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Letters from Prison

JLWOP

This site is in remembrance of a dear friend that was incarcerated at the age of 16. Serving three consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole led him to suicide at the age of 25. These are excerpts from his letters during the last four years of his life, the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2017.

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11.10.12

“I did indeed kill those people.”

11.24.12

“…the concept of spending the rest of my life finally hit me… It’s really hard for me because I’m so young. It’s not like a guy in his forties where he has 20-30 years. I’ll easily do 50-55 years before I die. I’ve only been in jail for 5 1/2 years and I’m already flaking out. Currently, I’m dealing with the aftermath of that realization.”

11.24.12

“…my sentence is very unfair for two main reasons. One, my age and two, my mental state during the crime. I was interviewed by a forensic psychiatrist, a forensic psychologist and a child psychologist and all three agreed that mental illness played a huge factor. However, it did not reach the requirements of legal insanity.”

11.24.12

“…there are a lot of people who don’t believe that I did it and many of those people don’t believe that I could have because of my extreme benevolence towards all people, even my enemies. But the man I am now is very different from the boy I once was. Back then, I was consumed by anger, hate for myself and others, bitterness, arrogance, aggression, hostility and violence. Needless to say, it turned me into a killer. Of course few people really care about the reasons behind my actions. They only see my crime and judge and condemn without even trying to understand. I am not at all surprised by this: that’s just the way people are. But they must understand that if they want understanding and forgiveness they must give that to others also. Few things in life are a one way street.

“The main one I can think of is from birth til death. Doesn’t matter how bad you want to, you can’t turn back time. One of my greatest desires is to undo what I did and take away the pain, but no human can do this. So we have to keep going. We don’t really have any other choice. I know a lot of people are angry and many people got screwed: including me. I didn’t choose to be born with mental illness.”

11.24.12

“…I like being unique. I was never in the ‘in’ crowd and I didn’t want to be. I did my own thing. A lot of the more mature individuals respected and loved me for that.”

12.17.12

“I was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features misdiagnosed. I wasn’t and am not psychotic you know, having hallucinations and paranoia. Doctors really should learn to listen better and ask questions more rather than making assumptions. Arrogant insolence. A major problem among many ‘intelligent’ or ‘qualified’ people. There’s nothing wrong with being confident, but conceited – that doesn’t help. It just makes you look like an idiot when people realize you’re wrong.

“Nobody has bothered to try to diagnose the anger and emotional instability issues. Yet they give me a decent dose of mood stabilizers. That madness is the source of most of my problems ¬†and is the reason I’m in jail. Nobody cares though. Unfair, I must say. Everyone expects me to be tolerant and understanding, yet very few people are tolerant or understanding of me or anyone else. Hypocrisy. I hate it.”

1.23.13

“…most people being ignorant, foolish, liars, crooks, hypocrites, etc. is exactly why I’m fighting to get out of prison. Justice doesn’t exist here in the DOC or in our courts. I’m not going to be subject to the insolent, hypocritical, perverted form of ‘justice’ that people like [DA and judge] support, protect and maintain. Our community has signed its contract to be thrown into hell. Let them burn! They have opportunity after opportunity to see the error of their ways and they refuse to change. And instead they point the finger at me and say that I’m the bad guy. If they want to see the bad guy, they have but to look in the mirror.”

1.23.13

“…what if I told you that the only reason I claim to have murdered the [last name of family] is to establish my own credibility? All of my friends and even my own family believed [name of DA and state of incarceration] instead of me. I tried to deny my guilt and even my own parents didn’t believe me because the police told them that the state had ‘evidence.’ If I deny it, I’m a liar, admit to it and I can have some semblance of respect and credibility even though I’m a killer. I didn’t have much of a chance. Now, I don’t care who is with me. The Father is and that’s all that matters to me. I was ganged up on by my family’s attorney, my public defender, the DA, the judge, the police and all of [name of county].”

1.29.13

“I must say, I don’t have much faith in psychology anymore due to its inability to figure out who/what I am. Perhaps I should say that I have lost faith in psychologists and psychiatrists. They all failed. But that’s to be expected. They assumed that I’d fit a generic mold. Major mistake. ‘Tis why no one has been able to help me effectively. Good thing I’m intelligent, independent, and determined. Otherwise, I’d be sunk.”

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