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Ray Jasper: Death Row Inmate Writes ‘Final Statement’ Comparing Prison To Slavery


Ray Jasper is on death row in Texas and scheduled to be put to death on March 19, but the man convicted of robbing and killing a recording studio owner wants people to hear his voice one last time.

Jasper was convicted in participating in the 1998 slaying of David Alejandro, and has been on death row for more than a decade. He had previously written about his death row experiences as part of Gawker’s Letters from Death Row.

Ray Jasper was asked to respond again, and sent a multi-page letter that he acknowledges “could be my final statement on earth.” Though he was only a teenager at the time of the slaying, Jasper writes eloquently on the idea of empathy and judgment, also indicting a prison system that he equates to slavery.

He wrote:

“Empathy. A rich man would look at a poor man, not with sympathy, feeling sorrow for the unfortunate poverty, but also not with contempt, feeling disdain for the man’s poverish state, but with empathy, which means the rich man would put himself in the poor man’s shoes, feel what the poor man is feeling, and understand what it is to be the poor man.

Empathy breeds proper judgement. Sympathy breeds sorrow. Contempt breeds arrogance. Neither are proper judgements because they’re based on emotions. That’s why two people can look at the same situation and have totally different views. We all feel differently about a lot of things. Empathy gives you an inside view. It doesn’t say ‘If that was me…’, empathy says, ‘That is me.’ ”

Ray Jasper went on to give his perspective on the justice system, saying that the prison system is an example of modern-day slavery. He mentioned a series of protests in Georgia prisons in 2010 which aimed to seek out mo’re human rights for prisoners.

Jasper also took issues with sentencing guidelines, saying that non-violent offenders are being sentenced to life behind bars for robberies. He cited the case of a 24-year-old who was sentenced for 160 years in prison for two aggravated robberies where less than $500 was stolen and no violence took place.

“There are guys walking around with 200 year sentences and they’re not even 30 years old. Its outrageous. Giving a first time felon a sentence beyond their life span is pure oppression. Multitudes of young people have been thrown away in this generation,” he wrote.

Ray Jasper also took aim at the for-profit prison industry, one that makes more money the more people are put in prisons.

“It’s not about crime & punishment, it’s about crime & profit. Prison is a billion dollar industry. In 1996, there were 122 prisons opened across America. Companies were holding expos in small towns showing how more prisons would boost the economy by providing more jobs,” he wrote.

The full letter from death row inmate Ray Jasper can be found here.

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5 Responses to “Ray Jasper: Death Row Inmate Writes ‘Final Statement’ Comparing Prison To Slavery”

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  3. Anonymous

    My sympathies to the Alejandro family.

    Ray Jasper: The last words of an amoral sociopath.

    Jasper organized the slaughter of a "friend", David, and he is claiming victimhood.

    Pathetic, predictable, common.

    Slavery – involuntary servitude of the innocent, based only upon injustice.

    Incarceration/death penalty – legal sanction of the guilty, who are responsible for their own sanctions, who have harmed/murdered the innocent, given a sentence based in due process, with a foundation in justice.

    I can see how Jasper, a clueless thug, would equate the two.

    All this time on death row, all that time for reflection and all we have are the idiotic musings of an amoral sociopath.

    A unique benefit of the death penalty is that the offender knows the day of their death and therefore has a huge advantage over the rest of us and, most certainly, over the innocent murder victim.

    ". . . a secondary measure of the love of God may be said to appear. For capital punishment provides the murderer with incentive to repentance which the ordinary man does not have, that is a definite date on which he is to meet his God. It is as if God thus providentially granted him a special inducement to repentance out of consideration of the enormity of his crime . . . the law grants to the condemned an opportunity which he did not grant to his victim, the opportunity to prepare to meet his God. Even divine justice here may be said to be tempered with mercy." Carey agrees with Saints Augustine and Aquinas, that executions represent mercy to the wrongdoer: (p. 116). Quaker biblical scholar Dr. Gervas A. Carey. A Professor of Bible and past President of George Fox College, Essays on the Death Penalty, T. Robert Ingram, ed., St. Thomas Press, Houston, 1963, 1992

    St. Thomas Aquinas: "The fact that the evil, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit the fact that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement. They also have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so stubborn that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from evil, it is possible to make a highly probable judgement that they would never come away from evil to the right use of their powers." Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, 146.


    The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation

  4. Kevin Poso

    Guess he should of not committed this crime if he did not want to do the time. His story is BS, rambling of a murderous monster. Can't wait for the 19th……

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