My name is William Speer, TDCJ-ID #999398. I’m on Texas Death Row and have been for the last ten years. I want to talk to you a little about myself and my situation. I was locked up at the age of 16 for a murder I committed. I was mentally and emotionally damaged by abuse, both physical and mental. My self-esteem and self-worth had become so low that I was willing to do ANYTHING to make, or keep, a friend. That overwhelming desire lead me into putting a false friendship above the life of another human being. I am so sorry for that and have cried countless tears in the years that I have been here. On July 11, 1997, I, along with four others, was accused of murdering another inmate. It took over two years for the state to get enough inmates, who were not there, to work with them…giving out deals and favors for their, so called help, in getting them to bring charges against me. That, sadly, was enough to send me to death row.
On June 9, 2007, I lost my great-grandmother. Then on the 24th I lost my Pa-Paw (grandfather). That was the hardest loss I’ve ever had to deal with. I had so much shame and guilt because I couldn’t be there for him as he slowly died of cancer. Then almost a month to the day later, in the early hours of July 25th, my mother was murdered by one of the men that abused me as a boy. The day I found this out, I also found out that the woman I loved with all my heart, body, and soul was playing love games with me. She had a man living with her who believed he was her fiance. I was traumatized, heartbroken, and totally in denial that this was real. It was too much for me to handle. I kept saying in my mind that this doesn’t happen to real people. This is only a bad dream, and this only happens in the movies. But it was real, and it set in a week later as I sat there in the visiting booth (I’m only allowed one visit a week) listening to my aunt tell me what happened at the memorial service…then it became real. The pain and loss was too much for me to fully take in all that was going on. I had not even finished mourning the loss of my granny and pa-paw, the most important and special man I have ever known, and now I’m dealing with the loss of my mother. I had backed away from my mother because of the woman I loved. I put her first in my life over my family, and then to find out all the lies and cheating! I was so ashamed because I could never tell my mother I was sorry, and I could never ask her to forgive me. So many things I wanted to say to her…all gone because her life was taken in the blink of an eye. She was shot three times in the head as she slept and was left there. Her body was found three days later. My precious Aunt Pat and respected Uncle David went there with their three children to do one of the hardest things someone can do, pack up my mom’s belongings and clean up her room of the blood. Only my uncle and cousin Jason went in to handle that because they could not allow the others to deal with what was there. Here I sat on death row totally helpless to do anything. A victim. I was in shock and could not fully grasp what was going on around me. The days just came and went. I had to deal with so much, along with my younger sister…seeing all the pain and feeling it more than any other.
I was again at a loss as one of my cousins killed himself. The loss was truly overwhelming as I sat in this cell, helpless and feeling so alone. Then a man I had lived around for a long time was murdered by the state and the loss, the helplessness, only grew stronger. Then another, and another, was murdered by the state…making more victims. You see, you never end the pain and loss with death. Look at each person as a rock. Throw it into a lake. Yes, you got rid of the rock/person, but look at the ripples that extend out in all directions…only causing more pain and sorrow! More victims! That is not the answer.
Death is not the answer. I have seen it. I have lived it. The death penalty is not a deterrent. Statistics show states with the death penalty do not have less crime than states that do not have the death penalty.
When I was 16, I was so desperate to be loved, respected, and accepted, punishment never crossed my mind. For many, punishment never crosses their mind because they believe they are going to do the crime and get away with it. I have learned so much and have been changed because of what I have gone through. Seeing both sides, and I know death is not the answer.
Not even for the man that abused me to the point of stripping me of all self-worth, leaving me with no self-esteem, and taking my mother’s life. No, death is not the answer. I hope you think about what I have written and that it makes a difference in your life, so that one day you might be the one that makes a difference in someone else’s life.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you wish to contact me, you can write to me at the Polunsky Unit
WILL SPEER 999398
POLUNSKY UNIT d/row
3872 FM 350 SOUTH