The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen

No, I don’t mean goatce, tubgirl, or lemonparty.
No, I’m not trying to be funny, cute, or sarcastic, either. I’m talking about something deeply personal and extremely disturbing… not necessarily to YOU, but definitely to ME.

Here is a website called Death Row Speaks.

To quote their main page:

Death Row Speaks is an anti-death penalty website founded in 2001 by federal death row inmates David Paul Hammer and Jeffery William Paul. The purpose of this website is to show the humanity of those condemned to death.

Okay. Fine. Lots of people are against the death penalty, and I’d suspect that death row inmates would probably be among their number. Whatever. I happen to support the death penalty. This site takes the opposite view, but that’s not why I find it to be the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s why: A list of Federal Death Row Inmates. THESE are the people for which this website was created. THESE are the people whose “humanity” they wish to show.

The sixth name on that list is one Anthony Battle.

Since they don’t the balls to put Anthony’s profile on the page where you can read it, I’ll fill you in.

Already incarcerated in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for killing is wife, Battle was… for whatever reason… trusted enough to perform some manual labor around the facility. Some of this manual labor involved the use of tools. You can guess what happens next, but in case you can’t: One day, Anthony Battle picked up one of those tools… a hammer…. crept up behind one of the guards, and hit him in the back of the head. That guard never regained consciousness, but did manage to live long enough for his family to gather at Grady Memorial Hospital and watch him die. That guard’s name was D’Antonio Washington.

He was my brother.

At the time the incident occurred, I was a college student. I worked every other semester and I was at work when I got the phone call from my dad. Something had happened. Something bad. Go to the hospital in Atlanta. You’re the closest relative, it might take us a while before we get there so… if a decision needs to be made… you make it. Just do what you think needs to be done.

Imagine what that car ride must have been like. Imagine what that must have been like for someone with an imagination like MINE. What, exactly, was I about to see? What was I going to have to DO?

Fortunately, circumstances (and the law, I suppose) kept me from having to make that decision. Instead, I got to sit in a hospital alone for hours while my brother died slowly in the next room. He never woke up. Instead, he went through alternating periods of being “barely alive” and being “kept alive by machines”. The doctors wanted to know just how long we wanted them to keep jump-staring his heart every time it stopped. My mom wanted them to keep on forever. Even if he never woke up. Even if he was brain damaged and never spoke another word or recognized his family again. It was her son and she wanted him ALIVE.

Dad and I saw things differently. There wasn’t a vote, but if there had been… my mother would have lost.

Mom was never the same after that. Never. Not even CLOSE. Not that you would expect her to be.

I’ll skip the rest of the story. You probably don’t want to hear about court dates, insanity pleas, verdicts, or sentences. The story of the time the anti-death-row activists called my mom might be entertaining, but no. I’ll move on.

The point I’m making here is, even when you’re doing something you know in your heart is right… like standing up for other “people”… you need to be very careful who you ally yourself with. Doing good things for evil people might (or might not) make you a saint in God’s eyes, but some of us see things differently. To some of us, you become tantamount to an accomplice. To some of us, you become as disgusting and inhuman as the evil you protect. To some of us, your crusade to “show the humanity” of these monsters is deeply disturbing, highly offensive, and downright infuriating.

Oh, and as for Anthony Battle? Maybe one day before they FINALLY execute you, you’ll sit down in front of a computer somewhere and google your name, and find yourself reading this. If you’ve read THIS far, you’re sicker than I thought, but still, I have a message for you:

Every character who has ever died in every story I’ve ever written. It’s you.

I’ll keep trying until I get it right.


  1. udgang99, November 9, 2007:

    Marc, I am so, so sorry to hear this story. I can’t even begin to understand how you and your family must have felt – and feel today.
    I was aware that you had lost your brother to violence, but I never knew the full story until today.

  2. WeREwOLf, November 10, 2007:

    Thanks udgang for summing up what I was feeling earlier today when I read this, but didn’t know how to say. I don’t know how else to show solidarity here except to say that anyone who reads this sobering and deeply personal account of a horrible, senseless loss, and isn’t moved by it even a little, is just… not fucking human.

    And on that note, it never ceases to amaze me that the people who show sympathy for the subhuman murderers sitting on death row, and who expect everyone else – even the families of their victims – to do the same, are too often unwilling to extend that same level of human respect and understanding to those whose lives are sundered by the violent loss of someone they loved.

    (PS: As I type this, the footer reads “Powered by the friends I’ve never met.” Take from that what you will, man.)

  3. nate, November 11, 2007:

    I don’t know if the above link helps or not, but I hope it does.

    I’d say more, but really don’t know what.

  4. DarkIcon, November 11, 2007:

    Thanks for the comments. I think you guys know me well enough to know that I didn’t post this to fish for comments or sympathy, but I appreciate them nonetheless.

    Just think; there is probably a story like mine (or much much worse) behind every one of those names.

    And thanks for the link, nate. I don’t think I’ve seen that one before. I can pretty much guarantee that picture came (indirectly) from my mom. That’s her favorite picture, although it’s of my brother in his 20’s (he was in his 30’s when he was killed). Perhaps I should write them and tell them that they have his middle name wrong. ;-)

  5. Kragon, August 24, 2008:

    Hey Marc, I was going through you old blog entries when I came across this one. I must have missed it when you first posted it. It pretty much made me sick to my stomach. My wife’s father is in corrections up her in Michigan. And shit like that makes me scared for him.

    I have no way of knowing the pain you felt and still feel. But I totally agree with you that this is one of the most disgusting things that I have seen. It’s just a sick and twisted way for cons to get sympathy….

    I’m really at a lost for words man…

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