Human Writes is a non-profit, humanitarian organisation which  befriends people on death row in the USA
There are prisoners on Death Rows all over the States who are in need of help to live like a human being for the time they are here.
Prisoners' Art
Paul Gamboa Taylor
Articles By Human Writes Members

Thoughts on being a Human Writes penfriend.

In Memorium of Prisoners Executed in the United States
In memoriam of prisoners executed in the United States

Prisoners executed in the United States in 2016


Postcards For Sale

Postcards for sale

Prisoners' artwork postcards available for sale.

I Just Want To Stay

"The volunteers of Human Writes seek to hold out the hand of friendship to men and women facing the death penalty. I am pleased to encourage them in their writing"
Most Reverend and Rt Hon George L Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury

"No matter its circumstances, dying is one of the most important things we ever do. I applaud all who offer compassion and hope to those facing death, especially in the terrible circumstances of Death Row. May God bless your work."
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

A Prisoner Testimonial : "You are so right, people like Helene don't come along too often in this crazy world. I just replied to her letter. She stood by my side when darkness set upon me and gave me warmth when life felt so cold. I'm forever grateful for her love and support."

Art and Writing From Death Row

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An Essay By Ward

Who's To Blame??

A baby is born and the first toy the father gets him to play with is a toy gun and when the child gets old enough to walk, he goes around pointing the gun at his parents and others saying "Bang, bang, you're dead!" And the parents exclaim, "Oh, how cute."

He gets a little older and is bought bigger and better guns and started playing with other neighborhood boys playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians as well as war and he shoots the neighbor boy who falls down dead only to get up again and they start all over.

The father teaches him to shoot real guns and if he shoots well, his father doesn't praise him like the boy is looking for in a father, but rather puts more pressure on the boy by the father telling everyone his son shoots as is expected of the offspring of his family, but will also improve. But if the child shoots poorly, his father makes fun of him in front of him, even in front of boys friends, putting even more pressure on the boy to shoot better, so the son shoots straighter and better to please the father.

Later the father takes the boy hunting and if be makes a good clean kill, he is told he did what was expected, but let the boy miss or make a bad shot and he is not only made fun of, but a lot of his privileges are taken away from him, so he learns to shoot better, kill cleaner and is put up against other boys to prove his skills against others, including grown ups and punished if looses.

So he lives, shoots and kills, night and day to gain his father's approval. Now the boy goes into the service and eats, sleeps and breathes kill, kill, kill, and if he doesn't, he is punished, so he lives it day and night, awake or sleep.

Then he goes to war or what ever you want to call it and kills, kills, kills, and is even given medicine whether he wants them or not, and has to act like it is a big thing even though it makes him sick to be reminded by the medals and people around him of what he has been made to grow up into at this point.

Later something happens and he kills someone and the same people that put medals on him now want to kill him.


Ward Weaver, California

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Human Writes Patrons

"The very essence of the death penalty is to tell people that they are somehow sub-human, not fit to live. Yet even those people I have represented who did what they were accused of - a surprisingly limited number - have always been much better people than their worst fifteen minutes, as are we all. Those who recognise this by reaching out to the men and women on death row are true heroes, though I suspect they gain as much as they give to the relationship."
Clive Stafford Smith OBE, Founder of Reprieve and Patron, Human Writes

"As a journalist who has lived and worked in the United States, the horror of death row is one of the issues that never leaves you. The thread of humanity that Human Writes manages to sustain with men and women on death row is a profound contribution to keep alive the hope of life. Capital punishment is now on the retreat in America, but the numbers awaiting their fate are still very considerable. I am very honoured to have become a Patron of Human Writes and will hope to do my best to put my shoulder to the wheel".
Jon Snow Broadcaster and journalist, Patron, Human Writes

"In such an inhuman system small moments of human contact make a big difference. That's why I support Human Writes and why I would encourage you to do the same."
Gary Younge, Author and US-based feature writer for the Guardian, Patron, Human Writes

"I know what it is like to live in a cell for decades and feel that the whole world hates you. I never expected to be able to live again as a contributing member of a community. Prison life was precarious and unpredictable but I met people who worked there who wanted to help me and people like me - and I'm lucky that I live in a society graceful enough to offer me a second chance. At least I had hope. Hope for many of the people supported by Human Writes has all but been extinguished. Letters to people on Death Row let them know that however low they may have fallen, they are still human beings. They still have value and are worth caring about and letters might just help to keep hope alive. That is why I am honoured to have been invited to be a patron."
Erwin James, author and Guardian columnist, Patron, Human Writes