My name is David Harris and I'm on death row in Texas. My first encounter with police was at age thirteen. From that point forward I became well known to police as a troublesome kid and had the reputation of being "bad". This was something I desired in my youth - to be known as a tough guy was an honourable thing - I thought. The reason I wanted the bad reputation was because I didn't know anything else. I did not know how to love, didn't know what it was to be loved. In short, I was confused, full of anger, hate, and spite.
Like many youths I turned to drugs and alcohol. These things made me part of the in-crowd. I was cool and being cool was all part of the tough guy image. In reality, the drugs and alcohol were only escape mechanisms, they allowed me to escape from the reality of life. The reality of loneliness and inability to cope with the every-day probems of my life. Yet, when sober and the "high" was gone the problems loomed evermore on the horizon. I went through periods of trying to stay high all the time, but that didn't work because drugs and booze cost money - money a teenager simply doesn't have.
Since I needed money to provide my drugs and alcohol I turned to crime as a means of obtaining money. I would steal anything I could sell. I commited my first armed robbery at 16 while on probation for burgulary and stealing a motorcycle. At 16 I was a witness in the trial of a murdered police officer. The accussed was convicted and sentenced to death. However, he was innocent of the charges and knew absolutely nothing about the officer's murder.
Having testified for the state at 16 I knew full well how the justice system was prone to operate. A sensible thing would have been to cease all criminal activity. I tried, but only in a superficial and half-hearted way.
I could take you through an entire life of crime, but I think it suffices to say I became a career criminal. My criminal activity was closely related to the use of drugs and alcohol. Even when I had plenty of money and could buy drugs and alcohol I would still go out and commit crimes. I had become addicted to the element of danger involved in crime, the element of being caught, and the danger of the escape if that became necessary.
After serving over five years in California's prison system I came back to Texas. Like many people I vowed never to return to prison. Only a short nine months later I found myself in police costody charged with capital murder. It was a senseless thing, like most murders are. There I was facing another stretch in prison, except this time the authorities wanted to exterminate me. Just like you put an unwanted dog to sleep - the State contended I was just like that dog, unwanted and without purpose. This was hard for me to believe or accept.
while in the beaumont city jailone of the jailers began witnessing to me about jesus christ, i was sceptical and asked "why does god cause so many people to suffer" and why does he cause death and destruction? why would such a merciful and loving god allow such things? his answer was one i did not expect. he told me, god does not cause tragedies, death or destruction, satan causes all those things,"god only allows them to happen" i'd never heard this before and thought his answer was curious and my interest in his words grew. the jailer gave me a bible to read in my cell, i read the chapters and versus he referred me to, as i read my heart grew heavy with sorrow and all the sin in my life. i asked jesus christ to come into my heart and asked his forgiveness for my sins. after i had prayed the sinner's prayer and wept for sometime, i felt a great burden had been lifted from me, i knew jesus christ had forgiven me and taken the burden away.
Being a christian in prison is not the easiest thing in the world, so i strongly recommend you make a decision to serve god now rather than later. in prison if your a christian many of your fellow inmates will think you are weak or scared and hiding behind christianity, however, i think the opposite is true-- only the strong can live a life for christ inside prison. however, its not of themselves its only through the strength jesus gives that we are able to live for him in here.
unlike the criminal justice system god doesnt make deals, he wants us to serve him 100% or not at all. he will allow you to make the choice of serving Him or serving satan, but he also wants you to know that serving satan comes with a price, not only in this life but in the next life to. as long as your not serving god its highly unlikely he will intercede in your life and bless you. sure you might prosper serving satan but your prosperity is translated into eternal damnation! so perhaps the choice you have to make is "temporary prosperity" in this life or eternal life with jesus christ. i have to choose a life of service to jesus christ, i know of no greater riches than eternal life.
even being on death row, jesus has a plan for my life. so you can rest assured he has a plan for your life too. i hope and pray you will make wise choices in your life and not end up here where i am, or in another part of the prison system.
in Jesus Christ's name, sincerely yours
David Ray Harris.
Executed June 30th 2004 R.I.P.