My Penpal Goes Home

One day I received an envelope which contained a court notice that my penpal had an execution date. I freaked out! He was innocent, everyone told me. He would be exonerated. What was going on?

When the badman called me, I asked him about it. He said it was just a way to accelerate the case. My penpal's attorney was now ready to file appeals. I asked the badman to keep me informed.

Since I began writing, 2 inmates had been executed. The badman told me on the day of an execution, things were pretty somber, even though the inmate was moved a few days before to the holding cell. He said it was pretty hard to get to know someone, regardless if you liked them or not, only to know the exact moment he was being killed.

Everything on the row was business as usual. My penpal called me a few hours before one of the executions. I had thought they would be on lock down. The other inmates watched a movie during the actual execution. To take their minds off of what was happening, I guess. The badman told me they could hear the protesters outside.

My penpal was granted a stay, as expected, and was in court within a few months. His case was thrown out and the state decided not to re-charge him. By now I had a computer with internet so I was able to read the new articles and watch the news videos of him walking through the gates. The smile on his face spoke volumes!

He has been home now for a few years and is doing well. I speak to him a couple of times a year.

When I first came up with this idea, I truly thought everybody in prison was guilty. I thought he would be executed, my good deed would be done, and I would move on. While a better ending came, I still had intentions of leaving death row behind me, just as my penpal had done. But the badman had a whole different idea!

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