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A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed in Texas

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Texas death row inmate Ray Jasper is scheduled to be put to death on March 19. He has written us a letter that, he acknowledges, "could be my final statement on earth." It is well worth your time.

Ray Jasper was convicted of participating in the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro. A teenager at the time of the crime, Jasper was sentenced to death. He wrote to us once before, as part of our Letters from Death Row series. That letter was remarkable for its calmness, clarity, and insight into life as a prisoner who will never see freedom. We wrote back and invited him to share any other thoughts he might have. Today, we received the letter below. Everyone should read it.


http://gawker.com/a-letter-from-ray-jasper-who-is-about-to-be-executed-1536073598

by on Mar. 6, 2014 at 2:05 PM
Replies (11-20):
pookietooth
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Most of what he wrote wasn't even about him at all. He wasn't even asking to be released, he was mostly commenting on the whole prison system. Actually, killing him absolves him of resposibility anyway, doesn't it? He is giving his life in exchange for taking somoene else's -- that is the ultimate price. Contrition would be wasted.

Quoting Sapient.Quaff:

Ray was recording a rap album at the studio. Ray planned the murder. Ray booked the studio time. Ray recruited the co-defendants. Ray actually slit the guys throat but when THAT didn't kill him, Ray's accomplice finished the job.

He literally planned a murder, set it up, lured the guy there under false circumstances, AND SLIT HIS THROAT. He then held the victim down as his friends stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach.

Now that his time has come, he's trying to cause a media stir. But did you notice he never mentions the victim? His family? The lives torn apart by his thought-out execution of another human being?

Nope.

This isn't a race thing. It's a murderer who fundamentally doesn't believe he did something wrong, can't comprehend how his actions have led him here.  And YES, he is a danger to society.

Should he be put to death? I honestly don't know. I am conflicted with the death penalty. I want to believe that all should have a chance at redemption. But this man has no empathy for the victim, nor their family. He still doesn't seem to want to admit his wrong doings, the horror he inflicted on another. It's all about him and how he's been wronged and because of that, I do believe he should never see the light of day again.


 


mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM
1 mom liked this

Someone has been reading The New Jim Crow. 

He's not being honest about his role in the crime he committed but everything else is spot on. He's right about the link between private/for profit prisons and the rise in extreme sentencing for non-violent crimes. Which I personally believe is abhorrent. I do not believe that people who are not violent should be put in prison. There are better ways to deal with people who do shitty things (like fraud, tax evasion, robbery where no one was present, embezzling, crimes of living like stealing soap and toothpaste) but are not violent. 

And he's also right about the slavery part. These private companies are using prisons to manufacture their goods. That's how we're able to compete with China and other companies. That "made in America" label means that product might have been made by a prisoner. It's abhorrent. I'm all about teaching prisoners job skills and focusing on rehabilitation and having meaningful work to do but not outright exploitation. 

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:09 AM
2 moms liked this

And he was asked to share his thoughts. About anything. This is what he chose to write about. People expect contrition or how sorry he is about what he did but the man is now facing being killed by the state so excuse me if I don't fault him for wanting to focus on the bigger picture. 

I am not condoning what he did. It just irks me when people get into a huff when a prisoner on death row writes something and it's not about how sorry they are about whatever they did. Maybe he is sorry but that won't get him very far will it? He could be full of remorse and truly regret what he did but that will not stop the state from killing him. I am disgusted by that. Being sorry will not save him. Being sorry saves very few.

Killing people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong is completely insane. It does not make our society safer and it is not a deterrent. Texas by far executes the most people but their crime rate is not lower than in Illinois where there hasn't been an execution since the late 90s.  

Quoting pookietooth:

Most of what he wrote wasn't even about him at all. He wasn't even asking to be released, he was mostly commenting on the whole prison system.

Quoting Sapient.Quaff:

Ray was recording a rap album at the studio. Ray planned the murder. Ray booked the studio time. Ray recruited the co-defendants. Ray actually slit the guys throat but when THAT didn't kill him, Ray's accomplice finished the job.

He literally planned a murder, set it up, lured the guy there under false circumstances, AND SLIT HIS THROAT. He then held the victim down as his friends stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach.

Now that his time has come, he's trying to cause a media stir. But did you notice he never mentions the victim? His family? The lives torn apart by his thought-out execution of another human being?

Nope.

This isn't a race thing. It's a murderer who fundamentally doesn't believe he did something wrong, can't comprehend how his actions have led him here.  And YES, he is a danger to society.

Should he be put to death? I honestly don't know. I am conflicted with the death penalty. I want to believe that all should have a chance at redemption. But this man has no empathy for the victim, nor their family. He still doesn't seem to want to admit his wrong doings, the horror he inflicted on another. It's all about him and how he's been wronged and because of that, I do believe he should never see the light of day again.

MelanieJK
by Silver Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

There's a stink of an agenda here that doesn't remotely ring true as being organic.   If he's on death row he's not even exposed to the general population of the prison system that he's talking about.     They're in solitary confinement. 

He says he can't look up empathy because he doesn't have a dictionary but he's siting statistics about the prison system and talking about the culture in a way that clearly indicates he's getting incoming info somewhere!

 This group should be encouraging him to be pondering how he can get redemption from his maker.    Being informed and articulate doesn't even begin to earn him the right to it here on earth or to have any voice in our society.  

pookietooth
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I did find it odd that he could get statistics like that -- someone gave them to him -- but couldn't get access to a dictionary. 

Which group are you talking about? The ones that published his letter? I would bet most of them are Athiests.

Quoting MelanieJK:

There's a stink of an agenda here that doesn't remotely ring true as being organic.   If he's on death row he's not even exposed to the general population of the prison system that he's talking about.     They're in solitary confinement. 

He says he can't look up empathy because he doesn't have a dictionary but he's siting statistics about the prison system and talking about the culture in a way that clearly indicates he's getting incoming info somewhere!

 This group should be encouraging him to be pondering how he can get redemption from his maker.    Being informed and articulate doesn't even begin to earn him the right to it here on earth or to have any voice in our society.  


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:24 AM
1 mom liked this

Well, that was interesting.

I do not support the DP for any one, ever.

I did notice, this man claims no personal responsibility.

For himself, that would have been important.  For others, as well.  

But many do not, when it comes to the end when 'we the people' make the choice to kill them.  That falls on to their souls.


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting mehamil1:

And he was asked to share his thoughts. About anything. This is what he chose to write about. People expect contrition or how sorry he is about what he did but the man is now facing being killed by the state so excuse me if I don't fault him for wanting to focus on the bigger picture. 

I am not condoning what he did. It just irks me when people get into a huff when a prisoner on death row writes something and it's not about how sorry they are about whatever they did. Maybe he is sorry but that won't get him very far will it? He could be full of remorse and truly regret what he did but that will not stop the state from killing him. I am disgusted by that. Being sorry will not save him. Being sorry saves very few.

Killing people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong is completely insane. It does not make our society safer and it is not a deterrent. Texas by far executes the most people but their crime rate is not lower than in Illinois where there hasn't been an execution since the late 90s.  

Quoting pookietooth:

Most of what he wrote wasn't even about him at all. He wasn't even asking to be released, he was mostly commenting on the whole prison system.

Quoting Sapient.Quaff:

Ray was recording a rap album at the studio. Ray planned the murder. Ray booked the studio time. Ray recruited the co-defendants. Ray actually slit the guys throat but when THAT didn't kill him, Ray's accomplice finished the job.

He literally planned a murder, set it up, lured the guy there under false circumstances, AND SLIT HIS THROAT. He then held the victim down as his friends stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach.

Now that his time has come, he's trying to cause a media stir. But did you notice he never mentions the victim? His family? The lives torn apart by his thought-out execution of another human being?

Nope.

This isn't a race thing. It's a murderer who fundamentally doesn't believe he did something wrong, can't comprehend how his actions have led him here.  And YES, he is a danger to society.

Should he be put to death? I honestly don't know. I am conflicted with the death penalty. I want to believe that all should have a chance at redemption. But this man has no empathy for the victim, nor their family. He still doesn't seem to want to admit his wrong doings, the horror he inflicted on another. It's all about him and how he's been wronged and because of that, I do believe he should never see the light of day again.

Good points made.

The no personal responsibility struck me but I did not think about it in the way you have.  I agree.

Regardless of his words, it seems clear he will be put to death.  There are no words he could say, for some, that would make them feel better about the situation or otherwise.  And isn't that what it seems to be about.....killing someone to make yourself some how feel better?

He may very well be a monster of a soul, not have a soul or what ever and how ever any given individual cares to see him.  It matters not.  

Having the power to kill another human being all the while condemning their having done the same doesn't work for me.

pookietooth
by Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Actually, I think the original letter had a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, and also meandered a bit, but I think some of his points are still important, regardless of whether he helped his own case much (sounds like he did not really).

ceefdee77
by on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm opposed to the death penalty, but David Alejandro's brother's letter sums up the way I feel about Ray Jasper's. 

" I have to say to my fellow death penalty opponent friends: Keep up your fight. It is an honorable one. But do not use this man, Ray Jasper, as your spokesperson, as your example of why the death penalty should be abolished. The death penalty should be abolished because it is wrong to kill another human being. Not because a Medical Examiner said your knife wound did not cause immediate death. Ray Jasper is not worthy of your good and kind hearts. He has never accepted culpability or expressed remorse. He is responsible for viciously ending the life of "the nicest man he ever met." Responsible for ending the life of the nicest man my family ever met, David Mendoza Alejandro."

Seasidegirl
by Gold Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

 

Quoting Sapient.Quaff:

Ray was recording a rap album at the studio. Ray planned the murder. Ray booked the studio time. Ray recruited the co-defendants. Ray actually slit the guys throat but when THAT didn't kill him, Ray's accomplice finished the job.

He literally planned a murder, set it up, lured the guy there under false circumstances, AND SLIT HIS THROAT. He then held the victim down as his friends stabbed him repeatedly in the stomach.

Now that his time has come, he's trying to cause a media stir. But did you notice he never mentions the victim? His family? The lives torn apart by his thought-out execution of another human being?

Nope.

This isn't a race thing. It's a murderer who fundamentally doesn't believe he did something wrong, can't comprehend how his actions have led him here.  And YES, he is a danger to society.

Should he be put to death? I honestly don't know. I am conflicted with the death penalty. I want to believe that all should have a chance at redemption. But this man has no empathy for the victim, nor their family. He still doesn't seem to want to admit his wrong doings, the horror he inflicted on another. It's all about him and how he's been wronged and because of that, I do believe he should never see the light of day again.


 

 Thanks for summarizing it. I really was unwilling to read it.

Disgusting.

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