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
Cliff Boggess
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 Marcus in Georgia

The book is still open

As I sat on my bunk 9/14/05, peering out the windows at the tall trees about 600 yards away while waiting the last 90 minutes for the warden inspection, many thoughts passed my mind.  They started with my 26 years old love of my life, my daughter Tynecia who is about to get married in 2 months and should graduate college next year.  I thought about how much she loves and respects me.  How I've been there for her from her birth up unto this day, how proud I am of her and the pride I feel in despite being 23years old when she was born, was a college freshman, and single, I took my responsibility of being a father very serious.  Then I think, despite being in prison, I did get something right.

Then my thoughts drift toward my own self inventory and introspection.  I think it's very important that we all, prisoners and the free, periodically do this in order to gauge our progression or digression, strengths and weaknesses in an effort to make our life count for something, for we'll pass this way only once.  I think it was Dr.M.L.King who said "If in our living we have helped somebody or touched another soul, then our life has not been in vain." If we have helped one human being who was travelling the wrong path to change course to the right path, or brought some enlightenment to someone who was in darkness, that's a gargantuan contribution to humanity.

The following questions I asked myself as part of my own introspection that I'd like to share with my comrades in the struggle for life, freedom and justice, as well as exhort you to introspect and conduct a personal inventory.

  1. Is the time serving me well (to my advantage) or am I serving the time (is the time doing me)?
  2. Have I become wiser or more ignorant and how? Why?
  3. Is or has my life positively affecting/affected anyone? Whom? How? In what ways?
  4. Has my relationship with God grown or decreased? How? Why?
  5. Have I set attainable goals? How am I working towards them? (We all need something to strive toward).
  6. What changes or sacrifices do I need to make to achieve my goals or to become a better person or the one God says I should be?
  7. Have my reading and writing or verbal skills increased? Decreased? How? Why?
  8. Have I learned self control yet?
  9. Has this prison experience benefited me? If so, how? Have I grown/matured?
  10. If I could start all over again from a child, what would I do differently, given the same circumstances?
  11. What things about myself do I need to change?
  12. What am I doing that I need to stop or do less or more of?
  13. When I leave this life how would I like to be remembered? Or what would I like to leave behind? What would be my legacy?

I feel these are very important questions that every soul, imprisoned or free, needs to ask itself.  Not only do they provide structure and attainable goals to strive for, but catalyse critical thinking on our legacy.  We must not let negative things (written or spoken) define our legacy, whether it's the district attorney or other detractors, our convictions ought not to end with a period and be our end, but a comma or semicolon which denotes more to come.  Your life, the pen, is in your hand.  How you live and what you do with the rest of your life defines your legacy.  It has earthly and eternal significance.  So write well.  The book is still open.  Take personal inventory and responsibility and be truthful with yourself.  This exercise will assist you in transformation from a slimy crawling caterpillar metamorphosing into a beautiful flying butterfly. God bless you!

Marcus Wellons, Georgia

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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