Friday, May 10, 2013

Petition for stay of execution of William Van Poyck from Death Row execution on June 12

I got this because I belong to the PEN prison writers' fellowship and am a mentor to prisons who write. 
While I don't believe that a person is good simply because he can write a good novel, I DO believe the death penalty is unfair and until all racial and class issues in America are resolved, then we shouldn't be using the death penalty. 

I'm not really sure if the petition will help but it's worth a try. Anyway, here is the letter from PEN prison fellowship. 

Dear Friends, 

We know many of you have already advocated for William Van Poyck, who after twenty six years is scheduled to die on June 12. If you haven't, might you be willing to click on this blogspot address:  

There is a simple electronic response in a box to the right, where we can add our names to a petition for a stay of execution. Below is an email that was recently sent to us by his writing teacher.  Remarks could also be addressed to Governor Scott. Also, feel free to forward this message.  

Many thanks,  

The PEN Prison Writing Committee   

Hi, PEN,

Are you guys aware that William Van Poyck, a PEN prison writer, has been sentenced to die on June 12? What is the mechanism for getting this information out to PEN members in an effort to achieve a stay of execution? Bill was my writing student through PEN for many years and I would like to help. Thanks

Elea Carey

   Born and raised in Miami, FL William spent his early youth climbing trees and exploring limestone caves, swimming in lakes and canals, and catching turtles in the cabbage palm and palmetto brush woods that made up post-war, pre-boom, semi-tropical South Florida. Possessed with an incorrigible, rebellious spirit, at age 11 he was locked up in Youth Hall.  At 12 he was confined in Kendall Children's Home and at age 14 he was shipped off to the notorious Okeechobee Boys' School.  In January 1972, at age 17, William was sentenced to life imprisonment for a Miami robbery, even though no one was hurt in the crime.  He spent the next 15 years touring and escaping from Florida's ever-expanding prison system, becoming a certified legal aide and renowned jailhouse lawyer in the process.

   In 1988, William was sentenced to death for his part in the 1987 botched attempt to free a friend from a prison transport van in downtown West Palm Beach, during which a guard was shot and killed by William's accomplice, Frank Valdes.  In 1999 a raft of Florida State Prison guards murdered Frank in his prison cell.  In the subsequent investigative furor, the governor ordered William transferred to Virginia's death row.  There, he penned and published his first novel, The Third Pillar of Wisdom, then the sequel, Quietus, and finally his award-winning autobiography, A Checkered Past, which won first place in Writer's Digest 2004 International Self-Published Book Awards.  William has also published and won awards for his short stories, including the PEN American Center's "Fielding Dawson Special Citation for Outstanding Achievement" in 2004 for his body of literary work.

   In 2008, William was transferred back to Florida State Prison where he currently resides. His mailing address is:

William Van Poyck  034071
Florida State Prison
7819 NW 228th St
Raiford FL  32026-1160

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