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
Young Blood
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 : "It's about my penpal she has changed my life from a mental hell, her letters have rolled back the clouds in my life and allowed the sunshine to burst thru. I am so impressed by this beautiful women that I am not ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledge her as my friend – Best Friend. I couldn’t love her more. "

Art and Writing From Death Row

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An Essay By Billy

It Sounded Good! The Truth About Lying

Have you ever had someone tell you a story that sounded quite true and believable only to later discover the entire story was a lie? Have you ever been lied to by your children, your spouse, your colleague, a friend, or by anyone that you really trusted?

Tragically, lying is a phenomenon that occurs with daily regularity in our society and throughout our criminal justice system. Just look at the recent misfortunes our former President experienced. The entire country sat riveted to their television sets grappling with the decision as to whether or not the President lied and obstructed justice. Many observers say it wasn't about sex and perhaps it wasn't. But, it was certainly about the President's lying about sex! The President allegedly lied under other during a Grand Jury proceeding about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. And it's ironic how his statements under oath became the topic of the day, specifically did he or did he not actually give perjured testimony?

Well, we all know the truth of the matter...the President lied!

Lying, whether under oath, in the work place or in the privacy of one's own home has become commonplace in our society. Witnesses do it, police officers do it, husbands do it, wives do it, priests do it, judges and lawyers do it and even political leaders do it! The sad reality is that lying has become tightly woven into the fabric of our society. It's all part of the 'Win at all any and all costs' attitude.

In actuality, a criminal trial has become a battle of which side can tell the best, most convincing lie! A trial is no longer about the truth, credible evidence or about the guilt or innocence of the person on trial! Integrity, fairness and justice have taken a back seat to winning! Oh yes, a trial has become a voracious quest for victory and if lies have been told it appears no one is immune! When you witness a fair trial nowadays one honestly can't distinguish between what's true and what's false. There's no light that comes on or bell that rings in the courtroom when a witness is lying, when lawyers are lying or when the judge is lying. Oh yes, and please don't be so nave to believe that judges have too much honor or integrity to lie! Because in reality judges are some of the greatest promoters and purveyors of deceit history has or will ever know!

Truth be told, everyone on earth has lied and will lie if it's to their benefit. How does one account for the fact that so many innocent people have been wrongfully convicted? Not always, but in most cases someone had to lie! And the liar was usually a civilian witness, a police officer, an expert witness, a judge, or all of the above! This is how most innocent people get wrongfully convicted.

Now, think back to the first question I asked you. Have you ever had someone tell you a story that sounded quite true and believable only to later discover that the entire story was a lie? Think about the last time this happened! When you first heard the story it sounded good, didn't it? It made sense, it added up, it was logical, and of course, you believed it! But, there's one very important reason you believed the story. You believed it because you trusted and had faith in the person who told it! Well, that's exactly what happens during trials. Jurors tend to believe the story of the lawyer they trust and have the most faith in. And, in most cases that lawyer is the prosecutor! You see, the prosecutor walks into the courtroom cloaked in credibility, believability and trust! Think about it! He represents the people, he's surrounded by police officers, experts of all kinds, victims, etc. How can anyone not believe the prosecutor. So when the prosecutor gets up to tell his story, examines his witnesses, presents his physical and scientific evidence while pointing at the defendant and telling the jury to convict him, the prosecutor usually sounds very believable!

But, a word of caution! Just because a story sounds good and is told by someone you trust, it doesn't mean the story is true! Take a moment to reflect upon the last time you were lied to by someone you trusted! When you finally found out you had been lied to, deceived, you felt anger, hostility and betrayal. And, what made the pain and hostility even more profound was the fact that you were lied to by someone you trusted and had faith in. And, the thing I know you remember most is that once you discovered the story was a lie it didn't sound good, did it?

Billy Clark, 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