Letter from Bobby Ray Hopkins

Bobby Ray Hopkins #999101
By: Bobby Ray Hopkins

To both sides of the people who work and dwell at the notorious Polunsky Unit (Livingston, Texas) that houses Death Row, 12 Building, close your mouth, but open your ears, hearts and minds to what I am saying.

First of all, the administration is using us all.  Here is why I say. The officers who come into this chaos on a daily basis need to wake up and smell the coffee as they are objects of oppression as well. Come out of that trance or zombie state of mind as you too are being controlled and used. De-program yourself, think for yourselves, as in my mind (observation) you are the scariest, most pathetic, useless bunch of individuals (heathens) I've ever seen or had to be around.

Yeah, there are some inmates who fit into that category also, but I am talking toward you.  What are you so scared of?  Why are you people so frightened to be around a death row inmate without handcuffs or restraints?  Could it be that you are guilty of something and it plays tricks and games on your own mind and conscience  because it is a known fact that the system is trying to re-habilitate us and correct us, which was not the intention of the courts or jury that sent us here, because, it was said, that we are beyond redemption?

But under a guise of mis-interpretation for the purpose of mis-leading those who are less inclined to know, THEY, TDCJ-ID authorities and Polunsky Unit officials, wardens, majors, captains etc., have us housed in these security housing units (SHU) for behavioral modification tactics, which in truth are management cells for the criminally insane, worst of the worst inmates.

There are a lot of things that I could go into, but I will only say this and move on. We (Death Row inmates) were not sent here to be corrected or re-habilitated by their standards of law.

One main thing people should be informed of: It is not TDCJ-ID's job to punish us. It is their job to maintain Safety. Security, Sanitation and Order, as the only punishment(s) for us (Death Row) are to be with loss of commissary or property restriction for 30 days and 45 days at a time.

But, here on the Polunsky Unit, their extremities of punishment have gone far beyond comprehension and redemption.

Give us what we are untitled to by law (court order) and by your own policies. Let us have our work program to bide our time, and let us roam around freely in a normal proper setting in a group recreation or church service. Also, for those of us who maintain a clean disciplinary record, let us have arts, crafts, catalogue order privileges and, of course, television.

The orders that most of these guards follow each day are driving them both mad and crazy as they are being used, controlled and abused by this possessed demonic system (TDCJ-ID administration). Whether you guards realize it or not, you have already been bought and sold into evilness as your soul is like a commodity to them to do as they choose. And without telling you, they are wanting you to forfeit your souls to them as compensation for your benefits (health care, study pay, tax exemptions and credits, home and car loans). If you use your own mind to think about it, you (guards) are violating our rights, liberty, peace, harmony, humanity and our principles on a massive scale, which we (prisoners) look upon as a standard for all walks of life.

With the right law(s) and lawyer, many of you could be brought before a tribunal, which is a high court designed by the U.N. (United Nations) for the preservation of our rights. You could be tried for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, just like the men who followed Adolf Hitler and just like Milosevic. Are you people aware of or exempt from those types of changes and punishments? I didn't think so!

I know that a few of you guards have heard a lot of us say that the living conditions were better for us on the Ellis One Unit, which they were.  Things were given to us that held down our erratic behavior and stimulated our creativity in a very positive way. It wasn't until 1999 - 2000 that we were brought to this unit which is more like a plantation and/or a concentration camp that thing, horrible things begin to unfold and reveal themselves abruptly.

If the officers or the unit administration were not schizophrenic, under qualified followers who couldn't think for themselves, than justice might prevail. They ran Ellis like a penitentiary is supposed to be run, as compared to the administration here at the Polunsky Unit that are dictators and control freaks who are scared of their own shadows and paranoid of others and that see more into things that are not even there and create thing that haven't even happened. Officers, supervisors and prison administrators are supposed to be law-abiding citizens who are trustworthy and understanding with the unlimited power(s) that they are entrusted with.

They (here on the Polunsky Unit) are committing heinous crimes within these prison walls with assaults, altering government documents and reports, burglarizing our personal property and destroying it, assaults and depriving us of both sleep and food.

Literally they are starving us to death (especially Level II s and III s) because we are not allowed to go to the commissary and are totally dependent on them to feed us.

You can compare us inmates to gasoline because there is a silent flame that burns within us all and you can compare the officers and the administration to fire, because gasoline is harmless if you don't bother it or expose it to fire. And if you do, every time there is going to be an explosion, because you have added fire to or with that gasoline which in turn can have dire consequences or even become deadly and dangerous.

But if you leave it alone (gasoline) as I am comparing it to an inmate and/or use it to your advantage or giving it (gasoline) something to do by putting it in your car, lawn mower or using it in other positive ways, then that gasoline in the form on an inmate will be/become more positive and productive and less feared and less destructive. You people act like how we are living is humane and that we're should embrace these harsh conditions with a smile.

Nothing is healthy or humane about the Polunsky Unit or the methods that they use to run it. The administration has destroyed in their hearts and in their minds all the copies of the federal and world court orders that entitle us to equal and humane treatment and replaced them with some orders and rules of their own that they strictly enforce.

We on Death Row are our own society, so therefore they should stop making us pay for the mistakes of population inmates and abroad. What part of this meaning don't they understand? Once a person is convicted of a capital crime and sent to death row, whether he/she is guilty or not, the death sentence is the extent of his/her punishment as he or she can no longer be subjected to anymore type of cruel or unusual punishment by law. We are our own secret society of the rare and of the elite,so threat us as that.

Even that botched escape at the Ellis One Unit almost 4 years ago was just an isolated incident that would have never happened if the second shift supervisors had the usual guards posted at the usual posts.

Anytime you leave on unguarded entryway open, the cows and horses are gonna wonder away, so-to-speak!

So, it was the fault(s) of the second shift and the second shift supervisors that allowed the botched escape attempt to occur, but we are the ones who had to pay for it dramatically and severely.

There are no long lists of statistics from the Ellis One Unit showing a large amount of assaults, escapes or any other type of disruptive behavior out of work capable, ad-seg or even protective custody death row inmates, which proves that us being moved to this unit is not justifiable. We walked freely among one another and among the guards in perfect harmony and accord in a peaceful environment.

Because we were allowed to fix our own trays, walk to commissary, play basket ball, handball, dominoes, chess and to hug and wrestle with our homeboys (human contact), this  afforded us to stay within the rules or policies of the institution.

There were Level II and Level II and even single men recreation at Ellis One, but that was by their own choices and actions, as the majority of us (250 - 300 people) maintained work-capable status and even had cell mates and lots of daily activities.

Someone in the free world who is a death row advocate and who's part of a group or organization who's been helping us fight for our rights, respect, equality and humanity needs  to call a session together and bring it to the TDCJ-ID board of directors attention at one of your meetings and bring into question some, if not all of the officers and ex-officers who worked at the Ellis Unit in the last 10 years that we were there, as they can be on-hand-witnesses testifying to the normal functioning of our behavior and actions and of the environment that they, too, was a part of.

It would be like perjury for them to lie about the normal functioning environment at Ellis One (Death Row) during the time we were there. after being called by the board and by the death row advocates.

Little do most of you guards know that the vast majority of the population inmates that walk around you freely and that you trust on a daily basis are way more unpredictable and seemingly more dangerous than those of us on death row will ever be.

The majority of them have been found guilty of murder, capital murder, rape, robbery, child molestation etc. and handed out more time than those bad asses can do, without even being able to appeal or overturn their convictions. In most cases (my own opinion) they have pleaded guilty to a life sentence or to aggravated time so in return they would dodge the death penalty, which means that none of them would see natural daylight or true freedom ever again, which also means that they are at the end of the road and can not challenge or appeal their cases or the court decisions like we on death row can, which makes them (population inmates) more desperate, more dangerous and more un-predictable than we'll ever be and the prison staff more vulnerable to that abuse which is always forthcoming.

The people of the administration act like you are so intelligent, but you are so wasteful and petty with your thinking of other people's life and time.

You should stand back and take a long look at yourselves in the mirror and analyze the things that you have done up close and from a distance, that have affected the lives of others by the "reasonable facts" that I have laid out clearly before your eyes which will allow any normal thinking person to draw his or her own conclusion about death row inmates and how we should be treated.

I know that things are more political than criminal which makes me highly disgusted.

This is a SHU Unit that was designed for correction and rehabilitation for people to be in these cells 3 to 6 to 9 months at a time. And once again, death row was not sent here to be re-habilitated or corrected.

I thank you for your time Sincerely Bobby Ray Hopkins

Address: Bobby Ray Hopkins # 999101 Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South Livingston, Texas 77351 USA

PLEASE take a moment and send this inmates plea with your comments to these TEXAS Officials below?

Governor Rick Perry:Fax #,512-936-6700  and 512-344-4602
Wardens fax #936-291-4696

Senator Chris Harris:chris.harris@senate.state.tx.us
  Senator Mike Jackson:mike.jackson@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Robert Duncan:robert.dunacn@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Rodney Ellis:rodney.ellis@senate.state.tx.us
Senator Royce West:royce.west@senate.state.tx.us