Reports and interviews

The reports come from lifespark members or our pen pals. The interviews are made with people inside or outside the prison walls.

Table of contents

1. Pen pal-ships

2. Life on the row

3. Visiting

4. Execution

5. Victims and forgiveness

6. Supporting the penpal

7. Miscellaneous


1. Pen pal-ships:

Our own murky sides
Thought provoking interview with Ursula Rossel about pen pal-ships.
English, September 2014, by Ines Aubert

Interviews with members who joined lifespark only after writing to an inmate that they didn't find through lifespark
Seven lifespark members in different countries answer questions about their membership in lifespark
By Ines Aubert, August 2014

Being a young pen pal: English, Elisabeth Deutscher, September 2012
Interviews with members who started a pen pal-ship at a very young age

Life is like a box of chocolates: English, Sabine Townshend, August 2012

Lifespark - lifeshare: "You came into my life out of the blue": English, October 2011
lifespark members and their pen pals on death row write about their pen pal-ships

Une autre facette: Français, Monique Amstutz, novembre 2008

Même condamnés à mort, ce sont des humains derrière les barreaux:  Français, Delphine Rey, novembre, 2006

Meine Brieffreundschaft mit Leroy Bockover im Potosi Gefängnis in Missouri: Deutsch, Ines Aubert, Mai 2006 
1. Teil: August 2003: Der erste Besuch 
2. Teil: Mai 2006: Die Fortsetzung 
3. Teil: Mai 2006: Ein Interview mit Leroy

My penpalship with Leroy Bockover in Potosi, Missouri: English, Ines Aubert, May 2006 
Part 1: August 2003: The first visit 
Part 2: May 2006: The story goes on 
Part 3: May 2006: Interview with Leroy

I would like to share my thoughts...: English, Sam Bustamante, Polunsky Unit, Texas, October 2005

Correspondre avec un condamné à mort: Français, Danièle Dagand, novembre 2003 
Correspondre avec un condamné à mort est à la fois la plus belle et la plus douloureuse expérience que puisse vivre celui ou celle qui, armé (e) d'une simple plume, décide un jour de pénétrer cet endroit aussi impénétrable que sordide qu'est le Couloir de la Mort.

2. Life on the row:

I will not candy coat this to you...: English, Sam Bustamante, #999380, Texas death row, February 2007

Doing Time: English, Marcus A. Wellons, #314289, Jackson, GA, February 2007, submitted by Ursula Rossel

Introduction to Death Row: English, Gary Simmons, Parchman, Mississippi, submitted by Eva Müller

Lifestory: English, Lenard Philmore, Florida Death Row - December 2007 - submitted by Angelika Fuchs

The new fish and the strong man: English, Victor Stephens, death row Atmore, AL, July 2007

A few questions...: English, Son Tran, Texas Death Row, October 2003

I could be there too: English, Marlise Jörg, May 2010, life with a life sentence

3. Visiting:

John est en Floride; je vis en France: French, Mariam Brûlon, 2014

A Great Day: English, Marcus A. Wellons, #314289, Jackson, GA, February 2007, submitted by Ursula Rossel

Besuchssituation im U.C.I. in Raiford, Florida: Deutsch, Katrin Heitzer, Juni 2007

Visitation Situation in the U.C.I. in Raiford, Florida: English, Katrin Heitzer, June 2007

My visit to Lonnie: English, Anne-Lise Wood, 2007

Une visite dans le couloir de la mort: Gisèle Francey, 2005

An extraordinary experience: English, Delphine Rey, October 2004

Une expérience extraordinaire: Français, Delphine Rey, octobre 2004

Ma première visite à 'Polunsky Unit': Français, Christiane Bitz, mai 2003 
Ci-dessus, vous pouvez lire des extraits d'un journal tenu par Chrisitiane Bitz, membre de lifespark, lors de son tout premier voyage aux USA, voyage qui l'a amené à visiter son ami de plume, Roberto, condamné à mort et incarcéré à Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas

My first visit ever at Polunsky Unit: English, Christiane Bitz, May 2003 
The text presents extracts of lifespark member Christiane Bitz's diary, when she travelled for the first time ever to the USA. The trip took her to Polunksy Unit, Livingston, Texas to visit her pen-pal Roberto, prisoner on the Texas death row.

4. Execution:

Talk about the topic execution with Robert Pruett on death row in Texas
By Ines Aubert and Robert Pruett, July 2014
See also Robert's homepage:

Dialogue with Lilia Allemann who served as spiritual counselor to her penpal when he was executed:
English, January 2014, by Ines Aubert

Interview with Gabi Uhl, anti-death penalty activist: Interview with Gabi Uhl who watched the executions of two of her pen pals: English, June 2009

Interview with José Moreno, on death row in Texas: Interview with José Moreno who received a stay three hours before his execution: English, June 2009

Lettre à mon ami Roberto: Français, Janine Cerri, mars 2006 
J’ai entre les mains la dernière lettre que je recevrai de toi.

A Journey to Solace: English, José Angel Moreno, Texas Death Row – September 2007, submitted by Hari Ammeter  
José A. Moreno wrote this article after coming as close as three hours to his execution. This horrifying experience has changed him completely: "The person that went to the Walls Unit is not the same person that came back..."

The Ride: English, Kevin Zimmerman, December 2003  
Kevin Zimmerman, Texas death row prisoner no. 000977, wrote the following text after having received a stay of execution 15 minutes before execution time. The stay was cancelled a few days later and Kevin got executed on January 21, 2004, abruptly stopping a long time pen pal-ship with a lifespark member.

5. Victims and forgiveness:

Forgiveness: English, submitted by Ines Aubert, June 2014
A text by Robert Pruett on death row in Texas about forgiving his father.
See more by Robert Pruett at

Talk with Jake Yarbrough - a living memory of a taken father: English, Ines Aubert, September 2013
A talk with the son of the victim in the case of Robert Pruett.

Interview with Debbie: English, Ines Aubert, February 2011
An interview with Robert Power's rape victim who has forgiven him

The big challenge: English, Ines Aubert, October 2010
A talk with Robert Power on death row in Florida who wants to apologize to his victims

Lifespark - Lifeshare: Victims and Forgiveness: English, October 2010

Lifespark - Lifeshare: Victims and Forgiveness: English, June 2010

"It was a healing process for both of us": (PDF document, 80 KB), English, Ines Aubert, June 2007 
An interview with Rodney Bowser, who forgave his sister’s murderer 
Language: English

An interview with Bill Pelke, founder of the Journey of Hope: (PDF document, 28KB), English, Ines Aubert, February 2007

6. Supporting the penpal:

Interview with David R. Dow, Director of the Texas Innocence Network / TIN and with Kelly Hickman, a young lawyer working for the Texas Innocence Network /TIN:
English, April 2014, by Ines Aubert

7. Miscellaneous:

Capture: Larry Rush, Pennsylvania Death Row – May 2009 – submitted by Sister Anne-Marie, poem

Lifespark 15th Anniversary Quilt Project: English, Isabelle Delèze, November 2008

It is never enough: English, Patricia N. Wernert, women’s prison Ohio, December 2007, submitted by Susanne Moses

Love is not blind: Ulysses Sneed, Alabama Death Row – December 2007 – submitted by Anne-Lise Wood, poem

My name is Patricia - hello!: English, Patricia N. Wernert, women’s prison Marysville OH, Spring 2007, submitted by Susanne Moses

2008 Texas Death Row Calendar: English, José Angel Moreno, Texas Death Row, November 2007, submitted by Harald Ammeter  
José has put together a special calendar as a present for everyone that you can download free-of-charge. This calendar will enable you to find the birthday of every man and woman on Texas Death Row, so you can write anyone to wish them a happy birthday.

How an embarrassing case becomes a godsend for justice in Texas: English, Jacqueline Mellana, April 2006

Comment un cas embarrassant devient une aubaine pour la justice texane: Français, Jacqueline Mellana, 2006

Une vie en jeu: Français, Vidéo de Jacques Secretan, 2005
"Une vie en jeu" montre comment un innocent risque d'être bientôt exécuté, au Texas. 
(Vidéo, 26 min, 50 MB streaming at 274 kbps)

Esta luz que mata: Espagnol, Janine Cerri, Octubre 2005 
La luz no se apaga nunca, los proyectores alumbran día y noche los pasillos y las celdas. Para poder dormir tengo que taparme la cabeza con mi camiseta.

One Life on the Edge: English, Video by Jacques Secretan, 2005 
"One life on the Edge" shows how an innocent man could be executed, very soon, in Texas.  
Technical details: Video, 26 min, 50 MB streaming at 274 kbps

Fuir dans le bon sens: Français, Eliane Marigo, mai, 2003 
De façon récurrente, il rêve qu'il s'évade... Le texte qui suit a été récompensé par un prix au concours d'écriture de l'Alliance Française.

To flee in the right direction: English, Eliane Marigo, May 2003 
In a recurring way he dreams that he is escaping... This text was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury at the Alliance Française Writing Contest.

A Chosen Path: English, Son Tran, Texas Death Row, 2004