This is William A. Noguera. I am presently on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. And this commentary is entitled “Consequences.”
There is a theory that exists that connects the movements of a butterfly’s wings with the ultimate consequence of the birth of a hurricane on the other side of the world. It has different names: chaos theory, butterfly effect.
But whatever you want to call it, the actions of an individual have a similar effect on the lives of many people. It’s sometimes hard to imagine, especially if you’re young and impulsive, that your actions, as insignificant as they may seem to you, have a long-lasting effect on the lives of others. This is especially true when the actions are criminal in nature, because those actions affect people who are not willing participants.
It’s easy to immediately see the victim directly involved, but how about the invisible victims? Those affected every day, month, year, and decade you spend behind the walls of a prison. Those who wear the tears of your actions on their face every time they visit or accept your calls. Whether you want to admit it or not, your actions affect the ones you say you love in ways that imprisoned them with you and make them victims of your crime. Yes, butterfly effect sums it up rather well. The hurricane you produce destroys and shackles the lives of countless others to your actions.
There is a solution to this, and it’s firmly based on the profession of education. If we would invest in educating our high risk youth about the full range of consequences related to their actions, instead of spending millions in imprisoning them after the fact, we have a chance to save a few lives and prevent victims of so many.
I am William A. Noguera, and I understand the full range of consequences related to actions.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.