CEDP's blog

In Struggle

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Yesterday was visit day.  It was going to be a special visit day because finally after six months of trying to get someone in TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) to talk to me, I was going to meet the new warden and he was going to help me. For six months I had been trying to get approval to bring my iPad to visits so that I would have access to my speech assistive app.  Because of Lou (ALS), I am losing my ability to speak; this app will speak for me. Six months of closed doors, messages unanswered, phone calls unreturned, an Ombudsman office investigation that resulted in my request being denied, another fax, a new warden (who happens to have a close friend with Lou and who just happened to meet and speak to Rodney during a recent lockdown), another message left, and finally a call back. Yesterday was the day my iPad got approved and I have an official TDCJ IOC (inter-office communication) to prove it.


Lou

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

I recently became familiar with a journalist/author, Dudley Clendinen.  Mr. Clendinen died May 31, 2012 of complications of ALS—the disease I also have.  Before his death, Mr. Clendinen did a weekly radio show on NPR in Baltimore, called "Living with Lou“–“Lou" for Lou Gehrig, baseball great who also died of ALS complications.  Most people are more familiar with the name Lou Gehrig's disease than the medical name ALS.  Mr. Clendinen and I shared a very similar take on "Lou".

Lou is merciless, relentless, a pit bull, a ball-buster.  There is no treatment.  There is no cure. Lou is also a patient teacher, a spiritual guide, a "live in the moment" Master.  John O'Donnell, a favorite author, wrote a book of blessings and one of the blessings that I have really embraced is titled “For A Friend on the Arrival of an Illness”.  I consider myself a friend so it seemed an auspicious blessing for me.  


Living in the Land of "Is and Isn't"

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a place where we are powerless to change our circumstances, where we are powerless to fix a situation. Two recent experiences that both Rodney and I had are about this place, a place I've named the land of "is and isn't".

My wonderful massage therapist/friend, Jessica, came to work with me recently.  About midway through our work, Jessica had me sit up on the massage table while she did some energy work.  As I was sitting, I had a vision.  In my heart's eye, I saw and felt Rodney walking down my porch. As he approached my door, Jessica looked up at him, and Rodney put his finger to his lips in the "shh" motion.  I had the strongest urge to turn around to look at him; at the same time I knew if I did he wouldn't be there—yet. This was the most delightful déjà vu of a future experience I've ever had!  So, I didn't turn around and Rodney remained there, smiling, watching the entire rest of the massage.


Why is Rodney still locked in a cell?

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

The only evidence the prosecution had, well, really didn't have, has been completely refuted by their only witness, former Medical Examiner Robert Bayardo.  Rodney's case sits on the desk of a federal district judge and because of the 1996 law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Anti-terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA); it is possible that the refutation may not meet the necessary threshold of relevance to matter. What?


Post Visit NEWS!!!

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Tuesday was visit day.  This week's visit was with Rodney's long-time friend, Julie, affectionately known as “Wildflower Jewels”.  We had a wonderful, blessed, fun (which still always astounds me in that place) joyous two hours together.

There's a "post visit" drill I follow every visit, no matter how tired I am, no matter how late it is when I get home. I usually have what I affectionately call "assignments" from Rodney for when I get home. This day's assignments were to email his attorney Bryce Benjet and send Rodney a Jpay, letting him know we arrived home safe and sound. I wrote Bryce's email, and then I got busy writing Rodney's Jpay.


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