Before this happen to me I thought the death penalty was for the worst of the worst. I didn't think anyone innocent was there, because I thought there would be overwhelming evidence. 3 1/2 years on death row, I know different. I grew to know some good people on death row in Alabama. Some of them did not commit the crime, like me. Some were in the wrong place but didn't kill anyone. Some may have committed a bad crime, but they were not cold-hearted or selfish. Some were there because their lawyers were not seasoned. Some because the judge overrode the jury.
The solitary confinement on death row was terrible. I still try not to think about it too much. The cell is 8 feet long 6 feet wide with 8 foot ceilings. I was locked inside 23 or 24 hours a day. I have short arms but I can touch both walls at the same time. There was a suicide while I was there, a man who had been on death row about 16 years. I know that being on solitary was part of his suicide. If you are not mentally strong, it breaks you down. All the way down.
* There were 17 executions while I was there. I knew them, I know every name and they day they were executed.
* No matter what, I know that the death penalty is wrong. It is a completely broken system!
Montez V. Spradley
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