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STANDING DEER: A Message To The People

Standing Deer made his transition on Jan. 20,2003, shortly after being released from prison.
I keep this page up in memory of a warrior.
Standing Deer August 26, 1932 - January 20, 2003



A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE Posted September 18, 1999 by standingdeer This solidarity statement was written to be delivered to the People at the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty 3rd annual Memorial Day weekend protest in Huntsville, Texas on May 30, 1998

In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, the chiefs, elders, clan mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, I send warmest greetings and solidarity to the members, friends and supporters of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty! AHO! My name is Standing Deer, and I am being held captive by the State of Texas at the Pack One Prison in Navasota, Texas.

In america, one of the few things that the poor have better access to than the rich is the death penalty. There are no rich folks on death row. That archaic, barbarous teaching of "an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth" applies only to us, the poor. The official document issued by the coroner when a prisoner is murdered by the state says: "HOMICIDE". Yet the killers walk tall like they were John Wayne before his stomach rejected him. It's madness, but their position is constantly validated by the violence and ragged horror displayed on television. I'm afraid the conscience of america has crawled off under the White House and died.

There are employees of the TDCJ -- it is impossible to know how many because they have to stay in the closet for fear of losing the respect of their fellow employees, or worse yet their jobs -- who believe as we do that EXECUTIONS ARE WRONG! I know one who believes that executions are being carried out by moral imbeciles with high I.Q.s who will be looked upon by history as we, today, look upon Hitler's Nazis.

The day they killed Karla Faye, I dozed off while waiting for some kind of word, and had a dream that I was at the Execution Chamber watching in horror as they strapped her on the gurney. Suddenly, at the last moment, the man with the poison came out from behind a curtain and just said: "NO!" Another guard said, "BASTA!" And one, "STOP!" "ENOUGH!" Shouted another, "I WILL NOT BE AN ACCOMPLICE TO THIS MURDER!" And with that, the first guard threw the poison to the floor and began releasing Karla Faye from her bonds.

The preacher and warden (the same ones who had held another victim down at another day, another time) became enraged and attempted to re-secure her bonds, but the guards restrained them while others poured into the murder chamber with tears in our eyes, helping Karla Faye to her feet while there was laughing and crying all around, and she was free at last. The guards were dancing with the people, and in the dream I heard the voice of Nietzche saying, "Whoever fights monsters whould see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." I awakened in my dark, dank cage to the cold reality that our sister was with us no more, and the mass murderer knownas the State of Texas still stalked the land.

When I think about how wrong the death penalty is, a shiver runs up and down my spine: "What if they had murdered my brother, Leonard Peltier?" Leonard, who has been in captivity for more than twenty-two years for a crime he did not commit. If they had taken Leonard's life, who would lead us by his courage and example? Today, good people all over the world know that Loenard is innocent, and because he still lives and breathes he will one day be free.

We will yet, one day FREE LEONARD PELTIER!

All of you who struggle in unity to abolish the heinous crime of state-sanctioned murder are heroines & heros. Work like hell! Agitate, propagate, educate, and remember when you save or extend the life of a single individual the true reward is from Creator to your heart. Remeber the words of Mandela: "There are victories whose glory lies only in the fact that they are known to those who win them."

Let me express my profound thanks and solidarity to all of you who believe in our cause, and especially to all of you on death row throughout the land. I extend to you the left hand of my left arm which is the closest to my heart. My love and strength are with you every step of the way!


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