Thursday, September 13, 2007

Personal words by Tony Medina


In a matter of a few weeks, I will have been trapped on death row for 12 years. TWELVE YEARS! I never even imagined I would be alive this long. Ofcourse, I never thought I would live past the age of 21… and in a way I didn`t.

Maybe I better start over. My name is Tony Medina. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the SOUTH SIDE, where I made the mistake at the age of 12 of getting involved in the gang life. Where I lived at, this wasn`t a big deal, since so many others were also living this life. I guess that the gang gave a me a feeling of acceptance that I was craving without even knowing it. In later years I tried a couple times to leave this lifestyle, which I recognized was hurting me, but the street`s call always drew me back into the gang/criminal life.

By the time I turned 21 in November 1995 I knew for sure that I had to make a change, and make it permanently. While I was incarcerated for 11 months, I`d had 2 beautiful children. I now had a son and a daughter that needed me, that needed a father. So I followed my heart, and made good on the decision I had made earlier to leave the gang life behind me. I got a job in the Orthopedic field and was doing good. But some of the young gang members I left behind did not like my new life.

December 31, 1995 was suppose to be a good night for me, NEW YEAR`S EVE. I was set to close out a old year, sealing away my old life, and celebrate a new year and a new future as a different person. I had hopes and dreams for myself … something that for years I did not allow myself.

My car was being repaired and my sisters` car quit on us earlier that evening, so i made the choice to celebrate the New Year`s holiday with my cousin and some old friends from the gang. I felt that I had succeeded in finally breaking away, so did not feel one night would do any harm. It was a decision I have regretted for the last 12 years and which has put my very life in danger.

I still remember like it was yesterday, the sound of the Judge`s voice, as I stood in the courtroom on August 1, 1996 and heard him tell me I was sentenced to death. THAT I WAS SENTENCED TO DIE BY LETHAL INJECTION. It didn`t seem real. How was it possible I`d been found quilty and sentenced to die for a crime I did not commit? The truth is very simply. My trial lawyers, who were being paid for by the state, by the same people who wanted me on death row, did NOTHING to prove I was innocent. This IS NOT just my opinion. EVERY attorney or law student who I have talked to and who has read the facts in my case, says the same thing. The lawyers who prepared my state appeal found witnesses and evidence that prove I am not quilty… Evidence and witnesses that could easily have been presented at trial if my lawyers there were working for me and not the state.

But, even though my attorneys have found the evidence to prove I do not belong on death row, I am still here. Last month I saw 4 men get carried off to their own deaths, this month there are 2 more execution dates, and next month 4. Including a man I consider a brother. If I am going to avoid becoming a victim of Texas` murder machine, I NEED HELP.

The Texas “justice” system hates to admit they made a mistake. Once we are on death row, it is very hard for us to prove our innocence. This is how they designed their system. It is stacked from day one against those of us who do not have the money to fight them. Texas would prefer to execute a innocent man and sweep the facts under the rug then admit they allowed the wrong person to be sent to death row. This is a FACT. Look at Ruben Cantu, Carlos DeLuna, or Todd Willingham… All of them innocent men who have been executed by Texas.

In 2001 as my appeal lawyers investigated my case for the writ they were to file, they discovered several key pieces of evidence that was not presented during my trial. They proved not only that someone else committed this crime, but that the police and D.A. knew it and suppressed evidence that pointed to this person.

In my almost 12 years on death row I have personally witnessed hundereds of men fighting their appeal while struggling everyday to find someone to help them. A few of them, after years, did succeed in finding some solid help, unfortunately it was too late to do them any good.

For me the opposite is true. I am at a pont in my fight right now that if I can find the help I need I have a VERY GOOD chance of saving my life. My state appeal was filed on November 21, 2001, but has not yet been ruled on.
So I still have time, BUT I NEED HELP NOW! I need people who will step forward and help me keep from being murdered by Texas for someone elses crime.

All I want is a second chance. Another chance to be a father to my (now) 3 children. Another chance to share my story with young kids and help them hopefully avoid the same mistakes I made with my life and assure them they can have a life outside of gangs and crime. All I want is a chance to have a life, to be treated as a human being again and not like a animal as I am treated everyday in this concrete tomb.

You can give me that chance. The chance at a new trial. I hope and pray you will consider giving me your support. I have been trying to find some magic words that would convince you to help me, but all I can come up with is the simple truth. I DID NOT COMMITT the crime that put me on death row, and I need YOUR help to have a chance of one day returning to my family.

Thank you for letting me speak to you, I hope my words will convince atleast one of you to help me…
Tony Medina

Anthony Medina
# 999204
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


Anonymous said...

Wow, everybody is innocent...!!!!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you know, in college, they are teaching us the importance of being open-minded. This is a lesson that you benefit you, Ames Tiedeman. That comment is very closed-minded, do you know the facts of the case? Did you research it before posting this comment with no evidence to back it up? I am not familiar with his case, but I do not automatically assume that he and every other person on death row is guilty. Hell, studies have shown that there have been approximately 100 cases of innocent men being put to death in this country. Now, if we all had your attitude, the innocent would never stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

keep trying
Alex F.

Anonymous said...

Thats the way the system works they believe they are always right

Anonymous said...

Tony is an amazing person.hes a good friend of mine and i cant believe the comments some ppl leave....mind you some ppl are so closed minded they cant even be bothered to do a tiny amount of research can they

Anonymous said...

As a response to Ames Tiedeman comment, I would simply like to say that your ignorance and arrogance makes my stomach turn. REALLY DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE YOU MAKE THOSE TYPE OF COMMENTS!!!

It's actually your comment that is BULLSHIT!

Anonymous said...

You will be in my thoughts and prayers Tony.

Alex A. said...

You know, it saddens me that I wrote to this inmate and he declined my help because of my gender (m)...he stated he was looking for females that would help him; and he completely declined my offer for help/penfriend.

unique said...

I find it scary that most people makecup their mind in the criminalogy status especialy where it involve the Dp. Before making negative comments do research and you would come to find out like many of us did. Certainly not everyone is innocent on D-row. But facts have concluded that there are innocent men sitting on D-row as we speak of. Unfurtunely,some have already gotten executed for crimes they didnt commit. ITS THE INNOCENT WE HAVE STAND FOR.