Membership/Spirit

We're All in the Same Boat: <em>What's Happening</em> Newsletter Issue #1

"We're All in the Same Boat" 

In any community setting, there is one important aspect that lays down the foundation for a community to develop: membership. At a basic level, membership into the Texas death row community is granted whenever an individual is housed in the Ellis Unit awaiting their execution. The newsletters demonstrate this membership through the use of inclusive phonetics when referring to those housed in the Ellis Unit. Words and phrases such as  “those of us on the Row”,  “us’ ,“our” and  “we”, are included in the newsletters, highlighting the membership between death row inmate while also cultivating a sense of community. Beyond this initial membership, there is another level of membership amongst those who are trying to fight capital punishment and their eventual execution. While the What’s Happening newsletters are open to all members in the community, it does pander to the more reformists and abolitionists individuals on death row. Beyond the general inclusive phonetics, the newsletters adopts the revolutionary term “comrade” when talking about fellow death row inmates. The newsletters also identify executions as “legalized murders”, in an attempt to unify inmates against the same enemy: state approved executions. And each newsletter includes information about the death row population, total number of executions by the state of Texas, and upcoming executions, as a way to remind inmates that they share the same fate, that they are all "in the same boat".