I stumbled upon a website called writeaprisoner.com. I started reading profiles. I thought that I would put Jamie’s profile up if he wanted to see if there might be others who would like to write to him. There is not much else to do but read and write. I wrote to four men on death row. I thought what they might say would be interesting. I have heard back from two so far. I also sent cards to five inmates at Easter and one has written me a reply. Getting mail can make anyone’s day better whether you are locked up or not. Prisons come in many forms.
From what I’ve read, and it makes sense, it’s hard to deal with the people who guard you. There those who think they shouldn’t have to have any consideration that the people who are locked up are still human beings with feelings. No one has said they are innocent. They have taken responsibility for the things they did, but given the fact that sentences are longer and harsher, the sentence often doesn’t fit the crime. But regardless there is no purpose to making it harder than it has to be. If everyone did time for every crime they committed there would be no one left on the outside. It seems that a fairly large percentage of prison staff enjoy hurting the inmates. What kind of person does that make him be? I rarely hear about a guard who did something nice for an inmate. That would be an interesting concept to put out there.
One man who wrote to me who was not on death row, was put into prison for shooting a dear out of season. Since he had done time before, they wanted to put him back in prison for being an habitual criminal. Prison for shooting a dear. Amazing. What lengths our justice system will go to keep our prisons full. It’s obvious he didn’t have an attorney. If he had the money for an attorney he probably would have only had his wrist slapped. I don’t think people realize how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of the bars.
The overwelming feeling I got from the men who wrote to me, was appreciation for caring and for taking the time to write. Whether the are in general population or in as seg/G5/solitary, being separated from your friends and family is hard on both parties, especially the children.
I also received a letter from a man named Tarus Sales. He’s been incarcerated for 13 of his 34 years. Eleven of those years has been on death row. I don’t know exactly what got him there but it had to do with hurting someone very badly because that man had molested the daughters of a cousin. I don’t know any more than that. He is just about the same age as Jamie. They both are losing their young adult lives being kept in a very small cement cage. But death row is different. You have to adjust to the fact that there is a good possibility that you will die there and never have the chance to experience life again where you are in control of your fate.
He said he grew up hard. He was born into an environment that leads to drugs and violence. As a young child . . . better yet, let me use his words . . . ” Having to shoulder such a hard life doesn’t make me any lesser than the next man. In fact, I believe, it made me a better man because children who are sheltered and never have to face adversity, are not built to “overstand” what it is like to do what you have to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones. We are the acceptance to the rule. You (the exotic dancer) and me (the young dope boy) ((yes, part of my past))
I entered jail a hood superstar. Since then I’ve grown. I am the man my mother raised me to be, but couldn’t. The streets had me. Plus, I’ve heard it said that a woman can only raise a boy so far. She has to let her kid go in order for the kid to grow. Do you agree? I am the father of two teenage children whom I love more than my next breath. Those two are why I fight.
Fighting to be freed is my main priority. Therefore I am open to speak about my case and look to work with people interested in speaking out against the wrong and inhumane death penalty.”
I don’t know his entire story, but I do know this. Killing him serves no purpose. As I find out more I will post it here. But what I see is a man who wants to have the kind of life his mother wanted him to have. Will any part of society be better off by killing him? Will his children be better off? I sincerely doubt it