Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Hell Hole News#8, FEBRUARY 13, 2009

Note: The following are taken from the diaries of death-row inmate Hank Skinner and do not represent views of the Texas Death Penalty blog or SADP. We have posted them because of several requests from our readers about the daily life on death-row.

Welcome to yet another edition of the damnedest stuff you ought not have to be reading except for the idiots who keep on forcing me to write it. But that’s ok, I guess.

My boys Rayland Tyner and Deon Jackson, week before last, set fire to the block, barricaded their cells and faded the team (extraction team, a k a goon squad) in protest of the atrocious condition we’re forced to endure here. Tyner had made ‘em run in on him three times before this. He goes pretty hard, kinda reminds me of Chi-town, Richard Cartwright. Although I doubt anyone could beat Chi-Town’s record of five (5) times in one day ---he’s in the books! Ha/ha! My book(or, more accurately, one I had a part in) “Writing for their Lives: Death Row USA” – it was available from Northwestern University Press and on Amazon.com. Buy the book! The proceeds pay to train capital defense attorneys!

Had to throw that lil’ plug in there………….. Tyner and Jackson, like the rest of us, are sick of the atrocious conditions, the food, lack of commissary items, onerous classification and disciplinary processes which the bubbas use to retaliate against us, oppressive atmosphere and toxic environment overall. The food is so bad, most days it’s inedible, spoiled and sour beans and vegetables, no condiments on the tray, burnt up food – especially the pancakes, ugh, ick, yuk, puke, choke, wretch, vomit. Mealy, stinking, old flour, rancid grease. Burnt black. Then they wanna serve ‘em to us for supper as breakfast, yet turn right around and serve ‘em to us again for breakfast too. An officer asked me, “Skinner do you eat them thangs?” I said, “Well, yeah if I ain’t got nothin’ else. Yeah, I try to choke one down”. He said, “Well, how do you eat em’?” I said “you just fold ’em in half and hold ‘em in one hand, use the other hand to pinch off your nose, shut. Take as big a bite as you can, chew real fast and swallow it before it makes you puke”. He said “Man! you braver than I am! Oooo-weee! I can smell that nastiness from here!” and gave an involuntary shudder as he walked away.

You know, if you’re level one and you could get commissary, you’d never eat this stuff. But Tyner and Jackson were level one. Hillman ain’t had nothin’ in that commissary in awhile now. They won’t give us no condiments on the tray – no butter, no sugar for the oatmeal, no tartar sauce for the sewer trout. You ought to taste this “fish” one time. If you did, I guarantee you’d never eat fish again for the rest of your natural born life.

Day before yesterday we had “hamburgers”. To start with they were full to brimming with the usual fillers, so much the inside looks like chip core when you break it apart--------not meat at all but ------strata. They were so desiccated and dried out they were hard, like shoe leather. I’ve got some pretty tough teeth but it hurt my teeth to chew it so I spit it out. I was gonna tear it up and flush it down the toilet but it wouldn’t tear. I’m not kidding. So I had to bend it back and forth, back and forth ‘til I finally broke it. After four or five more bending and breakings I finally got it small enough to flush without stopping up the toilet.

Later I realized I’d missed out! I heard one guy hollering down the run to the other and tell him that if you soak it in water for 2 – 3 hours it’d get soft enough to eat! Damn it! Why didn’t I think of that?!?!? And there I stood, looking longingly at my toilet’s hole, wishing that thing would magically come back together and jump up out of there, like a film when you run it backwards, so I could eat it.

Most people out there would ballyhoo the condiment issue like ”Oh, too bad! No sugar for his oatmeal! Who cares?” That’d probably be my first reaction, too. Let’s don’t be “coddling” the prisoners, eh!

I’ve never been “coddled” in my life……oh, wait, isn’t that like, where they gently cup your balls and fondle them or something? Nah, I’ve never had that done but, last time they ran-in one me they did grab ‘em real real hard and yank on ‘em like they were trying to pull ‘em off, after they raised up my shorts leg and sprayed them full of pepper spray, while I was on the floor, cuffed behind my back and shackled at the feet, with a dog strap around my neck. That was a pretty warm and very exciting experience. I can understand why some people get addicted to these use of force things….

Back to the condiments issue. Those are the only things that allow you to actually eat this rancid food – it hides or masks the true flavor long enough for you to swallow it without gagging. So it’s not the pigs or public’s perception there we’re ‘spoiled’ and used to living too good in here. Condiments, for us, are a necessity.

They they got this “sugar free” syrup packs -- we’re not diabetics – but the diabetics won’t eat it, either. It tastes so bad , it’s like, if you took some 2 week old dead possum guts and smeared ‘em on the rusty steel then touched your tongue to it, that’s what it tastes like on those pancakes. Bad as they taste, they’re better without that on them. You think I’m exaggerating, joking, makin it up? Nope. Ask anyone here. They’ll tell you the same.

The kluster f**k klowns were just here again! Ever since July of last year they’ve hit me every 20 – 25 days. They’re trying to get me to kill one of ‘em, I think. This time the “region 1 team” only tore up D-section 2 row where I live. Now they’re startin’ to give up what their real intent is, retaliation on me. I talk to the other guys, they don’t tear their stuff up – unless you’re like me ---a target. Dig this, and I got 40+ witnesses to this, now: last year every time they ran in, they come straight to my section and my cell first thing, hollerin’ “shake-down! shakedown! strip out”! You know that it is!! Ha/ha. When I was in D-section they run-in there first. When I move to E-section they run in there first. Back to D-section, here they come. So I got tired of the ho’s and faded the team. They they moved me to F-section Level III. Here they come over there first. See the pattern? Like they just got to do something to me, personally. Got to “get Skinner”. But all they’ve ever took from me is junk-drawer-at-the-house sort of “contraband”. A stinger, a fishing line, a homemade stapler, so I can staple my legal papers back together after the mail room rips ‘em up. A piece of wire – to make stinger, a tray, a pitcher – plastic, my bowls, my stamps, my legal material – tablets, pens, pencils, dictionary, carbon paper, envelopes, my t-shirts and thermals, empty bottles (disposable plastic water bottles, thin-as-paper sort. We’re not allowed any glass at all). My toothbrush. For some reason they really love to hate on my toothbrush, my comb, my bippy (like Comet or Ajax, scouring powder) my soap, toothpaste and antiperspirant. My toothpaste, they squirt it all out into the sink. My antiperspirant, they screw up the adjuster until it all comes out, break off the plastic, cut it in half and throw it in the sink, too. I guess the message there is, after you get back in your cell, they do not want you to be able to clean up the mess they made, wash yourself, have a clean mouth and breath or curb your B. O? Well, if it ain’t that it’s gotta be retaliation cuz I write out there and tell y’all about it? Engaging in constitutionally protected activity – that’s what I’m doing here, exercising my first and fourteenth amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression and equal protection and due process under the law. Ha/ha. Apparently Tiny Tim does not recognize that. He will. Soon. I’ve already alleged a continuing and ongoing pattern of retaliation in the grievances so I don’t need to file no more of those. Now it’s just “allege the specific facts” in the suit, which I’m about to do.

Well, this time they really outdid themselves on the retaliation angle. Man! They got a bottle of strawberry preserves from somewhere, I guess one of the LV1’s they hit before? Poured it all over my cell floor and it was all out on the run in front of my cell, too. Then they put my sheets down on the floor and proceeded to pull all my legal files and envelopes out of the storage bins under my bunk and throwed them all over my cell. So, you can imagine how long it took me to clean this up. Aren’t they so professional? That’s a real group of grown-ups, there. You see why I say it’s just a hate down? Not a shake down? Well, I guess they showed us, didn’t they?! Ha/ha ha/ha ha/ha.

They keep talkin’ about puttin’ cameras in here…boy! That’s the answer to everything these days ain’t it? Who cares? They’re gonna be running the place by themselves, then, for real! All the officers say they’re gonna quit. Who’d blame ‘em? They know what’s up with cameras. I can hardly wait! Then all these impromptu u.o.f’s (uses of force) will be caught on film! We can subpoena the tapes! Next time a warden or captain comes down here threatening us, pow! Caught on film! Next time they’re tearin’ up someone’s cell and destroying his property, throwing it all over the run and walking all over it, pow! Caught in the act and photo i.d’d! Won’t be no more “I didn’t do it, he did it!” or “I don’t know”…. The camera will know! Next time they’re down here doing a run-in, the captain wants to excessively gas the shit outa someone (like they do me!) and he tells the u.o.f. camera operator to turn the camera off a second – nope, pow! The run camera gotcha! Like, when the u.o.f. camera operator fails to catch som’ on film, it’s “human error”. Won’t be no more of that!

Back to Tyner/Jackson for a sec…. They said Jackson came out of the cell on ‘em and was going hard on ‘em all, touched ‘em up pretty good! Said the Sergeant caught out off the section! 5 on 1, 7-8 on 1. In the end they always get you. But it’s not whether you win or lose, no. It’s how you play the game. Jackson plays hard.

Mike Ward is a real p.o.s.! He just keeps on lying his ass off on Tabler – “He threatened the senator! He threatened the senator!” Liar, liar, pants on fire! Ha/ha. Whitmire’s already admitted repeatedly that Tabler never actually threatened him. It’s really sad to see such a venerable paper as the Austin American-Statesman revert to National Enquireresque, yellow tabloid journalism just to sell a few papers. Shut up, Mike Ward. The public is sick of you. So are we. If you wanna be Whitmire’s personal whore, do it behind closed doors.

Mark my words, this phone debacle will ultimately turn out to be the best thing to happen to death row in years

Best regards,


E-mail me with your comments or questions to: hwskinner@yahoo.com

Or send a letter to:

999143 Polunsky Unit

H. W. Hank Skinner

3872 FM 350 South

Livingston TX 77351-8580

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