No compassion by Michael Bargo
I was arrested for murder at the age of 18 and since then have been confined to mom's single cell, with no opportunity to entertain or exercise outside of my cell. At most, I am entitled to six hours per week outside my cell.
I have spent my entire adult life locked in one of these cells. Imagine locking yourself in your bathroom, then imagine doing it for nine straight years. Being subjected to something like that at such a young age leaves lasting mental scars. After the first two months, I hallucinated and had to be heavily medicated with drugs such as “seroquil”. Without an outlet or possibility of rehabilitation or constructive education, my behavior became extremely hostile and disruptive. I spent years at a time in disciplinary detention. Around the age of 21, my lawyer threw me under the bus and told the jury that I was guilty, I was convicted and sentenced to death.
Fortunately, I had a family that supported me and a few penpals and that kept me going, but sitting in a cell on death row at 21 is the feeling the most. desperate that I have ever felt. Especially when the legal system screwed up on you and didn't even allow you to pretend you were innocent.
A lot of people just give up. Sadly, many have died because of this desperation. I think people need to understand and fully understand what it means to be sentenced to life or death in prison. I'm not saying society doesn't need a punishment system, but have we really sat down and looked at the human element in such sentences? An inmate is more than a prison name and number, he's someone's child, someone's parent, someone's spouse.
And we throw away their lives with no real consideration for anything other than the harshest punishment. Rather than starting at the bottom of the sentence and figuring out what needs to be met to rehabilitate that person, we start from the maximum sentence allowed and make this human being fight for his or her life in court. It is more than likely that the person is poor and cannot afford a real lawyer, so they end up losing their life in the prison system. and the jury never stops to ask "what does this prison sentence really mean?" Do they understand 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 50 years of being locked in a cell no bigger than their bathroom? How about what this sort of isolation does to that person? Are we shocked if this person becomes violent? or if the tyhay person loses the ability to empathize? We took his humanity.
How can society claim to be humane or just, or even better than the criminal act that was committed, when it voluntarily commits to taking humanity away from a person for the rest of their life? The system is morally flawed. and when you explain the number of innocent people being wrongfully sent to these prisons, it is shameful to think that we have ever supported a system of government that would allow this to happen. But how can anyone know what prison really is unless they've had the bad luck to expire it? How do we tell them when we are not being heard? ... courts are made to send people to jail, prisons are made to break a person's humanity.
The only way to fix something so broken and systemically corrupt is to have corporate responsibility. Real people, not government and business. people must actively advocate for detainees to be treated humanely. Argue that the courts seek to rehabilitate offenders rather than wasting their lives. No system is perfect, but we can certainly do better than what we have now. And if you have any questions about your position on this issue, ask yourself the following question: "If I were in this person's shoes, if my son, my father or my husband were in this difficult situation, how would I - I want them to be treated? ”. Would we want them to have a lawyer who fought for their innocence during the trial? would we like them to be treated with dignity and humanity? would you like them to have a chance at freedom one day? ... how you respond that will tell you more about yourself than the people tried in these courts ... and what you do with it will tell you how important it is to you ...