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To write to a death row inmate?

(253 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

FanfeckintasticFitbit Mon 22-Jun-15 16:53:20

This is something that's crossed my mind a bit in the past. I'm really interested in the lives of others and love books and documentaries about life behind bars.

I have a really happy and fulfilled life with DC and DP so it's not out of loneliness, I love to write but it's been years since I've written actual letters as everybody is online now.

Has anyone else ever written to someone in prison?

I've "chosen" a prisoner (because there are certain criminals I could absolutely not communicate with, child abusers etc) and have written a letter but I'd first like to get some experiences from anyone who has done similar?

LazyLouLou Mon 22-Jun-15 16:58:03

So, you'd be doing it to be nosy? To satisfy your curiosity about death row life? But only ones you deem to be less abhorrent?

Mmmm! You might want to rethink that!

RedKite1985 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:58:47

I don't know why you would do this. There are plenty of websites where you can write to sick children or lonely pensioners.

I'm really interested in the lives of others and love books and documentaries about life behind bars

It sounds to me like you want the gory details

LurkingHusband Mon 22-Jun-15 16:59:14

Wasn't there a similar thread a while back ?

Should be easy to find - ISTR it grew quickly ....

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 22-Jun-15 16:59:47

If one of my friends was doing this I would definitely be judging them for it.

Seems a bit morbid and prying.

LemonYellowSun Mon 22-Jun-15 16:59:48

I find it a bit strange tbh.

Goshthatsspicy Mon 22-Jun-15 16:59:49

Do you want to offer comfort too?

EatShitDerek Mon 22-Jun-15 17:00:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cherryblossomsinspring Mon 22-Jun-15 17:05:14

I think it's naive. These are people who have done horrible things. You can never understand the circumstances, the suffering of victims, the suffering of the criminals family. You are just curious. It's not nice. Stay out of it.

molyholy Mon 22-Jun-15 17:10:57

Another vote here for you just writing, wanting the gory details of life behind bars. Where is your moral compass? You wouldn't write to someone awaiting death for abusing children, but murdering/raping a woman, is that okay? Murdering a man, far more acceptable? It's morbid imho. You're not put on death row for a low grade crime.

FanfeckintasticFitbit Mon 22-Jun-15 17:11:06

Sorry I knew stating my interest in prisons etc sounded like I was just being nosy, that's not actually it at all I just didn't want to come across like a martyr either.

I'm in Ireland and recently a man was released for murdering his wife and he served a measly six years, and also left a millionaire because he inherited all her money on his release. I just think it's insane that people involved in gang related trouble for example, in their late teens, are now sat on death row when people who have premeditated murder over here are out within ten years!

There's that and also a family member of my mother's spent some time in prison and after she died I found a card from him saying how her letters always cheered him up, something he was thankful for 30+ years later and I just thought it was lovely because she was very funny and witty and it probably took her ten minutes to sit and write a little letter but to him it meant so much.

They're my reasons in full, curiosity still a factor but not curious of their crimes just in general of their feelings etc

GrimDamnFanjo Mon 22-Jun-15 17:11:48

How on earth did you manage to choose one? Remember, not many people are on death row for a victimless crime...

UncertainSmile Mon 22-Jun-15 17:13:56

I'm sure the hand-wringers will be here soon. 'Victims of society', dontcha know.

UncertainSmile Mon 22-Jun-15 17:16:37

Here's the most recent thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/2354930-I-am-thinking-of-becoming-a-penfriend-to-a-death-row-prisoner-What-are-your-thoughts

Katinkka Mon 22-Jun-15 17:18:49

Don't expect them to write back. You'd be surprised at how much mail they recieve.

LazyLouLou Mon 22-Jun-15 17:19:53

Family members writing is fine... they are related and have a reason to communicate.

Your 'general curiosity about their feelings etc' is prurient (though I know that isn't the right meaning) and well, distasteful.

Try Reading Take a Break, et al!

FadedRed Mon 22-Jun-15 17:23:30

I think you time could be better spent.

wannaBe Mon 22-Jun-15 17:24:07

I do think that the world is rarely black and white, and that even people who have committed the most horrific crimes are in some instances victims of their upbringings etc. But I would still question why you would want to befriend someone on death row, because this is rarely something born out of pure altruism. And how will you protect yourself? If this prisoner starts to open up about their life, their past, their crimes, starts to tell you that they're actually innocent, asks you to attend their execution????? How will you deal with that?
I wouldn't judge someone for writing to someone on death row, but I would worry about their personal wellbeing....

It definitely wouldn't be for me.

FadedRed Mon 22-Jun-15 17:24:22

Your time not you time

Murdermysteryreader Mon 22-Jun-15 17:25:59

You would feel very differently if you were a victim of crime. There's plenty of older people who deserve time. Get a grip.

Murdermysteryreader Mon 22-Jun-15 17:26:50

I mean older people who are lonely and not in prison !

Wineandrosesagain Mon 22-Jun-15 17:33:28

Why not join Amnesty international and perhaps write letters to people who have been imprisoned for their political beliefs? A surprising number of such letters do get through and can bring great comfort to someone who may be in the most dire circumstances.

CrystalHaze Mon 22-Jun-15 17:33:55

I'm really interested in the lives of others

Befriend - either in person or via mail - lonely, elderly people. They will have fascinating stories to share (most likely ones that don't involve stoving someone's head in with a rock for shitz n giggles)

Pandora37 Mon 22-Jun-15 17:37:05

I haven't ever written to anyone in prison but I know someone who used to write to men on death row. She also visits serious offenders in prison and my god, the stories are fascinating. She's not doing it to be morbid, she actually has experience of having someone in her family committing a serious crime, as well as one of her children being the victim of a serious crime. She supports the families and friends of serious offenders too. She did end up marrying a lifer though (and divorcing him) - maybe don't take it to that extreme. grin

But seriously, I don't see why not. It's something I'd be interested in doing myself. And I'm saying this as someone who has a relative who's a serious offender (and he committed crimes against me - not serious crimes but crimes nonetheless). In my case at least, when I had someone close to me commit a horrible crime I became desperate to understand his mindset and the mindset of people who commit similar offences. I'm not sure you can ever really understand though as I don't think many of them truly understand themselves. Also, these people, and I'm generalising massively here and I'm not saying this is an excuse for anything they've done whatsoever, but generally these people are from very messed up backgrounds, are mentally disturbed etc. Particularly for men on death row, they don't get executed quickly - most of them languish there for decades so they're incredibly lonely, have very limited female contact and may start to get 'feelings' for you or say some disturbing things. You have to realistically be prepared for that.

Meanandlow Mon 22-Jun-15 17:40:18

How about writing to the victims of these people, I am sure it would be most appreciated

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