Sunday January 30th, 2011
Hey y’all. Well, we had oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on October
13th, 2010. So one way or another we’re making history, here. When I sat down
and figured out how to file this civil rights suit against D.A. Switzer (and,
let me say right here too, I did not do all the figuring; my attorneys deserve
most of the credit. I came up with the structural frame of the claim. The basics
of what I wanted to do. But they are the real architects and engineers making
this plane fly).
Speaking of planes flying, on 11.24.10, the day before Thanksgiving and 8 months
to the day after my execution date (NDE 03.24.10) the private attorney
representing D.A. Lyn Switzer, Greg Coleman, was flying his mother-in-law and
her brother to meet Coleman’s wife and other family for Thanksgiving in Destin,
Florida when he crashed and burned 1500 ft out in the water from shore, killing
him and everyone on board. There have been a lot of strange deaths associated
with my case over the years. As one attorney recently noted on Scotusblog, the
case has been brutal. I think Coleman’s mishap was his own making; he’d
apparently been running on 16+hr workdays for years and only 3-4 hours of sleep
a night. I think he was just too stressed out and suffering exhaustion. After
reading all the news articles and NTSB findings on the crash, I’m convinced
that’s what happened. There seemed to be no indication of mechanical failure so
that leaves only weather conditions (sea fog low and heavy) and pilot error.
This guy had written some really hateful and very untruthful stuff in his brief
in the Supreme Court about me. I was really hot at him and beaming some bad and
upset feelings at him. I think any agent of the state should adhere to a higher
level of honor and integrity than to lodge arguments with the nation’s highest
court (or any court) that are patently false; full of guile, deceit, sleight of
hand and treachery. But, now he’s dead and I feel really bad for being mad at
him. Some days I think I really am crazy as hell: this man tried to help usher
my death for a crime I didn’t commit yet I feel bad for him. I feel really bad
for his poor wife and kids, who are now without a husband and the kids are gonna
grow up without their dad.
Had to get that outta my system and off my chest! It’s been eatin’ my lunch. It
still is. I cannot reconcile in my mind how a guy who was supposed to be such a
great advocate of the downtrodden, a wonderful husband and father, could stoop
to the levels he did, to write the kind of malicious stuff he did in his briefs
in my case.
I’m tired of talkin’ about my innocence and my case; and all the associated
effluvia and errata it’s generated. 17+ years. I’m tired. Exhausted.
Hey check this out: what if you were technically guilty as hell of capital
murder as it is described in the statutes but totally justified morally,
physically and in actuality? What if you could say, I had not choice. It was
self-defense. Do it or die myself. I did it, I’m not the least bit remorseful,
nor should I be; if I had to do it over again, I’d do exactly the same. I’m
about to relate to you three such cases.
The first is Rogelio Reyes Cannady #99245 who was executed May 19th, 2010. RIP
Roy. We called him “Cowboy Roy” because at one time, every time the police tried
to get him out of his cell, he thought it was rodeo season. I spent a lot of
time ridin’ with Roy after he first came to D.R. in December 1997. We ended up
in solitary together at Ellis and were the first two off the bus when they began
to transfer us over here to Polunsky. Roy was like my own personal guide because
he’d been locked up in a succession of these 2250 prototype SHU supermaxes TX
had constructed all over the state. This place is so different from Ellis and
all they had over here was ad seg and they were aggravated all to hell – “agg” –
so were the bosses (officers). Psych patients, feces slingers, etc.
Roy was one of the best people I have ever met in my years on death row. Just a
real solid dude on all four corners, head-to-toe. He was thrown in prison for a
crime he didn’t commit – a crime which was actually committed by a cop’s son and
the cop framed Roy. Years later, when this cop learned of Roy’s fate, he made
some tapes where he confessed how he framed Roy and set him up, then shot
himself, committed suicide. Roy’s case was tragic. He was a juvenile certified
as an adult, given a life sentence and thrown in prison with grown men twice his
size. But Roy learned how to fight and he survived. He had a particular hatred
for the police and whipped guards relentlessly.
They got tired of him beating up the officers and they set him up, more or less.
They put him in a cell with a known booty bandit named Bonal. Roy was a small
fellow who had a lot of heart. Bonal started coming on to Roy. Roy told him
point blank he wasn’t into homosexuality. Roy was sick with the flue and in a
weakened state. He feared if he fell asleep this guy Bonal would try to tie him
down and rape him. Bonal attacked Roy. Roy had his belt wrapped around his hand,
threaded through two combination locks.
They fought. Bonal was twice Roy’s size and outweighed him by a considerable
margin. Despite being the underdog, Roy prevailed and killed Bonal. He was
locked in a cell and literally fighting for his life and for his ass. If you
snitch or get “turned out” (raped) in prison, you lose respect and all the
sharks will attack you and take you for everything you’ve got. So Roy quite
literally had no choice in the world except to do what he did. The state of TX
put Roy in that position, then killed him over it. What’s even worse is Roy
should never have been in prison to start with. And more than that, the law they
used to kill him wasn’t even in effect when Roy killed Bonal; it was applied to
him years later, ex post facto, which is illegal. But this is Texas! As if that
makes it ok.
The second case is similar. Leet Taylor who we call “Tiny” #99344. Tiny is a
‘wood that was known by the prisoners at the time but not the prison
administration. Tiny was convicted as a juvenile, certified to stand trial as an
adult just like Rogelio. Tiny was placed on a cellblock full of Blacks. Some day
it was intentional. Tiny had a reputation as someone who would stand up and
fight no matter what. Some units in Texas are racially segregated. Tensions stay
high. Violence can erupt any second. So when these dudes cliqued on Tiny, he had
literally no help. They told him, at breakfast when they roll the doors, “it’s
At Tiny’s trial the state faulted him for “not notifying any officer and
alerting him to the potential trouble” sot they could’ve got him out of harm’s
way. That would’ve certainly got Tiny killed. It’s called snitching and catching
out. i.e. telling it and running. In Texas (or any prison) if you tell it, you
got a jacket (reputation) as a snitch. Catch outs are considered cowards and
become targets of the strong arms (extortionists) and booty bandits (rapists).
No prisoner in his right mind is going to “notify” or “alert” any officer.
That’s an instant death sentence of an excruciating kind. Also you gotta figure
it was the laws (ranking officers) who got you assigned to this Black cellblock
and since they don’t do anything without a purpose, they must’ve intended for
this result to occur. What good’s it gonna do to tell them anything? They are
not going to help you. They’d just laugh and tell you som’ like “you got
yourself in it, get yourself out”.
When it went down, Tiny defended himself – they brought it to him, he didn’t
instigate anything. He prevailed against the guys who attacked him and ended up
killing one of them. All of this happened only because Tiny was misclassified
and put in a situation where he didn’t belong. Texas did that to him and now
they’re trying to kill him for it.
What’s worse in Tiny’s case is the underlying case he was serving time for that
put him in prison was committed as a juvenile. The U.S. Supreme Court has
outlawed the execution as punishment for a crime committed as a juvenile. In
Texas, this underlying conviction is what was used to elevate the murder he
committed in prison to capital murder. Tiny was doing life for aggravated
robbery. Under TX law that’s what’s known as a 3rd degree offense. The law says
that if you’re serving time for a 3rd degree offense and kill someone in prison,
it’s capital murder. That law was meant to deter willfully aggressive prisoners,
not those setup by circumstance or intent as both Rogelio (Roy) or Lee (Tiny)
were. Both of these cases were just bad prosecutions by overly zealous
prosecutors posing and posturing to look “tough on crime” in the Bush era.
Rogelio is dead. Tiny is not, yet. His case is in the U.S. Supreme Court (S.Ct
or SCOTUS) just like mine, but they’ve not agreed to hear his case, yet. Let’s
pray they do. It stands to reason that if you can’t kill a man for a crime
committed as juvenile, you likewise cannot kill him for one which is used to
elevate a later crime to capital murder; because either way, you’re still
killing a guy for a crime committed as a juvenile, right? Exactly.
Wouldn’t you know, I saved the best for last! None of them are best; they’re all
bad really. But this last case I’m about to relate to you is the wildest thing
I’ve heard in awhile. Texas has a reputation to over-the-top, hot-doggin’,
abusive cops. But this one really takes the cake.
Meet office Nix. “Psycho Nix”. Aptly so called. Officer Nix here is a Dallas cop
who has a habit of jerking citizens off the sidewalk and slamming on their faces
(Anthony Williams, 14 years old, 08.23.06) and shooting people he don’t like
just because they’re scared of him and running from the abuse he threatens
(Raquel Sosa and Jesus Ortiz. On July 21st 2002, Nix chased them on foot into a
big drainage pipe over a mere traffic violation. When they emerged from the
other end, Nix drew a bead on Ortiz while cussing him and shot him in the
buttocks, killing him). At the time officer Nix demise he had two uses of
excessive force sustained against him and many more pending. If he had not died
on March 23rd 2007, he likely would’ve been fired from his job shortly after.
OK, meet Wesley Ruiz #999536. Born Nov 1979, he’s 27 years old on 03.23.07. He
lives in a very rough part of town. He’s armed with a pistol for his own
protection. He borrow a friend’s car to run some errands. Two cops on a task
force who’re UC in a plain truck see Ruiz be-boppin’ down the road and
arbitrarily (and very incorrectly) decide this car Ruiz is driving matches the
description of a car involved in a murder that’d happened recently – it didn’t
match. So they call in a marked unit to make a traffic stop and use that as a
springboard to search the car and its occupant. Such pretextual “stop and
arrests” are illegal but they do it all the time in TX.
Ruiz knows if he gets stopped he’s going to jail. So he runs. Who’d blame him?
Gotta take that small chance. Maybe he’ll get lucky and get away. He’s got
enough problems as it is. Other than just refusing to stop and trying to get
away, Ruiz has done nothing wrong. Even in TX, mere evading is not a killing
He spins out trying to make a corner and winds up in someone’s yard. Pyscho Nix
pulls his cruiser nose-to-nose with Ruiz’ stalled car, leaps out, draws his
weapon, runs over to the passenger side while screaming at Ruiz “if you try to
get away, MFER, I’ll kill your ass!” Nix puts his gun on the ground (ain’t he
brite?), grabs his asp off his service belt and starts pounding the read
passenger window. An asp is a telescopic series of coil springs with a big lead
sap weight on the end of it. It’s a mean weapon. When you swing it, the spring
makes the weight whiplash into the target with a force magnified exponentially.
Ruiz hears the crack of the asp against glass and thinks it’s a gunshot.
Believing this crazy cop is making good on his threat to kill him, Ruiz reached
into the backseat, grabs his pistol and fires one shot at Nix’s shoulder just to
disable him so he can’t shoot at him again. He’s not trying to kill Nix, just to
stop Nix killing him, Ruiz.
He drops the pistol and faces the front where the other (5) officers involved
insanely open up a fusillade of bullets that takes the terms “excessive force”
and “overkill” to new heights.
Without another shot fired by Ruiz, these officers expend 56 (fifty six) rounds
of ammunition, hitting Ruiz 14 times. Ruiz is not in an offensive posture when
he’s shot. He’d already dropped his weapon and surrendered. But still he’s shot
fourteen times (14) !!!?? Unbelievable.
All of these actions D.P.D. officers violate every procedural protocol in their
operations manual. They weren’t supposed to force a high speed chase in a
residential section; they we’re not supposed to bum rush the stalled car with
guns drawn; officer Nix was not supposed to go running up to the car with gun
drawn threatening death to Ruiz for nothing; and they surely weren’t supposed to
shoot him after he’d relinquished his weapon, fourteen times (14), nor expend
fifty six (56) rounds!
Although they took him to the hospital and gave him very minimal treatment,
within a day and a half they threw him out of took him to an isolated single
cell at Dallas County jail, hoping he’d die. He still somehow managed to live
Officer Nix wasn’t as lucky. He was hit in the shoulder/collarbone area but the
bullet struck his badge and ricocheted into his neck, severing his carotid
artery. Officer Nix subsequently bled out on the ground and in the car on the
way to the hospital – the officers thought they could get him to the E.R. faster
than waiting on an ambulance.
You can blame Ruiz all you want but the fact remains that these officers openly
and very damn viciously attacked a citizen on false, pretextual pretenses later
found to have no basis in fact, tried to assassinate him in order to cover it up
(another citizen witness on the scene who observed the incident says the police
opened up on Ruiz and shot him first), then convicted him of capital murder for
defending himself against Nix.
Here’s the kicker: it’s capital murder to kill a cop who’s acting in furtherance
of discharging his lawful duties. Office Nix, when he was shot, was not acting
in furtherance of discharging any lawful duty. Had he merely used the P.A.
system in his vehicle to address Ruiz and tell him to exit the vehicle with his
hands in the air where he can see them and to place his hands on the hood of the
vehicle and assume the position officer Nix would still be alive today. Officer
Nix’s illegal actions got him killed.
Now, I got some questions for y’all and I want some answers! I get tired of
being a lone voice on this sphere of new balls I chunck outta the hellhole from
time to time. Time for you folks out there to give me some feedback. I demand
interaction, now! Ha/Ha J
Seriously though, here’s my questions:
• Did Rogelio Cannady deserve to die? I’ve already said I believe he did not.
If you think his execution was just, tell me why you believe that.
• Does Lee Taylor deserve to die for defending himself in a lethal situation in
which the state placed him? If you say yes, tell me why.
• Does Wesley Ruiz deserve to die for defending himself against this psycho
officer Nix? Again, if you say yes, tell me why. Explain it, spell it out in
This is not a debate on the death penalty here. This is an assessment of
potential consequences of someone’s actions in abstract. In any of the three
instant cases I described, do these guys’ actions merit death and, if so, why?
Rogelio’s dead. Put some flowers on his grave. Tiny’s not dead but soon could
be. Ruiz is just starting out his appeal process. Please write and offer him
support and encouragement to Tiny and Wesley, OK. You know, when I first met
Wesley and he told me the story himself, I would’ve swore he was lying.
Embellishing, aggrandizing, shading it his way. Nope. He was 100% truthful in
every fact he related. I’ve read his brief written by Lydia Brandt, a well-known
D.P. appellate attorney. She’s 100% reliable in citing the evidence and trial
record. It’s just too insane to be real, I tell you! But it’s real!
Tiny’s case has some mean twists and subterfuge engaged by the swine, too. But
it involves gangs and stuff I can’t speak on because I don’t know what’s
permissible to say publicly. I’ll let Tiny explain to you what he can, if you
write him. You should!
Well, I just wanted to give y’all some’ to think about. You never know what’s
gonna happen in your life from one day to the next, eh. I’d guarantee you, on
the days it happened, neither of these guys woke up and thought “hey today, I’m
gonna kill a prisoner and get sentenced to death”. You think Ruiz knew, when he
left to run errands, he’d wind up shot 14 times, on the 6 o’clock news, with a
cop dead and he’s charged with it? Nope. No way.
That’s the Hellhole News for this edition, Sunday January 30th, 2011. Goodnight
and have a pleasant evening. Write me too! At the address below:
999143 Polunsky Unit
H W Hank Skinner
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston TX 77351-8580
For those of you who use JPay to write, don’t forget to always include your
postal address and your e-mail address after your signature, so I can reply to
you. http://www.jpay.com don’t forget to enter my TDC number as an 8-digit number:
PS. Two more things about the Ruiz case: to anyone who doubts that the swine
tried to assassinate Mr. Ruiz – after they expended 56 rounds, hitting him 14
times, they left him, unconscious and bleeding. Laying half out of his car for
over an hour and later had the temerity to call it a “standoff”!! On Nix MySpace
page he answered a survey question about how he wanted to die, saying he wanted
to go out “in a blaze of glory”. I guess he got his wish. After Mr. Ruiz arrest,
once they learned he lived, Dallas police spin doctors went on a long propaganda
smear campaign against Mr. Ruiz, calling him everything from a “zetas drug
cartel associate”, to a “known methamphetamine dealer” to a “confirmed gang
member” ad nauseum. None of these accusations were ever proven true because, of
course, they are not true at all. All of this was designed to counter the
allegations D.P.D. knew (or thought they knew) were coming about their ambushing
a citizen and trying to assassinate him with no justifiable or plausible
probable cause at all, except the pretext stop and arrest I mentioned earlier;
which of course was illegal. Unfortunately for Mr. Ruiz, he was appointed a
sellout lawyer who wholly failed to adequately represent him pretrial or at the
trial itself. So here he sits on death row.