Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My time with Capital X

by Christy Armell, New Mexico

I spent twelve very exciting days walking the streets with Capital X. His strength and motivation was so inspiring to me, that I knew I would also catch the fever more than ever! I arrived in Arkansas not really knowing what to expect. I was traveling many miles to help fight the atrocity of state sanctioned murder. I have had trouble getting people in New Mexico to step up to the plate and fight with me in this struggle. I guess people feel that since there are only two men on death row in New Mexico, we really don't have a problem. I was even critiqued more when I stood up for Michael Astorga, who is accused of killing a Sheriffs Officer, is facing the death penalty in New Mexico if convicted. I was told that Michael Astorga was not the person to be the poster child for the death penalty. Is there anyonet hat should be the poster child for the death penalty?

It was great to be able to go and meet with Capital X, who is someone I knew would understand my deep desire to be very vocal about the death penalty. I was relieved to finally find someone that I could lean on for support.

The moment I met X, I knew that Arkansas and Texas were in trouble!! The two of us together, well we were going to cause major damage!! When I looked at him, I saw myself!! We made our way into Texas and that experience was very bittersweet for me. I could almost smell the death in the air. All the men and women who sit on death row in Texas, waiting to be killed, I felt them all with me. They are the reason I got up every morning ( even though I am NOT a morning person) and put on my shoes to begin the day. I held tight to the Cross necklace that Rudy Medrano made for me. Rudy sits on Death row in Texas, charged under the Law of Parties. Rudy was not even at the crime scene , but was charged with capital murder because his guns were used in the crime.

I met Rick Halprin, who I admire beyond belief. his dedication to this struggle is never ending, and he taught me many things. I also met a mother and father who's only son is on death row. I felt their pain, as if it was my child sitting there, waiting to die. I thought to myself, how can this be? How can the country I live in kill in the name of Justice? It is not something I chose to be silent about.

I also met a man in the streets of Dallas who came up to me, praising me for standing up against the system. After talking awhile, he took off his sunglasses and told me that he was sentenced to die by electrocution in the late 70's. His sentence was overturned and he is free today. He cried to me when talking about the guys on the row, and said he knows what its like to have people forget about you. I get chills just talking about it now. There is so much pain in the death penalty.

I came home to New Mexico full of energy! I am ready to continue this fight here, and across the world. This is a dark circle we dance in. But together, we can and will end the suffering of so many of our brothers and sisters.

We walked here in New Mexico on May 25th, the day that Capital X was arriving in Austin. My heart was with him, Bill and everyone that was there !! We were in solidarity!!

Capital X will be in New Mexico on June 12th. We will be having activities in Albuquerque on June 13th and we will be in Santa Fe on June 16th, where we will walk from the Capitol to the SuperMax Prison. It is time for New Mexico to wake up and realize that the issue of the death penalty and the need for prison reform does effect us!!

I can be reached at christyntruman06@aol.com or at 505-299-2795

BIO About me:

I am 34 years old. I am a single mother of a 14 year old daughter. I am a student studying Criminal Justice and I am looking to be a Mitigation Specialist. I have been vocally active against the death penalty and prison reform issues for about a year. I was researching the death penalty for a class when I came across Kenneth's Fosters case. I wrote to Kenny in prison, and became very active in saving his life. Kenny is the reason I found my voice, and i always give him credit for that!! he is my brother in the struggle!!!

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