Marge , UK
Marge was an elderly British lady, who did not survive
the execution of her friend Mark Ströman in 2011. She died
of a heart attack 8 weeks and one day after his execution.
He was calling her his "little rose".
Mark was guilty of hate crimes in the wake of
September 11th, killing two people and
injuring a third one, Rais, who survived.
On the other hand, he also helped Marge
to divert away from committing suicide after
the death of her husband.
My name is Linny Meakins, I am a Tutor for young adults with learning difficulties. I was a close friend of Mark Stroman who was incarcerated on Polunsky Death Row, Texas. Even though Mark was guilty of the crime for which he had been sentenced to death, Mark was a changed man, with a lot to offer this World as he could teach and communicate in a positive, meaningful and knowledgeable way with others that were either already walking down a darker path, or young people that were being drawn towards it.
There was not a day going by that went without Mark thinking about what he had done. He had a genuine desire to make amends. He had quietly been helping people all around the world. People with illnesses, people with cancer, people like my 78 years old Mum. She had suffered from severe depression since my father had died, to such an extent that she had wanted to take her own life. Mark succeeded where both the doctors and my family had failed: To lift my mother's spirits thanks to the care and support he was showing in his letters. Mark had become part of her family and had given her a new sense of hope, which was lost the day Mark was executed. I had grown to respect him. Even as he was facing the death himself at the time of his execution, his thoughts went to other people. The change that Mark could have made to use his life experience as a lesson and to stop hatred and bring peace to this World was lost with him when he was executed on 20th July 2011, as was the love, kindness and support that he was giving through his letters, to many people in need of it Worldwide.
I have learned much from my time with Mark Stroman, but most of all, how it has a massive impact on the loved ones of the Prisoner. It traumatises, brings pain, heartache and chaos to their lives. My mum died 8 weeks and one day after Mark did. The morning of her death, she said to me: I'm afraid to die alone. She pointed at Mark's picture and she said: He had said we would walk up that hill together, but he has gone without me. I held her hand and I said: Mum, he will come back for you and walk with you.
It is now time to put in place a more peaceful solution.
Mark Ströman's surviving victim in the USA, Rais Bhuyian, has created worldwithouthate.org