A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed

Texas death row inmate Ray Jasper is scheduled to be put to death on March 19. He has written us a letter that, he acknowledges, “could be my final statement on earth.” It is well worth your time.

Ray Jasper was convicted of participating in the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro. A teenager at the time of the crime, Jasper was sentenced to death. He wrote to us once before, as part of our Letters from Death Row series. That letter was remarkable for its calmness, clarity, and insight into life as a prisoner who will never see freedom. We wrote back and invited him to share any other thoughts he might have. Today, we received the letter below. Everyone should read it.

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be ExecutedSExpand

Mr. Nolan,

When I first responded to you, I didn’t think that it would cause people to reach out to…

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2 comments on “A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed

  1. what a missive. So well-informed and thoughtful, and dare Isay it: empathetic despite his situation. I had no idea about the slavery thing…and if such an intelligent incarcerated man isn’t the poster boy for prison reform–I don’t know who is.

    But I despair, Reb. I feel we’ve passed the tipping point…


    • His voice is but one of millions… :-/

      I worked as an advocate for prisoners for years. I still have a filing cabinet overflowing with letters like this. Men as young as 19 and as old as 80…rotting in cages. The lucky ones work as slave labor. A buddy of mine – a Vietnam vet – got hit with a 7yr sentence in FL for what amounted to a drunken brawl in a bar parking lot. He worked making license plates – for real, not as a bad TV joke. His pay? 17 cents an hour. Price of ONE packet of Ramen from the commissary? 79 cents. Oh, did I mention that this was inside a geriatric prison unit? The man was 68 yrs old, working for 17 cents an hour and being starved to death by a steady diet of cheap soy-foods.

      Slavery? Oh yeah…we abolished that shit, dontcha know?

      Private prisons make deals with states that require a certain percentage of beds will remain filled – or the state will be fined and the prison can cancel the contract. Dick Cheney owns stock in one such company.

      But slavery and the buying and selling of peoples has been abolished…

      Uh-huh. Or not.


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