Randy Halprin

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October 2017

Randys Journals

October 4, 2017

Sometimes I really hate my brain, I hate being neurotic, I hate getting anxious and over thinking things, but the more I think about my appeal, the more restless I get. You know what I feel like ? I feel like a guy that was just diagnosed with cancer. I want to know how long I might have, I want to know what treatment. I want to know how good the doctor is and if he thinks I can make it. I feel like I received a diagnosis in the mail with little explanation. It sucks. Whatever it is, I want to do the opposite of Walter White and make something positive out of it. I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to be focused but the more I think, the more anxious I get. I don't have the switch that some people have where I can shut off my emotions, shut off the thinking part of my brain. Maybe I need a lobotomy. I'd gladly accept it right about now...I just need a miracle. I know there are so many more deserving people than me around. I feel so selfish for even asking. I don't know ! Argh ! I hate - hate - HATE my head sometimes.

Woke up this morning, exercised, got a shower and now I'm writing. As far as I know they're starting on C-pod for shakedowns/cell searches. Three down. Three more to go. We'll probably be next (I'm currently on B-pod). I just want to get it over with.


October 3rd, 2017

It felt inappropriate to write anything yesterday after the news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I didn't wake up until 7:00 a.m. and my first thought of the day was "why aren't the guards doing showers ?" I grumbled, rolled over and turned on my radio and put it on NPR to hear the news. Over 50 dead, hundreds shot and injured. My stomach dropped and my eyes filled with tears. It's insane and makes no sense.
I felt real shitty at that moment...How do I go through the day and worry about my appeals and own life when these people, some of them having probably never hurt a single person in their entire life, never had a chance. It just seemed inappropriate in that moment to spend a journal entry even mentioning it. I hope their souls are at peace and I commend everyone who helped amidst the chaos, the police, the paramedics, etc...No doubt they saved countless lives. That is the true spirit of America.

I was a bit surprised that they ended up moving me last night. I remained on the same pod, just a section over, but I lost my great view. For the past month I had a perfect view of the front of the prison: the parking lot, the side walk that leads to the visitation building/administration building. I'd spend hours staring out my window watching the world go by. The thing that brought the biggest smile (and a few teary eyes) was watching the family members that brought kids in. The games they'd play on the side walk, running, skipping. There was a brother and sister one time. They couldn't have been more than five and seven. The brother would walk fast to get away from the sister. The sister would run to catch up. The brother would walk faster, the sister would run to catch up. This went on for over 30-40 yards when all of a sudden they both take off in a mad clash to the front gate, the brother pushing his sister away as they run. These moments are priceless. The view will be missed.

I settled in, cleaned my cell up and was in bed by 10:15 p.m. Got up at about 7:00 a.m., exercised, bird bathed in my sink and now I'm sitting here, lost in my own head.


October 1st, 2017
Part I

Life is full of surprises and I guess even knowing that things can unexpectedly happen, people still get complacent. It's called living. Even back here, with the possibility of an unnatural death looming over our heads we tend to just move on. People get caught up in penpals, football/sports, politics,...whatever they need to keep their minds off of why they are actually here. We're not unlike cattle on green delicious grass until we're rustled up, put on a truck and taken to the slaughter house. Hey, the grass was good. I'm just as guilty of this, even though I do take a mindful approach to my life. I keep a routine. I'm structured. I keep up with my legal stuff and even with all of that it is still a shock when the federal court denies your appeal. With every thing that had been going on, fighting for a new attorney, multiple judges playing musical chairs, etc...the LAST thing I expected was to be denied amongst all of the chaos.

Oddly enough, I'm not as panicked as I thought I would be entering into the 5th circuit (the last stage of the appeal unless a miracle occurs and the Supreme Court decides to take a look at a person's appeal). Am I scared ? Sure. But I also accept that I have little control over what happens next. I did get a new attorney and I hope like hell he's good and will do all that he can to fight and of course I will do what I can to fight, but hope...faith...G-d, the universe and everything are what I have to surrender myself to.

Over the past couple of days my thoughts have been on the process of the death penalty, why we have the death penalty in the U.S., how as people we decide who gets to live, who gets to die, the unfairness of the application...and my will to live. It's easy for a person to say "if you kill you forfeit your life". If only it were that easy and I guess if it was truly applied that way the population of earth would probably be half of what it is today. There are thousands of killers in General Population right now, here in Texas, watching T.V., getting contact visits, even having jobs. While only a couple hundred sit on death row in a legal limbo waiting to DIE. There are cases under Texas law of parties where the actual killer was given a life sentence by a jury while the person who maybe just drove the getaway car or didn't participate in the murder was given death. Is that a fair application of capital murder ? I could give a hundred examples of how it's arbitrarily applied. The system is built on "justice" ? The system is built on bullshit. Then, back here...It's easy to feel defeated or frustrated when you watch a guy who was extremely fortunate to get an attorney who is dedicated and deligent. One who does not believe in capital punishment in every fiber of their being and pulls no punches. They'll fill everything under the sun to see if it sticks and then the next thing you know, you're watching a guy you know isn't mentally retarted receive a life sentence for mental retardation while the guy who really is mentally deficient or ill has a shitty ass attorney who does the bare minimum on his appeals and the guy ends up being executed. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy when a person leaves this place on a bus and not in a body bag. I just get frustrated at how unfair the place is. But also...I'm only human. It might be a selfish way to think at times, "why does he get to live or get action on his case and the dude is guilty as fuck ?!" I instantly feel guilty/bad for having those thoughts, but geeze...I'm sitting here for something I truly didn't do. Something my co-defendants all admit I didn't do and ballistics evidence proves I didn't do, but because I was there, I'm guilty. It's frustrating. There are others like me in the same situation.
I don't believe in the death penalty. Seeing what I have seen for the past 14 years...if a believer in the death penalty saw the same things it will be impossible to not feel the way I do. To know how fucked up the system really is. And don't misunderstand me, I'm in no way playing the victim role. Even though I'm not a murderer, I do accept that choices I made in life lead me here where I am now.
I just want a chance, a chance to prove that I'm not that stupid, naive 23 years old that escaped anymore. That I'm not as impulsive as I once was. That while not perfect, I try to live my life being mindful of others, empathetic and compassionate. Yeah, I get angry, frustrated, pissed...but show me a single human being on this planet that doesn't ! I don't think I'm a good person, I KNOW I'm a good person. I just want a chance to prove to the people I care about that if my life were spared it wouldn't go to waste. I would make a positive mark in the world. I have so many ideas I'd love to be able to make a reality if I lived. I would show the public that the right choice was made if my life was spared.

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