Randy’s Story

Randy Payne was 21. He was convicted of breaking into a warehouse and stealing liquor. Texas put him in a Maximum security prison. Eight days later, he was dead.

Randy Payne Alive

Randy Payne … Prior to incarceration

Randy Payne Dead

Beaten to death by two different gangs for not becoming sexually submissive. Where were the guards?

A Message from Randy’s Mother:
JANUARY 21, 1971-AUGUST 12, 1994

My son’s problems with the law started shortly after he graduated from high school. By the time he turned 21, he had been convicted of burglarizing two buildings and was in jail again, for breaking into a storage warehouse and stealing liquor. Randy arrived August 4, 1994, at the maximum-security Terrell Unit, a 2,250-bed prison that had been opened just nine months earlier, just outside Livingston, Texas. Young, non-violent offenders are told when they reach these violent prisons…you have to fight or pay convict gangs for protection. The currency often was sex. He wouldn’t pay for protection; so, they jumped him. He was beaten for over two hours, by 20 different inmates. And the guards didn’t see a thing, they claimed. They didn’t see a thing til they spotted Randy’s bloody body sprawled in the day room. Randy died a few days later of head injuries, in a Houston hospital. Randy got the death penalty for a non-violent offense. Within weeks after my son died, Anthony Thibodeaux, 24, who was serving an 18- robbery from Travis County, also died at the Terrell Unit–at the hands of other convicts to whom they had refused to pay protection. The fourth convict to die at Terrell was Michael McCoy, 30, a convicted car thief from Dickinson, Texas, who was beaten to death by two guards. The two guards were indicted for the murder of McCoy. They were both found guilty and sentenced to 10 years. After 99 days in prison, a small town judge paroled them both. There are so many unexplained deaths in our prison system and the majority of them are young, 18-30 years old, non-violent offenders. Why are these young men put in the same prison with violent prisoners??? We have asked this question so many times, and to this day… have not received a truthful answer. Since starting C.A.P.S., I have received hundreds of letters from these young offenders and this violence is widespread. It doesn’t exist in just a few of our prisons. The only way that this will be changed, is to educate the public and elect state officials who will check into this situation and correct it. Randy and Roy both were criminals and should pay their debt to society, but not with their lives. This inhuman treatment has to stop. The violent prisoners are treated better than the non-violent ones. And prison guards should have to pay for their crimes, when they beat or rape or murder the inmates. And when they turn their heads to the violence, they should at least lose their jobs. Prison guards think they are above the law and can do anything they please and not have to pay any consequences. The only witnesses to these incidents are other inmates and no one wants to believe the testimony of an convicted prisoner.
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