My name is Alvin Andrew Kelly and I am presently on Death Row in Livingston, Texas. I am writing this in an effort to reach youths and young adults. If you are reading this, chances are, I am writing to you. I hope to open your eyes and enlighten you about how easy it is to make the wrong choices.
I grew up in the small country town of Quitman, Texas and had a fairly normal childhood. My father was a mechanic and my mother a housewife and homemaker. I went to church and was baptized at the age of 13 but never had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I only attended church because all the other kids were going and I wanted to fit in.
I did my share of partying and drinking. Growing up was pretty wild, however, I'd never used drugs. In 1968, at the age of 17 I joined the United States Marine Corps. I served my time in the service and was honorably discharged in 1970. By this time I was well trained in self-discipline and had a good idea of what I wanted out of life. I started working in the oil fields for a couple of yearsand then moved to Longview, Texas. There I worked at Goodyear Tyres. Finally I moved to Tyler, Texas ad opened my own business in 1981, a 24 hour Diesel Truck Shop. It was then that i was first introduced to drugs, specifically methamphetamine, more commponly known as "crystal meth". I thought this drug would help me keep up the long hours that were required to operate the business. Was I ever wrong!
Having what i thought was considerable self-discipline, which i was taught in the Maring Corps, I thought I had everything under control. However, I was not prepared for the effect this drug would have on me. Like so many other, I thought I could stop any time I wanted. Unfortunately, I was wrong again. The only sure way to stop a drug habit is to never start. The drugs took over my life. Drugs controlled everthing I did and were all I lived for.
The diesel truck shop was a booming and sucessful business. I had several family members working for me and a hired hand. After a year or so it got to the point where I was more concerned with getting more dope than whether the business was running smoothly. I eventually left the shop to my younger brother Ricky while I ran the streets looking for dope. As time passed I became so addicted that drugs were my only concern. Nothing and no one else mattered. The business began to crumble and I blamed everyone but myself. They finally had enough of me and left - wanting nothing more to do with me. This left me to run the shop on my own. So as a result of my drug addiction I lost everything I had worked for including my family.
I have two daughters and two sons. Due to my drug use and never ending persuit of drugs, I was not the loving and concerned father to them that they deserved. They were shuttled back and forth between their mother and myself, if and when I was ever around. I failed them and eventually lost them too.
At the age of 36 I found myself in jail facing drug charges and nothing left to lie for, or so I thought. All of my "friends" in the drug world had washed their hands of me since I was of no use to them in jail. Sitting in my cell I began to look over all I had done and asked myself "Why?", Why had I destroyed everything I had worked for? Why had i alienated the very people I loved? The answer: "Drugs!". I had gotten into trouble and was placed in a single cell, maximum security. I was held there for 9 months awaiting trial. There was no television or radio and all I was allowed to have was a bible. So I started reading it. First it was out of sheer bordom, but the more I read the more interesting it became. I read all about Noah, Abraham, Moses and so on. After a while I became aware of a change - I was really interested in what I was reading and felt a peacefulness in my heart for the first time in ten years. I really took a long, hard look at the past ten years of my life. I prayed, asking God to give me understanding of what I was reading. I didn't ask Him for freedom or for help. I only asked for the TRUE understanding of His word.
As time passed and I continued to read and study the word, God opened my eyes to the answer of my troubles: Jesus Christ. So in 1987 right there in that maximum security cell I asked Jesus to come into my life. I had succeeded in making a total mess of my life so I turned it over to Christ that he would work His will. After turning my life over to Jesus I asked to be baptized and the volunteer chaplain made all the arrangements. When i was baptized I experienced the presence of God in my life and the new birth my baptizm symbolized. As I praised God and prayed while others were baptized I could tell there had really been a change in my life.
By a miracle I was allowed to return to the general population. I praised God for this miracle because it gave me the opportunity to share what Jesus Christ had done in my life. I have stood with Jesus Christ ever since that day. Even through all of my legal trials I have never taken my eyes off Jesus Christ. I know that God has a plan for everything as long as I let His will be done in my life and give Him the glory.
Jesus died for me at Cavalryand I intend to live for Him here on death row, or whereever God make take me. Through the love of the precious Saviour, Jesus Christ, I have been reunited with my children again. In 1990 I was returned to the county jail and charged with capital murder in a murder that happened in 1984. I still clung to my faith an the Lord because I know that Jesus Christ is real in my life.
Another thing I want you to know is that I am innocent of the crime for which I am here on death row. However, because of my association and reputation in the drug world, the courts were able to convict me unjustly. Not because I am guilty, but because I made the wrong "choice" long agoto use drugs and run in the wrong crowd. I thought I was a big man then, and everyone was afraid of me. I thought they respected me. I was so caught up in my own world (of drugs) that I didn't think or care bout what could happen in the future. So, you see, ho you run with and what you choose to do with your time will play a very important part in how your life turns out. I'm here because I made worng choices and alienated everyone who might care. you don'y have to kill someone to end up on death row.
You now have the chance to make good choices in your life. A lot of people think it's "cool" to do drugs, but I can tell you, there are a lot of "cool dudes" here on death row. So make your choices wisely, stay away from drugs and ask Jesus Christ into your life. So you can make the right choice in your life and I assure you a choice to serve Jesus Christ is one you won't ever regret. He is the answer to all problems. The choice is yours.
Sincerely in Christ,
Alvin Kelly, #999012
3872 F.M. 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351