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article imageHope Springs Eternal: New Years Wishes from Death Row

By Carol Forsloff     Dec 27, 2008 in Crime
Ever wonder how people spend holidays on death row? Or what they ask by way of gifts and favors? Although death row may be dreary and deadly, for many hope springs eternal.
Turns out no matter the crime, the time or the denials of the deeds, those on death row have wishes for the season too.
Inquirer.net wrote a story about one of these people on death row and her wishes for the holidays. A heartfelt wish came from a mother, Cecil Armia-Alcaraz, originally from the Philippines who sits on death row in Taiwan awaiting execution for having killed a job broker that got both her and her boyfriend jobs as English tutors. Her boyfriend committed suicide on his way back to the United States.
Alacarz wished that her children receive education and that their guardian of the four children ranging in age 14 to 20 be given assistance as well. Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA has agreed to provide help to the family as the mother awaits her scheduled execution by firing squad.
Three inmates from Australia, now on death row in Bali, responded to the execution of the perpetrators of the terrorist bombing in Bali, by writing Chris Hayes, member of the Australian parliament. Their holiday wish is for an abolition of the death penalty .
One participant who calls herself "lostintranslation" wrote on an e-harmony forum about receiving a love letter from someone on death row and wondered whether she was the only loser who got letters like the following:
“(username) Deathrow - (subject) nice to meet u here - (body) I really want to know u more baby,maybe u can add me to ur charting --email address incl.” "Lostintranslation" maintained that she was really “creeped out” about that. Guess she didn’t think she and the death row fellow would make a good match and didn’t want to make a visit to someone like that on the holidays.
Some folks on death row reach out in ways that might make some folks flinch. They post on MySpace. Of course, it seems every death row inmate maintains innocence as this page on MySpace by Gabriel Gonzales reveals. He writes of injustice, of his life of poverty, the fact that he had no consistent parenting and that he was a victim of an overpowering drug lord who got him and other young men into crime. His posting on the MySpace website on December 24 shows a cartoon that says Christmas is canceled and Santa dies laughing. Just before that is a glittering, animated image that wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. His wish is that people believe and support his innocence.
So it appears that everyone has something he or she wants at the holidays, even those on death row. Sad and dreary as that all may be, this shows indeed hope springs eternal.
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