I found this on line about this POS. I think it says it all.
VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: Won't you help Steve Woods get a hot meal?
Columnists receive a fair amount of prisoner mail.
Last week, I received a letter from Texas death row inmate Steve Woods, 23. His letter complained about conditions on the death row there in Livingston, Texas, urging me "to put forth as much or as little effort as you can. We need you to fight with us, by calling and writing the government and the administration," etc.
The death-row inmates are locked down 23 hours per day inside their 6 by 9-foot "steal and concrete" cells, Woods reveals. When they are let out for exercise, they are strip searched and "placed in hand restraints -- on a leash, and led around like some kind of animal being walked."
They're not even allowed to watch television!
And it gets worse. The death row inmates are, Woods writes, "constantly degraded" by guards who "call us names, trying to take what little dignity remains." Policy dictates that they receive three warm meals per day, but, "In reality, the food is served cold, more often than not, and on broken and dirty food trays. The guards who serve the meals don't wear gloves or even wash their hands. ...
"Visitation, however, is our biggest issue. ... These visits are the most cruel, inhumane punishment. Through a solid, thick sheet of glass, we can see our loved ones. To talk to them, we have to use telephones that distort their voices. Most of us will die without ever being able to touch, hug, hold our families and friends."
Do you have a question? I had a question.
Other than his signature, and the line that addresses his letter to me, Woods' letter contained no names. It mentions no other human soul.
What names might I have expected Woods to mention?
Well, let's take Bethena Lyn Brosz, for starters. Born Oct. 10, 1981, that would have made Bethena 19 years old on Wednesday, May 2, 2001, when she decided to spend part of a spring day with a young man of her acquaintance, 21-year-old Ronald Whitehead of Dallas. Ron just told her he had to take a little detour to talk to a man about some business.
Bethena sang in her high school choir, took advanced placement classes and had graduated the year before with a 3.82 GPA. She was taking her freshman year courses at the University of North Texas in Denton, and hoped to go to Colorado to study astronomy for her degree.
Why might Woods spare a word or two in his long letter of complaint for Bethena Lyn Brosz, who he only met once -- and then only briefly?
Do a Web search for Mr. Woods, and you'll find his name cropping up on the Web sites of any number of anti-death-penalty groups, many of them written in German and other European languages. But for some reason, few of these offer much detail about why Mr. Woods is where he is. One could almost conclude that Steven Michael Woods Jr., 23, just woke up one morning and found himself on the Texas death row, without a hint as to why he was there.
In fact, here's the prison system's summary of what a Texas jury unanimously convicted Woods of doing:
"On May 2, 2001, in The Colony, Texas, Woods and one co-defendant used a .380-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber pistol, and a knife to kill a 21-year-old white male victim by shooting the victim six times in the head and cutting his neck four times. A 19-year-old white female victim was also killed by receiving two shots to the head, one shot in the knee, and cutting her throat. Woods and the co-defendant took property from the victims which included their car keys, backpacks, a cell phone and other personal items."
Police said the killing of Ronald Whitehead, a Deep Ellum drug dealer, was motivated in part because his LSD sales were cutting into Woods' business. Bethena Brosz was in the wrong place at the wrong time, police said.
Having left home before finishing high school, Woods has said in interviews that he traveled to Chicago, New York and then Dallas in search of quality drugs and punk-rock clubs that sold alcoholic beverages to minors. After arriving in Dallas in 1999 he quickly gravitated to Deep Ellum, where he told people he wanted to start an organized crime syndicate. He assembled a group of four young men who were subsequently charged in two separate slayings that authorities say he plotted.
Woods' partner in the Whitehead-Brosz murders, 24-year-old Marcus Rhodes, received a life sentence in exchange for his testimony. Rhodes surrendered and told police he saw Woods kill Brosz and Whitehead. Jerry Parr -- Woods' lead defense attorney -- said his client sealed his fate by bragging to acquaintances about the slayings.
Here's a little hint for all you inmates, out there. Since we're going to check and find out anyway, before you ask us to help you take care of that problem with your meals being served on "broken and dirty food trays," why don't you go ahead and tell us why you're there?
Contrition? Remorse? Former transient and drug dealer Steven Woods can still think of nothing except how unfairly he is being treated.
But I wonder how much little Bethena's family would give to be able to see her today, alive and healthy, even if it were on the other side of a "solid, thick sheet of glass." How much TV do you suppose they'd be willing to give up?
"Our precious Bethena ... " they write on their Web site, "We will remember you every time we see your favorite flowers -- shimmering purple sterling roses, stately calla lilies, or bright sunflowers. We will remember a funeral overflowing with those flowers, in a chapel full of so many broken hearts -- family from near and far -- so many friends -- so many cars at the cemetery we could not see the end. ... "
You know, Mr. Woods, I've got my own doubts about the death penalty, particularly since it seems to be applied so inequitably based on race. And I'd also worry about someone being executed based on the "bartered" testimony of their accomplice -- except for that part where your own attorney said you bragged about the killings to your friends.
But if they're going to execute anyone ... well.
I will do this much, though. I'll happily send a copy of this column to your warden, there in Livingston, and urge him to personally see to it that you get at least one nice, hot meal.
I don't have to tell you which one, do I?