Tag: life without parole
Equity across the board is the crucial component for creating positive change within Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. Commissioners must take account of all women’s needs. As it stands, new policies are implemented within the narrow scope of reducing overcrowding in the interest of public safety with the age-old tactic of fearmongering. Thus, violent offenders serving LWOP (Life Without Parole) are devoid of representation.
Congratulations to Brothers in Pen for a fantastic book party and reading Oct. 20 at San Quentin State Prison. The work, whether fiction or poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir or dramatic lit, is stellar and the huge panel afterward, where the writers shared their creative process and the importance of art in their lives, was equally valuable and enlightening. That such beauty is possible behind bars is testament to the power of art to light darkness.
On March 21, the Stateville Correctional Center Debate Team, hosted a public debate about bringing a parole system back to Illinois – one of two states which currently does not have parole. As Illinois boasts the No. 1 most overcrowded prison system in the US – operating at 151 percent capacity – and the system is spending $2 billion and counting each year, the time to reinstate parole was undoubtedly yesterday.
In light of what occurred in Orlando, Florida, and other mass shootings, it comes as no surprise to any of us that the political establishment wants and encourages us to think of madness like this within the narrow context of gun control – taking guns out of the hands of criminals. But, the question must now be asked of the larger community: Why are we so unwilling to view and struggle around what these acts really are – hate!
Over the past few years, President Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, members of both houses of Congress and many other elected officials have expressed the need for criminal justice reform. Much concern has been raised regarding overly harsh penalties for low-level drug offenses and firearms violations. There is, however, one particularly egregious judicial injustice that has not made the headlines, perhaps because it primarily effects only poor African Americans.
The title of my book, “Annotated Tears: America’s Auschwitz,” came from one of the poems inside. It’s a socio-political piece geared toward unveiling California’s injustice system, with specific reference to its treatment of juveniles, which upon reflection resembles Hitler’s Germany. The piece, entitled “America’s Auschwitz,” begins: Everybody’s a victim -- Sick depictions of pain ... Gestapos lurking through the ghettos -- Trailed by a bag of chains ...
Though on paper they took Mumia off death row, it seems like the government has opted to passively murder the activist under the cloak of bureaucratic immunity. The state seems intent to allow the Hepatitis C to “progress” until Mumia dies. This is just another case of murder by the hands of a racist system. They are content to cut costs by denying us proper healthcare. They’re killing our OGs y’all. Look at what they are doing to Mumia!
In classic Fox form, the interview with me would not be about the case or about the appointment of Adegbile. In the end, the point of the segment was for Fox to call Mumia “a thrice-convicted cop killer” as many times as possible, and to associate that with Debo Adegbile so as to strategically energize a right-wing agenda against the gains of the civil rights movement – following the same pattern as in their successful campaign to decommission Van Jones.
In the words of Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson, his situation is “intolerable.” He speaks for all innocent prisoners. It is estimated that in the United States 100,000 or more factually innocent people are in prison. Many, like Lorenzo, are on “slow death row,” serving life without parole. Action for Lorenzo Johnson’s freedom is part the fight for all the innocent in prison and a challenge to this system of injustice.
All eyes are on Pelican Bay SHU, the shame of California, where men who have been locked in concrete coffins for decades called a hunger strike and work stoppage that 30,000 prisoners joined when it began Monday, July 8. It will last until their Five Core Demands are met. Our opportunity to stand in solidarity comes this Saturday, July 13: All out for a MASS STATEWIDE RALLY at Corcoran, where 2,000 prisoners are locked in solitary confinement. Caravan leaves MacArthur BART in Oakland and Chuco's in Inglewood at 8:30 a.m.; rally at 2 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Park in Corcoran. Join the revolution! All power to the people!
Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson’s story is an excruciatingly clear example of an innocent man caught in a corrupt process. The state has worked overtime to keep him locked up for life. Evidence was falsified by the police and prosecution. And when a federal appeals court ruled this so-called evidence was legally insufficient to convict, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and reinstated his conviction.
On Jan. 26, 2013, a rally was held outside of CCWF. Music, signs and most of all unity were in evidence that day. People came together for a common goal to bring awareness to what is going on behind locked doors. I encourage you all to consider supporting bills, rallies and laws that give the rehabilitated a chance for redemption.
“I cannot go on / but I will go on - / on and on even when / on becomes off,” writes Spoon Jackson, the well known writer serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, the “other death penalty” that will become the fate of all death row prisoners if Prop 34 passes. Spoon and most death row prisoners are adamantly opposed.
In the state of California, 227 people who were juveniles when they were convicted are serving life term prison sentences without the chance to ever re-enter society. Senate Bill 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, would allow sentence reduction to 25 years to life.