This is the blog of Keven James Bramwell, an inmate in a maximum security Texas prison. These are his real-life stories of life in prison, and how he got there. Behind brick walls, steel doors, and iron gates, he shares the pages of his journals with the world. (Some material is adult in nature – reader discretion advised.) Cannot be reproduced without permission. COPYRIGHT 2011

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  • Lake Livingston, Texas

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Let The Words Run Through Your Veins

“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breathe of fresh air, the brightest light and darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colours fill your mind.”

 

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On The Horizon

Over the past few months, things have been incredibly stressful for me.  The stress does not necessarily come from dealing with a multitude of personalities here in my surroundings each day. For the most part, I’ve learned to contend with that part of my world fairly well over the past few years.

More than anything else, it’s been the emotional and mental challenges of facing– head on– my life’s bare and harsh realities.

You’d think that life, without the obligations of functioning in a normal society would be an easy ride.  However, the fact is that life behind these walls is brutal and exhausting most of the time.

Two of my closest and dearest companions (really, my only friends in here) will both be free after more than a decade of imprisonment.  Just writing those words makes me think of thousands of birds taking flight. They will soon be stepping out in a world unfamiliar to them. In many ways, they will be leaving a part of themselves here with me– behind.

The complexities of having to let go is very heavy on the soul.  Even after all that I have lost, letting go is still very difficult to comprehend.  The tremendous pain and fear compromise the heart’s ability to recognize certain things.  It is extremely difficult to recognize that, often times, when things feel like they are falling to pieces, they may very well be falling right into place.

In the kaleidoscope of life’s twists and turns, there is always something that gleams in the distance.

Just weeks ago, I met with my lawyer for the very first time.  Together we discussed my case and I was able to open up and share with him every detail of my case.  It was difficult to reopen those doors, but it was a great sense of relinquishment to go through these details and explain that my story is much more than black and white.  This is the beginning stage of working on my Writ of Habeas Corpus.  He explained the process to me, and the steps that we will be taking to ensure that there is no stone left unturned in the fight for my freedom.

I look out my window this evening and I see the beautiful sun far away, barely illuminating the dark trees.

It’s always in the distance where I search for something much greater. As intertwined as I am right now in all of my life’s tragedies and triumphs, I pray to God that the lessons he is teaching me provide me with the strength I will need to continue searching, always, for what lies ahead on the horizon.

–Keven James, August 2014

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Experiencing God Graduation

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Keven & Charlie graduating Experiencing God

What If…

“What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?”

 

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Man’s Search For Meaning

“… The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life. 
It may remain brave, dignified, and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal.
Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of, or to forego, the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not. Do not think that these considerations are unworldly and too far removed from real life. It is true that only few people are capable of reaching such high moral standards. Only few keep their inner liberty and obtain those values which their suffering afforded, but even one such example is sufficient proof that man’s inner strength may raise him above his outward fate…”  

 

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A Real Defense For Keven James Bramwell

Hello Everyone,

This is an update on the progress in Keven’s case. Last week, an attorney was obtained for Keven.

Some of you may know this already, but about a month before Keven was arrested, he was in a near-fatal car accident. Keven sustained a traumatic brain injury and had to be taken by life-flight helicopter to have immediate surgery. This accident left Keven unconscious for days and he sustained numerous facial injuries (a lafort II fracture of the maxilla). This injury alone required extensive maxillofacial restorative surgery. The whole bone structure of his upper jaw had been knocked loose from the remaining structure of his skull.

In an affidavit from his neurologist, he stated “my own thought of his arrest and the story that accompanied it was that his behavior likely was related to the trauma he had suffered and brain injury which effected his judgment.”

Keven obtaining an attorney is the biggest thing that has happened in his case since he was sentenced 8 years ago. He never had adequate representation, he was sentenced without a jury, and the judge rendered his sentence in under 40 minutes.

I am writing this on Keven’s behalf because he needs your help, love, and support now more than ever. This will not be an easy battle or one that will resolve overnight. The following is a website we have set up to fund his legal representation:

http://www.gofundme.com/kevenjamesbramwell

Any and all support would be more than appreciated and is desperately needed. Keven’s life is literally at stake and we pray you find it in your hearts to help save him.

*Please share this link with anyone and everyone you can*

Two Thousand Thirty Five

Every day, people’s lives are shattered to pieces.  Things are taken from us unexpectedly; loved ones, good health, and peace of mind.  In the same breath, we’re given priceless rewards that compare to nothing else: the gift of a new life, falling in love, and being saved.

All around us, the world twists and turns with miracles, disasters, and amazing things that change us.  Things that challenge us, uplift us, and often times will break us.  My life has been filled with all of these things.

Before my accident and traumatic brain injury, I still held in my hands the innocent mentality of anything in this world being possible.  Even though I battled with addiction and incredible burdens buried within me, my heart was still beating like a wild, free spirit.

You can never imagine trying to understand and make sense of doing something completely out of your character.  Sitting on a stand and listening to complete strangers paint a picture of a “monster,” and knowing that your actions caused great pain in the lives of others.  Today, my heart beats with immense grief and determination.

The balance of facts and the speaking of the truth should have been my ally.  Allowing the facts to speak for themselves, truth and justice should have triumphed.  However, when massive public sentiment or the sentiments and prejudices of my public defender (who secretly corroborated with the court), facts alone were simply not enough.

If there is one crime among all others where the benefit of the doubt is seldom given, it is those crimes such as mine.  People do not respond with reason when the crime involves a child, which is entirely understandable.  Emotions play an enormous role in any legal proceeding.  The prosecutor knew this, all too well, when she adopted her dehumanizing attitude towards me.  It is a trick as old as the hills; continually referring to me as a “monster” both in court and to the media.  She entirely detached the sympathy which popular sentiment would otherwise have had.  Even when someone is accused of murder, people will often pause and consider that the crime has to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, before it is believed.

In the case of a crime against a child, the worst is automatically assumed. I can understand the nobility of leaping to the defense of the defenseless and the innocent with so much persistence.  However, when it goes beyond defense and starts becoming the ally of injustice; it has clearly gone too far.

To put my sentence in perspective and understand its severity, I’ll mention a neighbor of mine.   Two doors down is one of Texas’ most infamous serial killers, “Henley”.  In the early 1970’s, he assisted in the gruesome murders of 30 teenage boys.  Both he and his accomplice received multiple life sentences for their roles in the crimes.  Henley will come up for parole again this year; 21 years before I will ever set foot before the parole board.

The extreme amount of time for which I was sentenced was for a non-violent assault.  There was no force, no rape, and the crime did not involve intercourse.  This is the first time I had any problem with the law, and my sentence was beyond any normal explanation.  My crime was classified as aggressive only because of age; my 99 year sentence is a seal on my fate and my freedom.  This will be true until the facts of my case are presented to a jury instead of just a judge in 45 minutes.

You may wonder where a man finds hope, courage, and resilience when all that he has ever know and all that awaits him tomorrow feels like dust in the wind.  It’s from within that place in each of us where we hold on to something treasured: our memories, our faith, our loved ones, and our dreams.  It’s only when those things we treasure most remain, that we find the strength to face tomorrow and our next chapter maybe written.

Keven James

May 2014

This entry is dedicated to my dear friend, Herman, the magnificent story teller from South Africa.

Lake Livingston, Texas

Lake Livingston, Texas

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