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January 22, 2015 by J_R_Heaney


46 years old

15 spent on death row

Taken without batting an eyelash

Beaten in a cell

Frozen in winter

Boiling in summer

Strip-searched on a whim

Ignored 23 hours a day


When the inmate dies?

Newspapers mourn the loss

And society forgets again.

The American legal system often pushes incarceration as a solution to crime. Unfortunately this push to incarcerate means individuals whose guilt may be uncertain end up behind bars. Once behind bars, individuals fade out of public consciousness.

When wrongfully incarcerated individuals pass away while in prison, their deaths are mourned by media as tragedies. This concern for wrongfully incarcerated men and women, however, is occurring too late. The concern needs to begin by scrutinizing the judicial process to minimize the risk of locking away innocent people. The deaths of such individuals are sadly forgotten over time, but the mistakes of our judicial system cannot be passed over. We must remember the burden carried by innocent individuals in prisons and correctional facilities and be aware it may happen again; only be remembering can we realize the importance of preventing the same mistakes.


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