A stolen letter, a posthumous package, a Christmas card from a stranger
At The Arraignment
Which of us has never broken a law? / I died for you — a desperate extravagance, even for me. / If you can’t be merciful, at least be bold.
Laws, it is said, are for protection of the people. It’s unfortunate that there are no statistics on the number of lives that are clobbered yearly as a result of laws: outmoded laws; laws that found their way onto the books as a result of ignorance, hysteria, or political haymaking; antilife laws; biased laws; laws that pretend that reality is fixed and nature is definable. . . . A survey such as that could keep a dozen dull sociologists out of mischief for months.
Unstacking The Deck
Lara Bazelon On The Deep-Rooted Flaws Of Our Justice System
By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
I Still Don’t Feel Free
I’m sick of being defined by the prison experience and long to be a normal human being with a past that doesn’t need to be discussed.
The Union Waltz
After work we would be headed to Smitty’s Bar, where the twangy music would kick up, and I’d try to find the courage to dance in public.
They take turns at the feeders, but if one lingers too long, the others — usually males — will jabber insults until the offender leaves. I have a secret nickname for the house sparrows: Little A-holes.
“Imagine if we’d known,” I said. “If you’d had a diagnosis, you could have been given lithium or something to help you.” Joan lifted her hands to her face and sobbed.
When I was nine, / my father began / telling me how to hurt / other boys. He said to / squeeze their upper lips / until their eyes watered / or twist their ears and / hold them low so you can / walk them like a dog.