Former Death-Row Inmate Sent Back to Prison

Martin Draughon returns to the clink after becoming a test case for alleged flaws in GPS monitoring devices

The broadcast and ministry continue to grow. A Monday night broadcast has been added, and according to Wolfe, KDOL has applied for the permits to expand the signal to Huntsville and Houston.

At a recent Sunday show, a woman from Germany, who had married a man on death row, sat in and helped read letters to inmates. Four other women — three from England and one from Italy — arrived at the house to send messages to the men they had married on death row.

All Life Is Precious Ministries has presided over seven death-row marriages. Weathers finds someone to stand in as the groom, and Joplin leads the service. The ceremonies take place in the KDOL studio, and the entire event is broadcast live.

A party was planned for Draughon (third from right) the night he was paroled off death row.
Courtesy of Giles Lyon
A party was planned for Draughon (third from right) the night he was paroled off death row.
Draughon is back in prison on a parole violation.
Daniel Kramer
Draughon is back in prison on a parole violation.

"It's just that connection, I guess, that they want to feel," Weathers says.

As for her relationship with Draughon, Weathers says she is "in it for the long haul," though the couple never was married. Weathers says she wanted a church wedding, but that she and Draughon never had the chance.

She hopes he will return to Livingston if he is paroled out again, but Draughon has told her that is unlikely to happen. Weathers no longer discusses Draughon's case on the show because he asked her to stop.

"Martin's just frustrated and tired," Weathers says. "The Lord has got His hand on him, because this is going to involve so many more people than Martin."

But Draughon doesn't want to be the face of the fight against injustice or a voice for other prisoners anymore. He would just like another chance at freedom.

Draughon sometimes receives letters from other prisoners who have heard about his case on the radio. In one letter, a prisoner wrote that Draughon has become "a bit of a folk hero."

"Right now I'm in the process of gathering affidavits from these people on monitors on just how screwed up they are," the prisoner wrote. "Once I get them together, real evidence, we'll send them to you."

After reading the letter aloud, Draughon says, "Now why is he sending them to me?"

He wants to get away from prison. His dream is to get out and find work as a diver for a salvage company, disappearing under water to search for metal that has sunk to the ocean floor. He read about a company in Houston that hires convicts.

Ideally he'd like to leave Texas. He recently wrote a letter to Felicia asking if she would sponsor him when he comes up for parole. Felicia has not responded.

"I just want to get out and start a life and be left alone," Draughon says. "But it looks like that isn't an option."

paul.knight@houstonpress.com

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