Today I ponder LWOP—life without parole—and the death penalty, how LWOP is the only sentence forever in limbo. People are battling to do away with the death penalty and to bring dates to non-LWOP lifers, and that is all a most worthy fight and cause. Yet, there is virtually no one other than brother Ken Hartman and The Other Death Penalty Project fighting from inside prison to end this travesty of injustice and inhumanity, and the hopes of bringing light and change to LWOP sentences, especially the ones imposed on youth under 21 or even 25 years old.
In most civilized countries a life sentence is ten to twenty years at the most, especially for youth or first time offenders. For LWOPs there is nothing, even though there are numerous credible ways to measure the deep changes that occur inside a LWOP prisoner. Lifers as a whole have the lowest recidivism rates; hardly any come back into prison for a capital crime, petty crime if anything. Most lifers, especially the older LWOPs, just want to live a little before they die. I am speaking of LWOPs with 30 or 40 years in prison.
I have served the equivalent of three life sentences in most civilized countries, especially for a youth and first termer. I just want to get out and die in old age peacefully.
Yet, I sit here with dashed hopes and dreams buried in a pit. Longing for a life, for female companionship, to see where my mum, dad, grandma and other family members and friends are buried. No one choose to share this LWOP endless path with me. My hope fades from many directions. After so many years in prison the hope, that deep spring well of magic, could bring someone to commune with on this journey is now a distant dream. How do I leave this shadow that seems only to be getting darker? I don’t know. At this moment I feel too unworthy to even consider to ask someone to share this narrow path of LWOP with me. A path with fire on one side and a pit on the other. No matter how deep the longing and pain grows. Yes, I can do this alone, because it gets harder to tap the realness pool inside. It will be better tomorrow and perhaps tomorrow is another life. My heart and soul is like browned grasses in a field right now.