Monday, December 6, 1999

The First State Lottery: Coming Face To Face With Death

The First State Lottery
December 6, 1999
George W. Skatzes 173-501 

Link to original:

To All My Supporters:
Coming Face To Face With Death 

This writing will be somewhat brief. This is surely only a fraction of the raw emotions I keep locked up in my heart. For so many years I have been nothing less than paralyzed in mind, body and spirit. This is a life of living hell! I have let so many people down and with the passing of each day it gets harder and harder for me to live with myself. 

Something happened to me this past Saturday night, December 4, 1999. There is no question in my mind that I came face to face with death! So now is the time for me to get up and Fight this Injustice or just lie down to Die. 

Also, after watching the movie Tuesdays With Morrie last night, this gave me a lot to really think about.
A lot of people probably don't understand me, the way I never write/answer letters, etc. Let's hope this writing will help clear the air. 

At this point I can only try my best I have made such a mess of things, that any effort on my part would be an improvement. 

Let me start this writing by going back to 1989 or 1990. I'm not sure of the year. That was so long ago.
In 1989 or 1990 I had to come to grips with the raw fact that I would probably die in prison. Of course this was very hard for me to deal with. 

As most of you know, before the riot I was serving a life sentence, 15 years to life for aggravated murder.
Needless for me to say, but I did Not have a Fair Trial. I was convicted and sentenced to life with No Evidence, Only the Snitch Testimony of an Inmate doing 37 to 130 Years and Looking for a Way Out of Prison. 

I won't go deep into that case of Injustice. Let's just say there would be a better time for doing so.
The point I want to make is this. I took my original case through every Court in the land which was available to me, seeking to Right this Wrong! Need I say it? They turned my case Down or Upheld the Lower Court's decision in Every Court. I had No other Hope. So in 1989 or 1990 I Gave Up! I lost my very Will to Live. It is near impossible to Bounce Back after Giving Up like that. 

I can remember so many nights in Lucasville, I prayed and prayed for the Lord to take my Life. Being honest, I just hated life period. I could see no reason to go on. The very thought of Living the Rest of My Life in Prison just did not appeal to me. Not at all! I had No Hope of Ever getting Out and no real reason to go on in life. A good friend of mine in Lucasville called me a Walking Dead Man. He hit the nail on the head.
At this time I would like to make a note here... please don't feel that I only think of myself in all this. As if I am the only one to be hurt by what took place in my life. This Injustice has all but Destroyed a lot of good people, My Loved Ones. I see this and it is so hard to live with. That is yet another story and I will just leave it for the proper time also. 

As the time passes, day by miserable day, I am only trying to make it. I can't figure out why all this was happening in my life. Really the only thing I could come up with was the Lord had a reason for letting me live and some day I would find out what it was. Life was surely a Struggle. 

Let's just step this up to April 11, 1993, the day of the Riot. A day I will Never Forget! When the Riot started I was in my Cell working on my Case.

True, I stated that I had No Hope and all, but still I was willing to Try Anything, even a Long Shot to Expose This Injustice! 

At that time I had just heard of a case in another State where a man had gotten a New Trial because a member of his Jury had a change of heart. Of course that would be at best for me a very long shot, but I got busy and started writing letters to every member of my Jury. I wanted to have the letters in the mail Monday morning, April 12, 1993, but that didn't work out. 

Well, the place Blew Up and the Madness begins. Little did I Know that day as to what the future really held for me. 

I was in No Way Involved in the Planning of that Riot. I was in No Way Involved in the Take Over!
At one point in time I was asked to Help get the Situation Under Control. Surely that really was the Biggest Mistake of my Life! I Didn't want to see people Hurt, Murdered or any of that. It was pure Madness and if I Could Help, I would. That was my frame of mind at the time. 

I got Involved and I became a Spokesman for the convict body. I really wanted to Help People in that Situation. I thought this was the best thing that I could Do. Wrong! So Very Wrong! My way of Thinking, Cost Me My Life! 

There is No Need to write about the Riot at this time. Let's go on here to the night of the Surrender. They transferred 129 of us to Mansfield. 

After we were in Mansfield about one month, they transferred three more Alleged Riot Leaders out of Mansfield. Of course I was one of them to be transferred out at that time. 

Two of us had the honor of being placed in the North Hole at Chillicothe. No doubt I was one of the lucky two! The Hell and Outright Psychological Torture Started from Day One! 

The third Alleged Riot Leader that was transferred out of Mansfield with us went to another prison. The conditions he had to endure is book worthy. 

At this point all I will add to my writing about my stay at Chillicothe is, it was Pure Hell! I spent almost 2-1/2 Years in Chillicothe. That was my Very Own Personal Psychological Torture Chamber.
There is one more point I do have to raise about my time in Chillicothe. This is a very important point. I will make it brief. I do have another separate writing on this subject. It is a Nightmare! 

The bottom line is They Worked Together to try to Break Me, get me to Snitch on Other People in the Riot. When I say They, I mean the Ohio State Highway Patrol and The Powers That Be in the Department of Corrections. They Made My Life a Living Hell! Not much has Changed to this Day! 

On October 5, 1995 they transferred me to the County Jail in Dayton. My trial was about to start. I was by no means ready to stand trial. 

All the Time I spent in Chillicothe waiting to go to trial, I could Not Get the Discovery! I could Not Prepare myself for trial. I knew so very well that I was facing Death Row, but I had No Idea what All I had Against Me! 

To keep it brief, I'll just say the Trial Was A Sham, a Nightmare of the Worst Kind. I really Didn't Have A Trial! I also have a separate writing on this issue. If anybody would want a copy I am sure we can work something out. 

Moving along in time. ..January 30, 1996 I was Sentenced to Death! Immediately upon sentencing they rushed me off to Mansfield and Death Row. 

None of this really came as a shock to me. I knew it was corning. The way my Lawyer Handled the Trial, there could have Only Been ONE VERDICT! I was Doomed from Day One! No Hope! 

Upon my arrival at Mansfield' s Death Row, I was informed I would be placed in Administrative Control, Level 3. This is the Wont that One Can Get! A/C, Level 3, is by far the Most Restrictive Conditions in this entire System. 

Since we were sentenced to Death, that is our Punishment. To be placed in A/C for Further Punishment is nothing less than Multiple Punishment for the Same Offense, which is Barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause in the U.S. Constitution. Still. here we are! 

At any rate I am on Death Row waiting to work my way through the Court System
Again. Needless to say, but I have Little Hope! I am drinking a lot of water and walking slow.
My Trial Lawyers recommended a Lawyer to handle my Appeal. I knew nothing about her. I had nothing to lose, so what difference did it make? 

Upon meeting my new Lawyer I was very impressed with her. Over time, that feeling pretty well wore off. I will have to take the blame for that myself. I didn't write to her very often and when I did write, my letters must not have been up to par. Guess maybe that is an I will say about this subject. I am pretty well confused when it comes to this Lawyer. I just don't know Where We Stand. I wish we could understand each other much better. I don't know if that will ever happen! 

One thing I can say about this is that this Nightmare has brought my Sister and Brother and I Closer Together than we have ever been. Of course I love that ! 

Also, my Brother's Wife, who I consider my Sister and my Sister's Husband, who I consider my Brother, have become very close from an of this. 

I also have other supporters which I really appreciate. but there is No Way they can Tell It! I Never Write to them. I really hate myself for this. 

Over the time other Lawyers have joined my team. They have been to visit me. but I am so sorry I can't even write to them! We don't have a lot of contact and they probably just wrote me off as some sort of useless! Guess I don't have much Faith or Trust in this Injustice System! I am only trying to make it day by day.
Thanks to my Beautiful Sister, in November 1996 I was Blessed with the Two Best Lawyers there Ever Could Be! 

They are Staughton and Alice Lynd. I have Never in my Life Known Anybody like These People! They are the Most Caring, Compassionate People in the World! I just can't say enough Good about these people! They keep me Going. They are here to see me like clockwork Every Month! I am so Very Blessed to Have Them! They have been here Every Month for the last Three y years. I would be So Lost Without These People! 

I probably could write a book on Staughton and Alice Lynd. It just seems that anything I say about them is inadequate. They have done So Much to Help Me, to Help All of us here at the Super Max. I really hold a Deep Love in My Heart for Staughton and Alice Lynd. 

Even as Good as they are to me, I let them down by Not Writing. There is no excuse for this. I really want to Thank Them for Being There! Also, I really want to Apologize to them for being as I am. 

That same Thanks goes out to my Sisters and Brothers and All My Supporters! The same Apology goes to them! I really apologize to Everybody for Not Writing and all. This may sound crazy but I wish I could change, get up, come to life and Fight this Injustice! One would really have to Live This to even come close to understanding What this Life is Like! 

It seems that I'm getting off track here. I am really pretty good at that.
So the way it is. I am on Death Row and just walking slow taking each day as it comes. I have No Idea where All Of This Will Lead.
To make matters worse in my walk, in November or December 1996 I was hit with a Medical Problem. I had no idea what this condition could be. I have never heard of anything like this. There is No such thing as Help in a place like this.
To cut a long story short, I set out to get some Help for this Medical problem. What I am about to write is the Truth! Nobody Believes This!
In doing battle with the Doctor in Mansfield trying to get some Help, He told me that Since I am Going to Die Anyway, the State Didn't want to Spend the Money on me! So I can deal with this Medical problem the Best Way possible. 

I told my Sister about the symptoms I was dealing with. She did some reading and it sure sounds like I have Proctitis. This is pure Hell to Live With. A description of Proctitis is as follows:
An inflammation or irritation of the rectum and anus, Proctitis has a number of varied sources: colitis, venereal diseases, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, strong laxatives, hard dry irritating stools, radiation, allergy and drugs (in particular, broad Spectrum antibiotics).
The basic symptom is tenesmus (straining but inability to pass feces). The desire to defecate is constant, but the results are mostly mucus and gas. Often the Pain is So Severe in sitting or standing or walking that the patient is obliged to take to bed.
The mucous membrane of the rectum can range from red and swollen to pinpoint abscesses and tiny ulcerations. A search is always made for the underlying cause, but at the same time there is a direct attempt to alleviate the symptoms. An opiate is usually given by mouth or rectum to reduce the tenesmus. Less powerful suppositories can also do the job. Sitz bath, bed rest, and the local application of moist heat can do much to alleviate the discomfort of the patient. Cure can come Only from Treating the Underlying Cause or Causes.

In June of 1997, I believe that date is correct, I went on a Hunger Strike in a Serious Effort to get some Medical Attention concerning this problem. 

One by one the rest of the Lucasville Five joined me in this Hunger Strike. We were protesting the Lack of Medical Treatment and the Conditions we were Forced to Endure. 

The Hunger Strike lasted for 38 days and it was Unsuccessful. We did Not Gain a Thing. The Powers That Be were more than Willing to Let Us Die! In the event of our Death, They could Bury This Injustice right along with us and All Would Be Well! 

To this very day I am forced to deal with this Medical problem! There is No Help in Sight! At this time I am 8 or 9 Weeks into an Every Day Battle with this. Every day it is the same old thing. The Straining is So Very Severe I Can't Stand It! This wears me down to the point of being lifeless. Still I Can't Get the Medical Treatment I Need! 

At this point I will go to September 5, 1997. The Lucasville Five were locked up in Death Row 4 and were Segregated from the Rest of the Death Row prisoners, as they claim for Security Reasons. 

George Skatzes #173-501 

[address during this writing:] Ohio State Penitentiary 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd. Youngstown, OH 44505 
([Later address]: George is now in Mansfield. same prison number but address is MAN CI, PO Box 788. Mansfield, Ohio 44901 USA)

Note 2012: George is now in Chillicothe: P. O. Box 5500, 15802 State Route 104 North
Chillicothe, OH 45601.
You can also send George a Jpay email to which he can respond for free.
Added: a link to the story of Keith LaMar about the hunger strike and life under the torturous conditions in Mansfield CI.