San Quentin

"When Will Solitary End?" by Carlos Marvin Argueta Jr.

 

When Will Solitary End?

I sit in solitary confinement,

Monitored and evaluated,

Psychologically tested,

Tortured in more ways than I care

To remember or burden you with,

With hopes I’d crack and beg,

Beg to be let out of this torturous place

And crack, losing the bit of sanity I have left

Like so many others before me and so many others

Yet to fall, fall prey to the prison’s administrators,

To the countless tactical torturous games they play.

 

I am but one of a few hundred who still stand strong,

Fighting to survive, accumulating deep embedded scars

With each passing day, learning to be resilient to all

That’s thrown and piled up against me

In such a difficult, miserable place.

 

Lonely and deprived of so much, I sit here

Beyond desperate for a helping hand, for something,

Someone, for a movement, for human rights lawyers

And all the advocates out there to put an end

To this heinous practice of solitary confinement

And take me away from this place with my dignity intact.

I hope it’s soon, before many more fall prey

And lose themselves in this dungeon of hell and misery

That’s been in place for far too long.

_____

 

My actions will soon come

Hoping that they’ll draw the attention needed

To end this heinous practice

Once and for all.

Please DON’T vote in favor of Prop 34 to end California’s death penalty, from Verbena Lea Oct 2012

feedback welcome to copwatchrwc@riseup.net, especially if you've read the various statements!  ~Verbena of RedwoodCurtain CopWatch

I know that this might be difficult for people to understand, but I am urging you not to vote for Prop 34, the Savings, Accountability, and Full Enforcement for California Act (SAFE California Act).  Never would I believe that I would stand in the way of abolishing the death penalty, but as with many propositions, bills, and ballot measures brought to the people in the past, with promising names (i.e. the horrendous and misleading "Victim's Rights Bill", Prop 9 in 2008) or the appearance of good ideas, it is necessary to look deeper- WHO created the bill?  WHO is advocating for it?  WHO is against it?  WHY?  Propositions put in petitions and on our ballots are not always as simple or righteous as they sound.

I have been talking some with people who have worked with prisoners and have fought for years against the racist, classist, unjust, and cruel jail and prison system of the U.S.- which has about 2.3 million people captured in its cages, and many more under the constant scrutiny and control of the injustice system (run by some of the worst crooks/criminals on Earth). And this does not account for the U.S. immigration detention centers, holding thousands of captives.  So, I sought out some opinions from people I trust, especially after speaking with a local woman who has been doing prisoner support and prison abolition work, and she was not excited about Prop 34. The large majority of people on death row in CA, apparently are not in favor either.  That says a lot.

It is my strong opinion, now, that we should not allow Prop 34 to pass.  And we should get busy creating a better ballot measure to end the death penalty, which puts funding in a just direction for those so harmed by the injustice system.


Below are four writings from prisoners on Death Row in San Quentin.  One of the writers, Kevin Cooper is an outspoken artist, writer, prisoner who was framed (like many black men) years ago for murder and has been fighting to be freed from prison and from death row for many years.  I think he raises important questions to examine... WHY were death row inmates never consulted by the proponents of this Act?  Who are the proponents?

PLEASE READ the statement from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty as to why it "cannot add its name to the list of organizations endorsing the California SAFE Act."   Here is the link:
http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/organizing-updates/october-25-2012-organizing-update/cedp-statement-california-safe-act

 

It is a matter of innocence, not economics

October 1, 2012

by Jarvis Jay Masters (on San Quentin's Death Row)

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty.

You need to know that your vote for this act would throw away the key for all the innocent men and women on death row and, instead, sentence all prisoners on death row to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole and without effective legal representation.

The way I see it is, behind the scenes, the “Act” has been to cast Jeannie Woodford, former prison guard, former San Quentin warden, former director of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and current director of Death Penalty Focus, an organization striving to abolish the death penalty, to build support for this “Act” from, among others, the prison guards union.

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty.

I am not the first to say how deeply troubling it is to see this initiative being advocated for by a woman who presided over state executions without ever offering an OPEN apology.

There is something even more troubling about depending on a flawed prison system and its employees to go ahead and make this decision, when the men and women at risk have never been asked for our two cents about matters that affect our life and death.  PLEASE KEEP READING!

12, 000 Hunger Striking Prisoners! FACEBOOK links & VIDEO

Prisoner Hunger Strike Grows to Nearly 12,000!

Numbers released by the federal receiver’s office show that on September 28th, nearly 12,000 prisoners were on hunger strike, including California prisoners who are housed in out of state prisons in Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma. This historic and unprecedented number shows the strength and resolve of the prisoners to win their 5 core demands and is a serious challenge to the power of the California prison system and to the Prison Industrial Complex in general.