Friday, October 01, 2004

Death Warrant - How it starts

Mine was signed in the Mid 80´s. I was kicked back in my cell listening to some music on the head phones. Not really paying attention to anything in particular. Just another day in paradox.

Then, three guards showed up in front of my cell. I pulled the headphones off - looked up at them. The sergeant said: "You need to get dressed - your wanted in the Colonels office." I knew then what was up. I´d seen it before - happen to other men near me. One of my pals asked whats up - we always checked out a situation - to be sure they weren´t pulling something wrong on someone.

I said my time to go see the Colonel. He said: " Oh take care man." You don´t say much at such times. Maybe because there´s not much you can say. Or quite sure what to say. So, take care
man - says it all - I understood.

I got dressed - left my cell as it was. They would come in and pack it up later. When the calls comes you all take is the clothing you have on. Part of their security procedures. Walked off the wing - the SGT. yelled clear the hallway. When a guy on Death Row went on call out. That´s how it was done. The hallway from R-Wing to the Colonels office is a straight walk. I´d guess 150 - 175 yards. Through two gates - past several wings.

The office itself is right across the main control room. Go in another small gated door to enter. It has like nine small offices. Four - usually used for attorney visits. Other for administration offices.

I was brought in, told to stand before the desk. The Assistant superintendent sat behind the desk. He said: " I guess you know why your here." I said yes. He: " the Governor has signed your Death Warrant" then proceeded to read it off to me.

I don´t remember all it said. But the significant part was the time set and day I was to be executed by electrocution. It´s kinda of chilling to hear it all read and know the exact time and day. Before that day - the years I had waited for that day. I think I had tried to shut that all out. Push it aside. I had not really dealt with it. So it came home all at once - after he read it - he asked if I understood it. I just nodded yes. He added if you need to call anyone a phone will be available.

That was all. I was walked back down the hall - not back to R-Wing - but to Q-Wing. Where the execution chamber is. Placed on the west side. You may of heard of Q-Wing - they later named it X-Wing - where Frank Valdes was beaten to death. But, at the time it was Q-Wing.


At 12:31 PM, Blogger William Van Poyck said...

My brother, William Van Poyck, was Frank Valdes's co-defendant. After Frank was murdered by the prison guards, Bill was transferred to Virginia's death row where he is working on his certiorari petition to US Supreme Court. Bill's website is and his blog is


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