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
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 : "I thanked God this morning for the lovely People in my life and for the overflowing gift of love that is in my heart for you and my penfriends. It's a very far step from the heart of ill emotions that I used to have years ago."

Art and Writing From Death Row

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An Essay By Kevin Brian Dowling, Pennsylvania

False Oaths and Fatal Lies

The criminal justice system is not a world of black and white, but of greys and shadows. The policy of mass incarceration is structured to reward dishonesty Perjury is the most common crime followed closely by the subornation of perjury Very few are ever charged, let alone convicted.

Perjury is a legal term defined as deliberately making material false or misleading statements under oath. The legal effect of an oath is to subject a person to the penalties for perjury Perjury is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison for each count Both prosecutors and defence lawyers must tell the court if one of their witnesses gives testimony they know to be false How often does that happen? Failure to do so is a crime, subornation of perjury.

The Oath of Affirmation clause of the US Constitution requires all Federal and State officials in the Executive, legislative and Judicial branches of government to pledge to uphold said Constitution, which includes specific rights to those charged with crimes The most vital is the right to a fair and unbiased tribunal and jury There are many types of oaths.

Lawyers swear an oath upon admission to the practice of law and are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Suborning perjury can result in prosecution and disbarment.

Judges swear an oath upon taking the bench and are bound by the Rules of Judicial Conduct. They promise to be a neutral arbiter and to protect the rights of criminal defendants Pennsylvania still elects judges rather than appoint on merit Political elections guarantee that mostly former prosecutors become judges, their robes do little to conceal their bias and slant to assist the prosecution. Prosecutors are the apex predators in the legal food chain.

Jurors swear an oath during the selection process to answer questions truthfully, so that lawyers can uncover valid reasons to excuse them for cause, or use a peremptory strike. They take a second oath when seated for a trial, promising to obey court instructions and to weigh the charges only on evidence presented in court. Yet, jurors lie to get selected and convict based on personal bias and evidence not heard in court.

Law Enforcement officers swear oaths when given their badges and every time they testify. They are permitted to lie to suspects, but not under oath. Yet a high percentage commit perjury daily, including forensic experts who are often sworn officers as well The blue code of silence ensures that an honest cop will not report a corrupt one.

All citizen witnesses swear an oath before testifying Many have a reality show mentality, a poor understanding of the burden of proof and are vulnerable to manipulative police and prosecutors. They consciously lie to help lock up the perceived bad guys

Prison inmates swear an oath before testifying as well Most are already convicted felons, career criminals, and enjoy testifying against those who worked for a living Prosecutors openly coach these jailhouse informants and provide them with information on the case. They give them free passes on their admittedly serious crimes In effect, prosecutors commit a crime against the victims of these snitches One former prosecutor likened the relationship between informants and their handlers to 'falling in love with your rat' Rewarding snitch testimony constitutes bribery of witnesses and manifests itself in many forms Serious charges are dropped, sentences reduced, preferential treatment and jobs in prison, money placed on commissary accounts, financial help to move and even purchase a business.

From 2008 to 2013 nearly 50,000 Federal convicts (out of 400,000 convicted) had their prison terms reduced in exchange for testifying against someone Pennsylvania state cases are even worse Virtually all of the current 181 Death Row and over 5,000 life sentenced prisoners had lying snitches used to convict them Entire state prisons are dedicated to housing them.

Death penalty statutes list aggravating factors warranting the imposition of death California has a unique one 'Perjury Causing Execution.' If an executed inmate is later determined to have been innocent, and your perjury was the prime reason for conviction, you can be charged with his murder and face execution yourself.

Legal scholars estimate that at least one percent of American prisoners are innocent The number is closer to four percent, with Death Row and lifers the primary victims of the perjury parade. When your lies take someone's freedom or their lives, it is no minor sin. And remember that all harm suffered by that person's family is a plague on your accursed soul as well.

An unknown author said "The rule of Law is like a three-legged stool supported by an honest judge, an ethical bar and an enforceable oath." What happens when all three are broken? In the 18th century English legal scholar William Blackstone is credited with saying "It is far better to let ten guilty people go free, than to convict a single innocent person."

Kevin Brian Dowling, Pennsylvania

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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