All humans feel fear, anger, loneliness, frustration and yearning, but in a single man cell, with only these emotions for company, it can destroy you. Who does a man expect to communicate and confide in? How am I, or anyone, to feel love, learn of compassion, and experience either of them if we are isolated. Getting mail helps a lot, and I am very grateful for the friends and family who write to me. But it usually takes at least two to four weeks to get it. Is that another way of punishing us? There are no phone calls allowed, no contact visits to feel another human being or to hear our loved ones voices. What about seeing the emotions on their faces, hearing the love in their tone of their voice and be able to hug them or hold their hands? What about the husbands and fathers and kids whose physical relationships are just as important to them? It’s cruel and unusual punishment to be deprived of that contact if our actions do NOT warrant it.
The food has no salt in it nor can I purchase any. There is also a limit as to how much we can purchase during our monthly opportunity to go to the canteen. The food is bland and they give us only enough to keep us alive. I’d say it’s the legal limit but our trays don’t hold the legal limit of some foods.
On September 27, 2011, a memo came out saying all inmates shall have access to art supplies and exercise equipment. In art, I discovered a previously unknown skill, an avenue of creativity and an unknown therapeutic avenue. It’s an exercise in building self esteem. Many compare it to a spiritual process thus very beneficial in many abstract ways. Yet here in the A/C on San Quentin Prison death row it’s not allowed. Shouldn’t C.D.C.R. follow their own rules?
I’m condemned to execution and may be in prison, but I am not immune to my own unconscious drives and stressful thoughts. The only time I am out of my cells is for three hour yard time three times a week. The cells have a ventilation system that blows cold air then hot air. Hot air which is suffocating and worse than the hottest summer day. What’s worse is that it is often cold in the winter and hot in the summer for weeks on end so I have to live through yet another torture. The toilet flushes two time in a half hour so if I’m not careful another I’ll be eating my meal with the smell of feces and urine. The mattress is 4″ thick but worn down from years of use. How is that any better for our state of mind? Do they care?
Man shouldn’t be punished for talking to whom he pleases to talk to. Man should not be punished for not ignoring his own race and exercising with whom he wishes and believing as he wishes to believe. One way to leave the A/C is if you give information to the I.G.I. There is nothing going on here. So people make up stuff. In fact, it’s encouraged that they do so. It reminds me of the Culture Revolution in China, condemn someone else to gain better treatment and truth be damned! The information is never proven to be true, but it is still put into your file as if it were the truth and it’s used against you as if it were the truth and you have no chance of defending yourself.
When the law is being enforced it isn’t considered racism. It’s how the system is set up. But what is the difference when the results are the same? No matter what valid, logical arguments are presented in my favor their party line is adhered to -I’m stuck in the A/C. Shouldn’t justice be done for man’s sake, not only justice for the sake of justice? That is proving to be Nobel Cause Corruption. Where is the incentive for us to follow the rules if the end is the same . . . I’m stuck in the A/C. Who’s the vindictive party here when I’m disciplinary free?
The United Kingdom did an in depth study into the state of mind of the prisoner about to be executed. They found it to be torture so they did not execute based on that, along with other valid humanitarian reasons. I agree 100% Why is the USA right and the UK and the UN wrong?
Is this supposed to prove there are two different versions of right and wrong? I have read that a country is judged by its treatment of prisoners. Iran arrested three American hitchhikers under the mistaken idea they were spies. One of those three, Shane Bauer, the journalist who earlier won the John Jay College Award for his story on California Isolation Units again visited California prisons. How ironic is that? Afterward, he said Iran gave them better treatment than prisoners get in the US. Their cells were bigger, they were able to go out into a bigger “yard”. In Ca there are places of solitary confinement where going into the “yard” just meant a slightly bigger cement box. His time in solitary was very short compared to what I have done or what I am facing, and he is still having a hard time getting over his experience. How am I supposed to deal with mine for what is going to be a very, very long time. What is the point in trying to make this time harder than need be? I’m locked up. What more could they possibly want except to try and make it difficult for me to have any kind of life at all? Is there some kind of satisfaction gained by doing it?
I patiently dwell in death row’s vicissitudes because I have hope it will get better. I refuse to become stagnant, to be executed in mind and spirit before executing my body. I refuse to let them extinguish the spark of spirituality and knowledge now enflamed in me. I refuse to become bitter but instead fight for a peaceful life, I refuse to become angry, yet not become complacent. This is why I share my story of the California Death Row in the Adjustment Center.
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