Human Writes is a non-profit, humanitarian organisation which  befriends people on death row in the USA
There are prisoners on Death Rows all over the States who are in need of help to live like a human being for the time they are here.
Prisoners' Art
Stephen Edmiston
Articles By Human Writes Members

Thoughts on being a Human Writes penfriend.

In Memorium of Prisoners Executed in the United States
In memoriam of prisoners executed in the United States

Prisoners executed in the United States in 2016


Postcards For Sale

Postcards for sale

Prisoners' artwork postcards available for sale.

I Just Want To Stay

"The volunteers of Human Writes seek to hold out the hand of friendship to men and women facing the death penalty. I am pleased to encourage them in their writing"
Most Reverend and Rt Hon George L Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury

"No matter its circumstances, dying is one of the most important things we ever do. I applaud all who offer compassion and hope to those facing death, especially in the terrible circumstances of Death Row. May God bless your work."
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

A Prisoner Testimonial : "I thanked God this morning for the lovely People in my life and for the overflowing gift of love that is in my heart for you and my penfriends. It's a very far step from the heart of ill emotions that I used to have years ago."

Art and Writing From Death Row

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An Essay By John E. Robinson, Kansas

Simply A Cookie

The story is told that in 1942 a group of students had been invited to meet Albert Einstein at his home in Princetown, New Jersey. They were surprised when Einstein himself greeted them at the door, the famous white hair streaming from his head, moustache burly and unkempt as his hair. He was wearing a green cardigan sweater, a checkered shirt and a small red tie. He invited the students into his study to chat. Einstein seemed truly engaged, interested in their studies, teachers and grades. In awe, the students hung on every word Einstein spoke.

His wife walked in carrying a tray filled with small cookies. Einstein picked one up and looked at it thoughtfully. The group watched, waited for ‘the smartest man in the world’ to impart some great wisdom. Einstein stared at the cookie and held it higher. Then with a twinkle in his eye and a teasing smile on his face he spoke slowly, feigning much thought “This is a nice cookie.”

So many times we have questions about things that have no real answers - which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which is the one true religion? Is evolution or creationism how our world came to be? Why do we divide people by race, religion, skin colour or sexual orientation? How did we come to embrace a punitive rather than restorative form of justice? What happened to the Christian concept that all life is sacred and must be held in reverence?

I would like to offer a philosophical alternative to the divisive state of our world where hate, authoritarianism and chest-pounding ego now rule. We have become isolated entities, taught that we must fight to survive a cruel world. Realising no-one has the monopoly on truth, I offer these eight concepts for living a principled life:

1. In life strive for three things - knowledge, creativity and love.
2. Respect all and cause no harm.
3. Value every person, embrace individual diversity and celebrate together in a commitment to life.
4. Realise that everything we do in this world creates an effect which will ultimately affect us all.
5. No matter your beliefs, always respect those of others.
6. When you look up at the moon and the stars, smell the coming rain, witness the wide variety of plants, animals and trees. Once you realise that all things are connected, allow the true values of love and compassion for all life to naturally flow.
7. Don’t look for some overarching rationale for every issue. Find the facts and decide only based on the truth.
8. Remember ... sometimes a cookie is simply a cookie!

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Human Writes Patrons

"The very essence of the death penalty is to tell people that they are somehow sub-human, not fit to live. Yet even those people I have represented who did what they were accused of - a surprisingly limited number - have always been much better people than their worst fifteen minutes, as are we all. Those who recognise this by reaching out to the men and women on death row are true heroes, though I suspect they gain as much as they give to the relationship."
Clive Stafford Smith OBE, Founder of Reprieve and Patron, Human Writes

"As a journalist who has lived and worked in the United States, the horror of death row is one of the issues that never leaves you. The thread of humanity that Human Writes manages to sustain with men and women on death row is a profound contribution to keep alive the hope of life. Capital punishment is now on the retreat in America, but the numbers awaiting their fate are still very considerable. I am very honoured to have become a Patron of Human Writes and will hope to do my best to put my shoulder to the wheel".
Jon Snow Broadcaster and journalist, Patron, Human Writes

"In such an inhuman system small moments of human contact make a big difference. That's why I support Human Writes and why I would encourage you to do the same."
Gary Younge, Author and US-based feature writer for the Guardian, Patron, Human Writes

"I know what it is like to live in a cell for decades and feel that the whole world hates you. I never expected to be able to live again as a contributing member of a community. Prison life was precarious and unpredictable but I met people who worked there who wanted to help me and people like me - and I'm lucky that I live in a society graceful enough to offer me a second chance. At least I had hope. Hope for many of the people supported by Human Writes has all but been extinguished. Letters to people on Death Row let them know that however low they may have fallen, they are still human beings. They still have value and are worth caring about and letters might just help to keep hope alive. That is why I am honoured to have been invited to be a patron."
Erwin James, author and Guardian columnist, Patron, Human Writes