In the deep vast unknown
there travels a small ship
circular spinning pristine
that cast shadows upon
waters and filters truth
into air that you breathe
in … and out… In and out
and somewhere in the body
beats your heart as massive
vessel of circular reasoning
pumps truth in and out
…in and out
it’s a lonely traveler on the
highway that sign painted
“Life” driving itself wild
return by the circular wheel
in which distractions weave
in and out… In and out
going nowhere just feel.
In the deep vast unknown
sits your mind connecting
random dots, thoughts
pulling, probing and building
something to grasp in the
truth that when it awakens
it is always alone dreaming
itself in and out

baby, right now its out…


Rudy Chavez assaulted another inmate, purported to be a child molester, with boiling water and received extra time on his sentence for the attack. Chavez indicates here that, despite the extra felony charges he received, he has no regret. He states that, if ever given the opportunity, he would not hesitate to kill a child molester even if it meant he would receive a life sentence. [x]


Attorney David Dow heads the Texas Defender Service, a non-profit legal organization that represents death row inmates. Dow was the lead attorney on the case of Willie Earl Pondexter Junior, who was sentenced to death at the age of 19 for the murder of heiress and philanthropist Martha Lennox during a house invasion robbery. The lawyers representing Pondexter argued that, Pondexter, who was accompanied by three other individuals during the robbery, was not the one who administered the fatal gunshot that killed Ms. Lennox. Pondexter claims that one of the other perpetrators shot the woman in the head and that she died instantly - Pondexter was then handed the gun and he shot her a second time, in the jaw. According to Texas law, if Ms. Lennox was already deceased, or if Pondexter believed Ms. Lennox was already deceased, prior to shooting her, he is not subject to the death penalty: this was the basis of the defense’s argument. Ultimately, the State of Texas disagreed and carried out the execution in 2009, when Pondexter was 35 years old.

Dow cites that, while by no means a justification for the crime which was committed, Pondexter’s troubled and abusive childhood is part of the reason for his criminal behavior. Taking the social and family history of an individual into account may be the key to discovering why certain types of crimes are committed in the first place, and hopefully, finding ways to intervene and prevent such crimes from being carried out by troubled youths. [x]

Inmate Willie Earl Pondexter, Jr. was on Texas’ Death Row at Huntsville, the state’s oldest prison, for a crime he committed at the age of 19. He was put to death on March 3, 2009 for the killing of heiress and philanthropist, Martha Lennox during a home invasion robbery. Lennox was 85 years old at the time. Here, 34 days before his execution, Pondexter expresses his feelings regarding the death penalty, and states that such a punishment is, and should be, reserved for “child rapists and serial killers who show lack of humanity, lack of love for the human race.”

Pondexter’s last meal included two fried chicken legs, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, peach cobbler and lemonade. [x]


Shannon Holten, an inmate at Harris County Jail in Texas, states that she has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Insomnia and the Impulse Control Disorder, Trichotillomania. Holten was arrested on charges of drug possession; this is her 26th time behind bars. Her psychiatrist notes that when she fails to take her prescribed medication, she tends to “self-medicate,” which has contributed to her frequent arrests and incarcerations. Al Jazeera English hosts an award-winning documentary series, Fault Lines, and this episode examines mental illness within the jail and prison population in the United States. [x]


As part of training to become a corrections officer, cadets must subject themselves to getting pepper sprayed in the face. During this time, they are expected to keep their eyes open and maintain control over an inmate and successfully work through the pain. There are two main reasons for this type of training: 1. when an inmate is pepper sprayed, some of the agent will inevitably reach the officer during physical altercations and, in spite of this, they must always have the upper hand, and 2. so that officers know what they are subjecting inmates to and will use proper judgment and empathy when making the final decision to reach for the pepper spray.

The cadets fully recovered after 2 hours.