Other times, he tried to find some justice in his situation and found it in the bad things he'd done—putting his mother and sisters through all their trips to bail him out of jail, not calling out Carlos Hernandez right from the start, dragging his family to death row to see him.24 "I don't blame any one but my self," he wrote. "[T]hat is why I well accept If the state of Texas decides to execute me."25
"[I]n his heart," Rose said, Carlos "accepted that he was going to be executed. That it was going to be okay, because of all the hurt that he caused, all the hurt that he did—not on this crime that he was convicted for—but all the other things that he did, [that] would even things out."26 Rose believed Carlos had found some peace. "He knew that he was forgiven," she said, by her and by God.27 There was one letter in particular that Carlos had written, late in the ordeal, which had made her feel that way.28 She lost the letter and other things from Carlos when a garage flooded out, but she continued to find solace in the forgiveness he said he felt.29
During that first week in December, Carlos went back and forth between the fear he'd admitted to Chronicle reporter Kathy Fair30 and the peace his sister Rose described. In a letter he wrote to Karen Boudrie late on Tuesday night December 5th, he said he'd felt scared all day Monday.31 But Monday night, for the first time ever on the Row, he'd slept soundly and straight through his alarm clock going off.32 "I woke everybody else up in the same tank with me," he wrote to Boudrie. "I can't believe I am sleeping too good with all this happening."33
Boudrie read the letter to the investigators in a videotaped interview years later, smoothing out Carlos's spelling and punctuation. "'But you know what, Karen?'" she read, "'I am not scared like I was yesterday. I feel like this peace came from somewhere and entered my body, and I feel very peacefully about everything.'"34
See, e.g., Letter from Carlos DeLuna to Vicky Gutierrez, Half-Sister of Carlos DeLuna, (June 30, 1988) at 3 ("I sometimes sit here at night and I cry to myself and I wonder how could I have ever let some stupid thing like this happen because of a friend who did it and I kept my mouth shut about it all.");
see Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 20:47:20–20:50:10.
Letter from Carlos DeLuna to Vicky Gutierrez, Half-Sister of Carlos DeLuna, (June 30, 1988) at 3.
Transcribed Videotape Interview with Rose Rhoton, Sister of Carlos DeLuna, in Houston, Tex. (Feb. 26, 2005) at 21:21:30–21:26:27:
Q. There was a letter that was written. Carlos wrote a letter at the very, very end of his hours, he wrote a letter . . . . Would you tell us about that letter? What the contents were and what became of the letter?
A. I wish I would have been able to save that letter. When I opened that letter, Carlos was apologizing for all the hurt that he caused. And I know what he meant by that. He was hurting for us, because he knew that I would be hurting for him. He knew that. And he was just so sorry for all the pain that he caused to his family members, and to his mom, to our mother. He knew that.
Q. Did he say anything in that letter that indicated he was guilty of the crime for which he was—
A. No. He never stated that on the letter. He just said he was sorry for causing us pain. He was sorry.
Q. What happened to that letter?
A. When we moved, I had asked my sister, that lives in Garland. I had some boxes, all Carlos's stuff, that was sent back to me. And that was the hardest thing, receiving your brother's things. They sent them in boxes. All his belongings in a box. I placed all those things in a storage box, because I was very hurt. When we moved I asked my sister if we could store some stuff in her garage and she said yes. When I did ask for all the stuff back, which was six, seven years later, all the stuff got destroyed. Which I was very devastated, because Carlos's things were there. All his belongings, his watch that he wore all the time, his books that he read, his Bible, were all destroyed. And all the letters that we corresponded back and forth was all destroyed in that box.
Q. Do you know how it got destroyed?
A. My sister said it was damage by all the rain, things that her storage got all messed up. Not only did my things get destroyed but her things got destroyed, too.
See supra note 28.
See supra Chapter 15, notes 287–289 and accompanying text.
Transcribed Videotape Interview with Karen Boudrie-Evers, Corpus Christi Television Reporter, in Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2005) at 03:21:15–03:34:45:
[reading from a letter Carlos DeLuna wrote to Karen Boudrie on December 5, 1989] On December 5th, 1989, he writes, Carlos DeLuna writes, "Dear Karen, I thought I would write you another letter today. I hope you don't get bored with my letters. I usually write a whole lot. Well, today is Tuesday, and I still haven't heard anything [from the court of appeals]. It's 10:32 p.m., and I'm trying to see if they would allow me to make a phone call to call some of my family members. I was just thinking last night, I had set my alarm clock to get up early. That way I could try and talk to some people I needed to talk to. The alarm clock went off, and you know, for the first time since I've been here I never have ever slept right through the alarm. I woke everybody else up in the same tank with me, and my neighbor kept banging on my bars 'till I woke up. I can't believe I am sleeping too good with all this happening. . . . But you know what, Karen? I am not scared like I was yesterday. I feel like this peace came from somewhere and entered my body, and I feel very peacefully about everything."