"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.

The practice of solitary confinement.

The day quickly approaches when I’ll refuse to eat,

When my body and mind will be tested

And sacrificed for the greater good,

For this peaceful protest, this hunger strike

That’s my only form of seeking relief,

My last outcry for help

And support,

To come together and end these death dungeons.



What will it take to realize that time is essential

To one’s sanity within these circumstances,

To one’s self-respect and humanity?

What will it take to end solitary confinement?

Is 33 suicides in these dungeons last year alone enough?

Enough, for you, my captors?

Or shall I succumb in this hunger strike as well,

Before you realize something is amiss here?

What will it take?

Please, tell me, tell us, what?



Carlos Marvin Argueta Jr.

  • May 5th, 1985

  • Salvadorian-American

  • Born and raised in Los Angeles

  • Parents: Immigrants from El Salvador escaping civil war in 1983-4

  • Siblings: 2 younger brother and sister. Brother also in prison (mainline)

  • Arrested for this crime in March 2004

  • Convicted in 2007 Feb. and sentenced to death & life without parole

  • Arrived on San Quentin Death Row Adjustment Center Feb 28th 2007

  • Been housed here in the A/C for 6 years minus 83 days. I was in East Block

  • Never been to Juvenile Hall or Youth Authority nor placement

  • First time in prison

  • Never been labeled as a street gang member

  • Arrived at S.Q. with probation report stating I was a tagger

  • Haven’t received my H.S. diploma nor G.E.D. despite my desire to. My housing prevents it.

  • Self-taught Writer, poet, artist

  •  Loves to read

  •  Curious soul

  • Tired of being treated less than human