No one deserves to die!
My name is Bobby Lee Hines, I am on Texas death row, I have
been here for almost 12 years now and I first came here at the age of 19 years
old. I am now into the last stage of my appeals.
I would like to take the time to say a few words, if you are
willing to listen.
I often wonder if the people in the free world really
understand that there's two types of society? You have the free world society
and the prison society.
When I was sentenced to death, it was because a jury was
randomly picked out from the free world society and then given the power to make
such a life and death decision! These people on the jury had no degree's in
psychology. None that I remember were even a doctor of any kind!
The jury deciding I was or could be a threat to society is why
I was sentenced to death, NOT because I was found guilty of a crime. There are
two special issue questions the jury had to answer in the punishment phase that
clearly show that! Here they are just as they were when given to the jury in my
Special issue 1: Do you find from the evidence that
there is a "probability" beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant
Bobby Lee Hines would commit criminal acts of violence that constitute a
continuing threat to society? jury answered YES
Special issue 2: Taking into consideration all of the
evidence, including the circumstances of the offense, the defendant's character
and background, and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, is there a
sufficient mitigating circumstance or circumstances to warrant that a sentence
of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence be imposed? jury answered NO
Would you for a moment reread this again and notice that the
state is asking the jury to take a "guess" at the answers, because
again they have "no" type of degrees and just thought (guessed)
that I might be a threat to society. Now in special issue 2, last sentence
asking, if life imprisonment should be imposed, nowhere do they explain that
there are two types of society. They weren't given a way to make a clear
decision but only a way to make only a guess!
The jury had even asked the judge how much time would I have
to do in prison on a life sentence if given one! And the judge said: "you
don't have to worry about that, that is no concern to you all!"
Now how could any jury be able to make such a drastic decision
when they were denied information that they had asked for? This should have been
the biggest part in deciding if one should live or die! Not only that, but the
state allowed witnesses to lie in my trail on the stand in front of the jury. In
short, I was charged with aggravated robbery at age 14, I had a trail and was
acquitted-(not found guilty)of that charge. In my capital trail, then age 19,
witness got up on the stand and stated that I was convicted of that aggravated
robbery charge at age 14. Me being only 19 years old at the time of my
trail, I didn't know anything about the law. Ask yourself, "how much
do you really know about the laws of the court system?" Even more so when
you're just looking back to a younger age of 19. My lawyers didn't object,
and my appeal lawyers said that due to that , I waved my issue on appeal for it!
This was no fault of my own, but the fault of the trail lawyers. The point here
is, if the jury would have known that I was not guilty of that aggravated
robbery charge at age 14, they may have or could have had a different opinion in
the matter of deciding whether I was not a threat to society, or at least the
prison society, and may have given me a life sentence rather than a death
I truly am not a threat to either the free world-or the prison
After all appeals are up, there is only one way to receive a
life sentence. This is through what they call a clemency hearing. There has only
been one clemency given since 1976 until now June 22, 2003. In this time
there has been some 315 executions, about 265 of them have been executed since
I've been on death row.
The people deciding whether to recommend clemency to the
governor don't look at the facts that they should be looking at. If they would
look and see that the trial court in my case used just 8 years of my past for
the jury to decide that I would or could be a threat to society. If they
would look at my prison record over the past 11 years that I have been locked up
on death row, they would clearly see that I'm not a threat to any society. Plus
if they would take an over all count of cases that are in the "prison
society" that have life sentences or 40,50 to 60 year sentences or more,
looking into their prison records etc....then look at mine, they again would see
that I would not in any way pose any type of threat to a prison society, and
that I could in fact live in the prison society with a life sentence!
To prove my point to the fact, I spent some 8 plus years on a
death row work program. Now the program was closed down due to an escape. Note
that I had nothing to do with it. But 8 plus years I lived being able to
move around freely everyday, all day! Sixty (60) death row inmates on one wing
with the cell doors opening up everyday, every hour on the hour, with only one
"unarmed guard" working inside the wing, never feeling threatened,
and no one ever hurt guards. I worked with and around 12 inch scissors,
all types of shears and many different types of tools, working, living and
functioning just as any other inmate would in any prison society. Again, I'm no
threat to any society. I can and would live in the prison society with a life
sentence if given the chance.
No one deserves to be strapped down to that gurney to
I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me and
what I've written. Any help or just input that you may have, please feel free to
write to me at the address listed below! I'll write more again soon!
Bobby Lee Hines
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351