm 11-12 years old again! She makes me nervous, and I actually find myself stammering...and I smile almost continuously throughout the visits.

In alot of ways, she makes me feel comfortable, in other ways, I get nervous because I'm conscious of everything I'm doing and saying. I hear myself stammer and, inside, I'm thinking, "Oh! Yeah! You're just SO cool! Bonehead! What? Are you 12?" (smile!) And when we kiss, I feel the blood rushing to my face (among other parts of my anatomy) and I really feel like a kid again. It was like learning to kiss all over again, and the physical reactions suddenly remembered, and shocked that I had forgotten the sensation! 17 years is a long, long time. I had my last kiss when I was 24...I'm 41 now...and kissing makes me feel like I'm 12 again. I've been givin back just this one little part of life about 15 years too late. I spent the past 10 years under the most cruel visiting policy Ohio's death row has ever seen, and it created stressful visits, and put people off of visiting us. We lost our close bonds with family, and those 10 years have done permanant damage to our relationships. My kids are 21 and (soon to be) 23...they'll never be 11 and 13 again, or any of the ages in between. Now, it's too late. They have adult lives to live.

I LOVE that I get to hold hands and kiss, and eat with my visitors. And, while I've done my best to stay in my children's lives, I wish I could've kept them close to me and stayed involved in their lives. They deserved to have a father. The visiting policy made it next to impossible. While I know that my kids love me, I also know they've learned to get along without me.

Now, with this new-relationship on the horizon, I'll make the best of what I have left. Could be that my best days are yet to come. In any case, she sure makes me hope so!

"Duke"



May 22nd, 2006
Monday, 10:15 p.m.
I've received numberous articles about Joe Clark from "Canton". They botched the execution BADLY.

In letters from his family to Freddy, I've learned there was an autopsy, and an investigation by the family's attorney is under way. Joe had over 30 needle punctures according the the autopsy. At one point Joe asked if there was something he could take orally to "finish this".

"Duke"



May 29th, 2006
Monday, 12:02 p.m.
Just came back to my cell after eating lunch. While most people are barbecuing in the backyard, or having a picnic somewhere with family and friends, I'm eating mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, bread and a banana. The gravy had some shredded meat in it, but not enough to call that a meal!

It's 90 degrees (F) outside, so it's a good day for the pools to open for the summer.

Tomorrow is Brian's birthday. He'll be 23 years old. He was about to turn 6 when I was arrested. I was only a year older then Brain, 24. I've DONE a life sentence. These past 17 years have taken away who I "wanted" to be, and have forced me to give up everything I loved. It's very had to understand how all these years of heartache, and having my life emptied of everything and everyone I've ever known, just isn't punishment enough. By the time they execute me, I know that a very big part of me will just want to be released from this existence...while another part of me will be sad that I was never given a second chance in this life.

It hurts to have overcome drugs and alcohol, and to have the understanding and respect I have for life now, and still be considered "unfit to live". Yet, I still strive to be a better person in spite of it all.

I hope Brian is ten times the person I've become. I hope honor and pride drive his motives, love and compassion rule his heart, wisdom and fairness rule his mind, and that he sees life's beauty, both; in its triumphs as well as its tragedies. Most of all, I hope he loves completely, and finds someone to love him in that "forever" kind of way. (Hi, Nikki!)

"Duke"

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