Prison Radio
Spoon Jackson

Spoon Jackson, calling from Solano, and got a piece that I want to read about a fellow LWOP who is dying of cancer and trying to be commuted. Been down over 30 years but the powers that be are not budging on commuting him, even though he’s receiving radiation. And because he has life without [parole], they decided that his life isn’t worth saving or sending out to the streets. So he’ll probably perish inside prison. And this is – he was one of the main members who went around trying to gather up all the LWOPs and make sure that everybody was staying on the straight and narrow, and was doing everything they can to continue to better themselves so that they have a chance to get out of prison.

And I wrote this piece because we on two different yards. It’s called “Fellowship.”

My friend and fellow LWOP, Sonny, is dying of cancer. Bedridden, remorseful, and sad, holding to a string of hope, a string of light, a string of mercy. I thought mercy was to be given to those who show promise, change in direction, and not meted out on some esoteric agenda. How can the powers be not merciful after 20, 30, or 40 years, even after Sonny threw himself on the mercy of the courts, Governor, and gods? Yet Sonny dies like a wounded pigeon, falling and rolling about the ground. He dies like an upside down turtle in the desert. Is it still justice or revenge?

He is old and almost dead, no threat to anyone. The pain he caused others and himself eats at his heart like a power drill. When does justice becomes revenge in inmate economics? How can you serve mercy to some and not others? Aren’t we all equally as wicked and equally as good? Mercy must be based on each individual to be mercy, based on the now and not exclude whole groups of people.

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