Randy Halprin

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August 2005

Randys Journals

August 8, 2005
Today Gary Sterling is being executed. Around 6:00 P.M. I've run into him here and there and he has seemed to be an alright guy. I don't know what kind of effect it will have once I hear if he has been killed or not. I try not to think about much. But  here's what's bo-thering me: I just watched them take him away out my window. A van pulled into a sally port that connected to a side walk that is attached to the Death Row Building.
Before he was brought out in shackles a large group of Sergeants, Captains, Majors, the Wardens and a few people in plain clothes gathered around the sally port gate. They laughed and shook hands, one female did a little jig. I thought to myself, "How  on earth can people be so gleeful of another mans death?" Even if the worst thing happened to my very worst of enemies, I could never gloat over that. And then it dawned on me: It's very easy to be happy that the dragon has been slain. The monster is  dead, we have burned out Frankenstein's creature. We aren't humans, we have no face. We are distorted and disfigured beings who have no souls. That's why it is so easy to laugh and dance and cheer.
And so he arrived, shackled like the beast about to be slain. They loaded him into the van and the van pulled out. We will probably never see Gary again. And they cheer, "Hip Hip Hooray!"

August 10, 2005
Boy, this week has been full of drama. They just used riot gas on a guy named "Stick". He seemed agitated and while at recreation he refused to come out of the day room. The problem was that a shower was broken and he had been trying to get the guards  to check it out and have it fixed, but an asshole guard who just the other day "jacked" my shower from me refused to listen to him and instead taunted him and intentionally poked and proded him. I call it the gorilla in the zoo syndrome. You know, there's  a sign over the gorilla cage that says "Don't feed or tease the animals" yet, there's always some lovely human beings who feel that the rule doesn't apply to them so they throw peanuts and insults at it. Then, that person makes the mistake of getting  a little to close to cage
The gorilla reaches out and grabs the person and does some serious damage. Then later on the Ten o'clock news the reporter asks the bystanders what they think  caused the gorilla to lash out and they all say, "Gee, I don't know lt's just a wild animal it needs to be shot or something "
So, when Stick tried to talk it out they continued to push him. All he wanted was to get the shower fixed. So they used riot gas on him to force him and then sent in a riot team to beat him up and drag him out of the recreation. And all that they had  to do to resolve the matter peacefully was to take a look at the shower. Oddly enough, after Stick was carried off to the discipline pod a sergeant ordered the shower be fixed. I guess Stick got what he wanted in the end.

August 12, 2005
Ah, another glorious day at the Polunsky unit. Ha. Ha. I was thinking about some things in my past, because I've been reading this book called The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. It's really about Neurological problems and things that cause odd behaviours  in People. Such as possessions, visions and the like. It got me thinking of genetic predispo-sitions and how much control we truly have over our lives. Not only that but how big of a role the first years of our lives have in who we become later on in  life. I also wonder what it's like for an adopted child, me being one of course. I mean you always hear about the success stories of those who came from abused families, but what are the statistics
of the one ones who ended up on the wrong path? I have a sneaking suspicion it's way more than those who came out of adoption okay. Not that I think adoption is bad, not at all. I love my parents to death and I give them credit for so many wonderful things  in my life, but I wonder if the damage isn't already done if they aren't adopted at the earliest of ages in a childhood. It brings up so many questions. Just some-thing to think about. I mean, it's obvious my fears of rejection and loneliness come from  my childhood. From being bounced around foster homes and then shipped off to Kentucky at 14 to go to school. It's a crazy world. Then of course, there's the questions of addictions and addic-tive behaviours that are passed down genetically. But hey, I'm  no Doctor.

August 16, 2005
Today I had an awesome visit with my wife. I love the time we share together. For those two hours that I'm at visitation with her I'm out of this place and in a different world. Even though the visits take place behind glass, I feel so close. So in love.  Lost, swimming in her eyes and love. She is my blessing. We talked about the issues going on her life and mothers. If only I could spill that all out! Talk about more dramatic than any soap opera. My life is full of melodrama, I'm the melodrama bubble  boy. Trapped in this big play. Anyways, we had a lovely time. I digress at times and can be melodramatic myself so

I'll probably ramble on about how much I love Mary many times. But she has really be-come family to me. She's so much more than just my wife. She is my best friend and has made me believe in the healing powers of love. As cliched as that sounds it's very  true and pure. Love can solve it all, if not act as the most powerful pain killer in the world. After all isn't that what God is all about? Love and forgiveness.

August 20, 2005
Weekends here suck! Not that they are much different from the regular days, but we get no mail. Nothin'. We just sit and listen to the radio and talk and eat and bullshit around. Sigh. Oh and I do my chores. Wash my laundry, clean my cell up and all of  that wonder-ful stuff. Trust me, I'm no electronic whiz, but I think I'd make my dad proud at all. I've self taught myself. The things your brain can figure out through pure and utter boredom. You should see the crazy ass inventions I've sketched out  and wrote. They're very wacky, but practical! I swear. Ugh. My typing really sucks, doesn't it? See. I'm bored and I'm rambling you aren't interested. Good bye!

August 22, 2005
Tonight is that very last night of my friend Robert Shields life. I am listening to KDOL and his family has been calling in their good byes and they've been playing his favourite songs. It's very heart breaking. I liked Shields. I shared many of my books  with him. We like the same music and comics. We had much in common. And while I saw him every so often I like the guy a lot. I get so tired of having people I know being picked off like flies. It really eats at my mind. It's like watching bowling pins  slowly drop one by one. Don't they know that this makes victims out of so many others? How can death vengeance be just and right? It should make every human soul cringe in disgust. Ashes Ashes we all fall down.

August 23, 2005
Today is Robert Shields execution date. They were talking about it on the radio and, on the classic rock station out of Houston. Apparently the station intern is going to be a me-dia witness and write a piece about what it was like. I don't know how I  feel about that. I don't want to cast judgement, but if they make a mockery out of the situation with one of their Radio pranks
I'll be quite pissed and never listen to that station  again. They had some people call in with some very sickening views. It stings all the more so when you are on the receiving end of those opinions. I will never understand how people can be so so blood thirsty. Is this who we are as humans? Have we not evolved into higher be-ings where two wrongs don't make a right, where forgiveness and love are put on the back burner? It boggles my mind.
On other topics today has been hot as hell. I've been thinking of how I am going to re-write my novel. I just don't like the direction it went nor did I really like all the twists and turns. I just turned the radio dial to KTRU, Rice university. I love  this station. This really great cover song of the Rolling Stones "Miss You" by The Concretes is on. Sexy and kind of sad.
It's a little past 6:30 P.M. now. I just heard that they did execute Robert. Good Bye Friend

August 24, 2005
It's a little after eight in the morning. My wife is supposed to come and visit today. I hope she comes safe. I listened to that report that the intern did on that station and sur-prisingly it wasn't half bad. He did report fair and balanced. He went  into feeling he (Ro-bert Shields) brought it upon himself and after witnessing was shocked at the whole deal and came out not knowing how he felt about it. They let some of the listeners call and respond, but I have to disagree with one of them. He said  Robert's father wasn't a victim so he didn't have a right to say his son was murdered by the state.
I couldn't disagree with him more. Everyone becomes a victim in a revenge situation. The media never reports what it does to the other side. Like because their child was so bad or a monster that they don't have a right to feel pain and grief at the loss  of their own. Revenge can't ever be the answer.
It's a little after twelve and I just had my visit with my wife. It was wonderful as always and I never can be patient until the next one. I had a salad, some chips, and my favou-rite soda: Mountain Dew. Oh yeah. We talked about all kinds of stuff as  we always do. Usually it's pretty crowded down there, but it wasn't too bad. We get put into this little cage that has a seat and a phone. There is glass that separates us, but it is opened up on her side. She just pulls a seat up and we begin our visit  - or as we call it, our "Date". Sometimes there's a lot of commotion, people walking around so it gets hard to concen-trate and having Attention Deficit Disorder doesn't help me too much, but it's really not too hard to concentrate on her. I'm ridiculous,  right? Ever the hopeless romantic

I'm hoping I will be moved to another pod tonight. I'm back here with all of these guys with regular time. I'm really not supposed to be anywhere near them, nor are they sup-posed to be anywhere near any Death Row inmate, but because I cannot be around  my other co-defendants they are willing to break their security rules to do this. It's not bad, but I get tired of all these guys asking me idiotic questions about being on death row and me escaping back in 2000. Because I am in a so called "Escape Risk"  we get shifted around each week to different pods. A pod is basically a large area with different sections A, B, C D, E, F
There are 14 cells to each section. I get put in any cell  that may be open at the time. If it's filled up they will just switch me out with another inmate. To me it seems like it's more trouble than necessary considering the prison is so short staffed, but, hey, if they want to do it it's fine by me. It breaks  up the monotony. Smiles. I love it.

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