Muggy

On this page we publish texts and paintings by Richard Rhodes (aka “Muggy), who has been on death row in the US state of Florida since 1985 and who lets us share with his words the unimaginable situation he has experienced for so long and still has to endure. All rights to these art work are owned by Richard Rhodes. Muggy has transferred the publishing rights to Peter K.

In the future, more and more texts by Richard Rhodes will be published here. So it’s worth visiting here from time to time to discover new texts by him…

IHfL
Peter K.



INNER BEING

Your spirit is your inner being,
it is who you are,
but it lives the journey
through earthly life
with a huge burden – the body…

The spirit of every soul
has a beautiful peace within,
but the encumbrances of the body’s needs
do not always allow it to come to the fore…

When we experience happiness in life,
it comes from the spirit within…
When two people fall in love,
it means their spirits have met…

But unfortunately,
at some stage in life,
the body with its earthly instincts,
may interfere with,
and damage that utter beauty of the soul…

In our everyday life,
the animal being,
which is the body,
often takes over and suppresses the beauty
of the inner being,
which is the spirit at times we allow
it to dominate the spirit
and all that is left then is the animal…

The spirit is a real entity
and it needs to be fed…
If we fail to nourish the body,
the body will die

If we fail to nourish the spirit,
the love and peace within us will die too,
for this is where we find that thing we so long for,
Peace, love and harmony…

Richard Rhodes, 9/25/2022


Richard Rhodes

A LETTER

Peter, you need to understand that there are a lot of things I can’t put in my e-mails simply because it isn’t legally prudent to do so…

There are a lot of inmates who will write down page after page of their case telling all about the crime their in prison for describing everything to the smallest detail… The they receive a new trial and go back to court only to be confronted with the details they wrote concerning their involvement with the crime their accused of…
There’s and old saying ” DON’T SAY ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT REPEATED IN A COURT OF LAW…”

The state sees all hears all and keeps very good records, to the point that they will tell you up front that everything you e-mail out, or that is e-mailed it is monitored by by Jpay and the DOC… Often times I’ve been refused both outgoing and incoming e-mails do to content…

Yes their are general things I can tell you, but you would be better served if you just down loaded my case from the DOC and drew your own conclusion… I will tell you this, I have federal attorneys, and the Innocent Project just signed on to my case… That doesn’t happen if your a guilty party, and the Innocent Project checks and does an in depth investigation before they sign on to any case… Their might be at the moment three of us on death row that have drawn the interest of the Innocent projects attention, and that’s out of 320 inmates on death row, not to mention over 150,000 inmates in the Florida’s Department of Correction’s… I can’t tell what will become of things but right now I have a very high chance of walking out of this hell hole… Of course at 69 years old I’m not sure how valuable I’d be to my family and friends, but that’s issue for another time, and I don’t want to say anything that the state can exploit… Hopefully you can understand what I’m saying and forgive me for being a bit closed off or paranoid… (LOL)

As for me, my full name is Richard Wallace Rhodes . Jr… I was born October 3, 1953 in northern calif, Santa Rosa, which is near the coastal area of California, on Hwy 101… At the time Santa Rosa was a medium size town of maybe 50,000 people, now its grown to maybe 130,000 total in the whole county of Sonoma…

Can’t tell you much about my child hood according to the psychologists, and state record my parents abandon me in a home they were renting at the time… One of my great aunts went to visit and found the house abandon… I was found in the back yard naked and chained to a dog houses with the dog… I was told that I had been chained that way and whipped on a regular bases for sometime…

I was maybe seven years old at that time… The Catholic services in the area put me in a church institution with other children… I spent along time there learning to talk and act like a normal person…
It was not a kind place, just the reverse… A nightmare of abuse by staff that covers everything from shock treatments to ice water therapy to frontal lobotomies, and most of the children where asexually abused by the staff which were composed of mostly Catholic nuns… I’m not sure how I survived it, a lot of kids didn’t…
The state closed the place down…

Lucky for me, some nun took me under her wing and educated me, (schooling) that is… The problem with that kind of upbringing is that it teaches you to become indifferent of everything… Nothing has value, not even your own life… You can’t even love someone or something because you don’t understand how…
I did end up back with my parents, ( Father and stepmother ) but those were also dark times as well of which I still have dreams of…

My parents shipped me off to a farm my great uncle owned I spent my latter teens going to school and milking cows, a lot of cows… My uncle and his wife weren’t abusive, but they weren’t kind either….
Not once in my young life did I experience a birthday or holiday… I knew how old I was, and I knew from pictures what Christmas and Thanksgiving was, but I never experienced either until I was and adult, by then such things hold no value or meaning for you…
Then there was adulthood, and that I’ll save for another time…

Peter, what I want to do is try and focus my energy on the powers that be and their wrongdoing, not mine… Mine have no value, or power over anyone, there just sad, and I’m but one out of many, a drop of rain in a storm… What I want is to get to the root cause of things that have meaning… The is and old saying, ” TO LIVE IN THE PAST IS TO DIE IN THE FUTURE…”

Hopefully this will give you some understanding and allow you to know me a little better…

Yes you can print this on the website for all to read if you want, and perhaps thy will read it as think to themselves, ( IF NOT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, THERE GO I…)
I’m not really sure of what reading value it’ll have, but who am I to make that judgement call…

Big hugs
Muggy…

Richard Rhodes, 9/19/2022


Richard Rhodes

JOY OF LIGHT

The joy of the light and worth come upon us…
The sun has made its way to its zenith and warms our souls…
The seedlings of spring ripen, the earth is green, it’s a good time…
These days are likened to the good moments in our lives, the joyous celebrations of life, love, abundance and hopes fulfilled…
Everyone loves the high times, the easy carefree days…
Our struggles have brought us refreshment…
These days are not for slacking off…
They are to be enjoyed, but there are two harvests a year…
As we enjoy the joys of now we must continue to renew our efforts to sow for the future harshness which will inevitably comes, as sure as the sun shall rise this morning and set again tonight…
Planting is much easier when the earth isn’t frozen and dead…
Planting with happiness is better than trying to do so with tears – the salt and sorrow stunts its growth…

Bound under the shadows of death and buried in isolation, is it still possible to impact the lives of others with inspiring positivity ???
Can I yet impact the world with good ??? Can one do this by giving light to the darkness ???

I find that many times we derive our convictions from the standards or expectations by those who fail to realize our truest potentials…
How many of us actually practice efforts that set us apart in ways that motivate and inspire others ???

Great examples such as Stephen Hawkings, Helen Keller, Frederick Douglass, and many others, prove that the extraordinary will to achieve greatness is largely measured by our determination to create positive impact in, and for, the lives of others…
The concrete tombs of our prison existence is analogous to the unthinkable handicaps that others to be hindered by : paralysis, deafness, blackness – these were their prisons to overcome…

Aligning ourselves with a cause bigger than ourselves ( such as the death penalty ) gives us specific ways to impact others with good even if that be only the thought, ” IF NOT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, THERE GO I…”
And every day of life, in spite our handicaps, provide other opportunities to elevate our standards beyond the shadows .

I’ve been on death row since 1985 buried in what can only be described as hell on earth, filled with the cry of those who are identified only by numbers and described as the living dead…
Still I ask myself, ” IS IT EVER TO LATE TO KEEP TRYING ? “
CAN I TRULY MAKE A DIFFERENCE ??? “
You’ll never know the answer unless you first ask the question…

These might not be the words you desire to print… Still, they are mine for better or worse and if they change even one mind, open a blind eye, then they will be Worth the cost, and there will be a cost…

Richard Rhodes, 09/14/2022


Richard Rhodes

KILL THEM ALL

When it comes to people knowing and yet choosing to turning a blind eye that is shameful at best, but it just goes to prove that a person who knows and knows that he knows and yet chooses to know not is amoral in all respects… This country is full of these kinds of people… They know that what they support is morally wrong and has nothing to do with the death penalty or the logic behind the philosophy of such a law… What a lot of people seek is nothing more then state sanctioned revenge…
I’ve seen people get on TV and demand that a person be put on death row and executed…
Too many people in this country love to play Judge, Jury, and Executioner, that old western mentally of ” KILL THEM ALL, LET GOD SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THAT BAD “…
Issues like the death penalty are not about guilt or innocents, it’s about someone, anyone, paying the price for a wrong done irregardless of whether the person is the guilty party or not is meaningless, just as long as there is and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood shed for blood spilled…
In Florida, to date, 30 people sentenced to death have been exonerated and set free, after having done 15 plus years locked in a seven by nine foot cement box… Yes, are own personal tomb…
This is called, “DEATH BY INCARCERATION…” They knowingly let you grow old and rot away… The joke here is that as long as they do nothing to you, nothing can real be done for you legally…

The cells , become your life, your home… The reality, this prison cell is ment to be nothing more then large coffins in which people live out their lives miserably and then die alone…
What then ? You are discarded like so much garbage…
If your remains, remain unclaimed, then the state cremates you putting your ashes in a plastic bag, which is then shipped some where and some poor inmate is tasked with the job of digging a shallow hole in the prison bone yard and placing your remains in the ground and then placing a marker with your FDOC prison number on it as a matter of record to mark your grave… The bone yard is never visited nor can a free world person have access to that area… Sad really…
In life you where nothing more then a faceless number, and in death, you still remain a faceless number… Why ? Because even in death the state refuses to recognize you as a human being…

You are right in assuming that even a family pet is treated with greater respect… Truth is, in this country, if you treated a dog in the same manner that the State treats a death row inmate, you would be arrested and put in jail for cruelty to animals… Of course we don’t even count as poor animals…

This and a number of other reasons, is why I try to get people to understand mans inhumanity to his fellow man…
My problem remains the same, how do I turn a thousand words into one clear picture ???
One of the sad things is that these people can execute you on a Saturday evening and show up on Sunday morning for church…
I wonder, do you think they ever run across the passage in bible which states that, ” THY SHALL NOT KILL,” I wonder what part of that they refuse to understand…

Richard Rhodes, 09/13/2022


Richard Rhodes

HOLE

To describe the “HOLE” isn’t an easy job…One would envision a dark hole in the ground where a person is placed as punishment and they would be partly right because that’s how they did it back in the olden days…
I don’t think people realize that death row is confinement where a person is placed in a small area and held there for a long stretch of time…
I’ve been on death row since 1984 locked in a 7×9 foot cell twenty three and a half hours a day…Yes I have a next door neighbor to talk with and I do go to the rec-yard twice a week for a total of 5-hours with other inmates , but my world is 7×9 feet…
Life on death row is hard for anyone , and the conditions have been described by the courts , lawmakers , news outlets , and just about anyone who has visited as utterly deplorable , ” not fit for animals, let alone humans…”
Confinement nowadays is nothing more than having your property removed and placed on a housing wing where you have nothing but time on your hands to think about your life or lack of it…Most spend no more than 30 days as a rule in confinement… A pain in the ass to be sure, but other than that no big deal…
Does Florida still have the “hole or box ???” Yes they do…They have a place over at FSP, ( FLORIDA STATE PRISON ) Where they can put you where you won’t see the light of day “literally,” for a very long time, years in some cases…
You are locked in a double door cell where the outer door is shut to block out sound and light…You have a cement bed with a thin mattress to sleep on, and very little personal property…There is a hole in the floor where you can deposit your body waste, and it’s flushed from outside the cell three times a day…There is a dim light on inside the cell and if the guards desire, they can pitch the cell into total darkness…Have I been there ??? Yes …
Death row is beyond most people understanding of hell…
We are recognized as, “THE LIVING DEAD,” or “DEAD MEN WALKING…” “LIVING GHOSTS” , and we do live in a shadow world between life and death , living vicariously through the life of others…
I’ve seen people go crazy…I’ve seen people commit suicide…And yes, I’ve seen people who have come to the stark realization that life was over for them and there was no hope left, so they just lied down and died…
While prison is, in theory, designed to rehabilitate offenders, one thing becomes clear to anyone taking a closer look…The goal of death row isn’t rehabilitation — it’s suffering, state sanctioned punishment, ” revenge “… Most will die by incarceration rather than being executed, having mentally and physically rotted away until death claims them…
Most are just cremated and buried in a prison bone yard with no ceremony or witnesses , or anything to indicate where their grave is…
I once heard an inmate describe death row, “as feeling like every single day having a gun pointed to one’s head and someone playing Russian roulette with you…” To me it’s the feeling of being buried alive, everyone knows but no one sees or cares, and most completely blinded to the horror of truth and reality that is our legal system…
Isolation and confinement can’t be described in any amount of words to those who have never lived it, and should you be lucky enough to slip the devils grasp, you’ll never live a normal life, you’ll away be there, in a nightmare, awake or asleep, because that nightmare will haunt you to your grave…
Hopefully it will give you a cloudy peek of the horror that is my world…

Richard Rhodes, undated

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes


Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes