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What if he is innocent? — 11 Comments

  1. I did not know where the best place to post this terrible story would be.


    Prison guards and officials are walking a VERY fine line between remaining within the law, and being criminals, themselves. The exspath is a DOC employee and has engaged in horrible activities, outside of the prison walls.

    Someone recently suggested that anyone who would work as a prison guard is disordered – why would someone “put themselves behind bars” every day? LOL

    It should be a personal imperative to understand, process, and accept the fact that prison guards ARE NOT portrayed as they truly are within media. “The Green Mile” has Tom Hanks portraying a death row guard that exercises wisdom, good judgment, and kindness-when-necessary, and this is NOT the case. Most prison guards are violent, in real life, and do not exercise good judgment or possess a depth of wisdom.

    The guards named in the linked article above are under investigation for forcing inmates into a “fight club” in exchange for the promise of food – food, of course, was never forthcoming.

    Prisons are not places of “rehabilitation.” They simply aren’t. They are places where the disordered become better educated for a continued life of crime and hatred is the word of they day. The disordered personalities range from the lowest child molester all the way up to the top brass.

    In these environments, those who are very well paid to warehouse convicts are very aware of what’s going on within their institutions. It’s not possible that “nobody knew” about the fights-for-food and that other guards kept the code of silence that is so well known to exist.

    I don’t know of any way to avoid this sort of mayhem. Candidates must “pass” a battery of physical and psychological testing, but it’s apparent that the psych tests are geared towards hiring non-convicted criminals to babysit the convicted criminals. Even the office workers that do not have uniforms or badges are disordered.


  2. Truthy I also saw that story, and you are right….many people who take jobs as guards become very hardened, brutal, and othrs who are hardened and brutal or mean themselves or control freaks pick this kind of job which gives them power over others.

    There is also the very famous “Stanford Prison Experiment” where students were randomly assigned to a project where some were prisoners and the others guards. The LINK to the experiment story is on the boxes in the left, marked under prisons…

    It is a SAD commentary on human nature, but holding others prisoners, thinking “them” and “us” and dehumanizing them is bad for both parties, guards and guarded.

    And of course some inmates (at least the majority of them) want to break the rules, aren’t there to just do their time, and all the other evils that happen when people are cooped up without any privacy or dignity at all. Prison by its very nature almost cannot “reform” but at the same time, what options do we have? It is man’s age old problem, what do to with those in our society who break the rules. There was a time when the stocks, ducking stool, public humiliation, beating or death were some of the prescribed means of sanctioning rule breakers, prison was reserved for the insane or political enemies of the state, or death for rape or murder….but then transportation as slave labor became the punishment of the day, and in “Fatal Shore” which is the all time last word on Austraulia’s settlement by prisoners tells the brutal tale of how this was accomplished by using psychopathic guards and administrators, horribly brutal men in a brutal era. Transportation for even minor crimes was basically to remove the poor from London’s streets but became a huge play house for sadists.

    Guards like these of course should go to prison themselves, but I doubt they would be locked up, probably killed if they were.

    Truthy I just wish I was wise enough to have the “answer” to the human problem of law breakers and how to reform them…of course I know psychopaths and some others can’t be reformed because they don’t want to be.

    The Roman empire proved that even the death penalty in the harshest of ways, hanging on a cross for several days dying in the worst manner on public view is NOT a deterent to others breaking the same law that saw that person crucified. Neither is being hanged (until you are not quite dead) then drawn, having your intestines ripped out and set on fire, but you are VERY much alive and can feel every moment of the pain, then having your body quartered and your head cut off and then those parts displayed on pikes didn’t deter anyone from such crimes that would cause such a sentence.

    The British honed the death penalty to a fine tip and torture to an art, as did the Spanish Church during the inquisition. And yet there was still crime, and sadists who were willing to inflict those horrors on others.

    The Nazis were one huge Stanford experiment, and so were the Japanese–90% of all POWs died at Japanese hands in WWII , but it was hushed up by the US government for commercial reasons…the documents showing this have only recently been declassified and made public 50 years after the facts…and we can talk ab out slavery…and on and on.

    Truthy, as you may can tell, I am FRUSTRATED at this kind of behavior in the guards, but not at all surprised. I wish I had the answer that would WORK. I don’t even know all the questions, but it saddens me, at one point broke my heart that MY SON would have to endure such conditions for his crimes…now I’m just glad he’s there, no matter WHAT the conditions are!

    • Joyce, you know….I don’t even know if there IS an “answer” to what should be done with convicts and the people who are paid to “guard” them.

      All of the spath experiences that I’ve had during my lifetime have taught me one singular truth, at the very least: mankind is flawed and spaths are simply a PART of the “Human Condition.” I don’t like this fact, at all, but it’s there and undeniable. There have been spaths in existence ever since human beings developed free will. Nothing will ever change this. No Laws, no punishment, no consequences, and not even genetic engineering.

      I only mention genetic engineering because it seems that people can now have the ability to create “designer” offspring. Mankind has hybridized thousands of plant and animal species, according to their own preferences, but it took generations to accomplish this endeavor. Even then, the random anomaly will always pop up – a genetic throwback to the hybridized species’ predecessors.

      With the second exspath, I heard ALL about what prison employees did – who they were involved with, how “stupid” they all were, and so forth. Very interesting (in hindight) coming from someone as disordered as the exspath, and examples of what he announced, promised, and insisted that he would NEVER do. LOL!!! Not only was he “one of them,” but he is just as tainted as the most abusive prison guard out there.

      When human beings lived in smaller groups and tribes, dealing with the disordered was a simpler matter – they were shunned, sometimes branded, and cast out of the group or unit. This was a death sentence, in itself, in those days. Not one person had the ability to accomplish everything necessary to prepare for harsh winters, or the hunting and cultivation required to simply live. SO……..it behooved a human being to adhere to the rules of the tribe in order to share in the monumental tasks of daily life.

      Today, people (in general) are no longer self-sufficient in the sense that they know how to raise their own food, construct their own homes, plant their own crops, raise their own meat, and everything else that they simply take for granted. Human beings no longer rely upon one another to live, anymore. Today, everything that a person wants is produced far, far away by nameless men, women, and children and sold in places like Walmart, Giant grocers, etc. Ask a child where hamburger comes from, and their response will be, “McDonald’s.” People are not “living,” anymore – they’re existing.

      So………yeah………rant over. 😉

  3. Truthy, years and years ago in the mid 1960s I lived in California and I ran into, believe it or not, a distant cousin from my small community (less than 200 people) here in Arkansas at the same place I worked. I didn’t even know him, but we figured out where we were from so I asked mother about him and she knew him and his life story.

    He told me that before he came to California he used to work at Cummins, Arkansas’ famous snake pit of a prison, and on a Sunday for “sport” they would release a prisoner in the flat delta country without even a tree for MILES and give him a half hour head start, then set the blood hounds on him and “ride to the hounds” like a fox hunt, only use a human for the fox. Of course if he didn’t find some place to climb up high the dogs would savage him.

    The movie Brubaker is about Arkansas’ prisons in the 50s and 60s…

    I can’t imagine anyone who was “normal” wanting to work inside a prison, for ANY amount of money. Maybe there are some who are, but Ii can’t imagine it, but if they started out “normal” I think about the Sanford experiment and how the guard versus inmate roles changed the participants.

    I do understand your cynicism though….

    • Joyce, it’s a debacle that has no good solution. There’s no way in contemporary society to “rehabilitate” the miscreants, and no way to vet out DOC candidates for personality disorders.

      There is a movie titled, “Apocalypto,” that speaks to mass disorder. Without giving away any of it, I’ll just say that it should have won awards. It was extremely triggering for me, personally, and I watched it during the darkest times – I often do this to keep myself and current issues in perspective. What it portrays is the collapse of a mighty empire, mass hysteria, and disorder of the most heinous type.

      I’ll have to watch “Brubaker,” again. I saw it years ago, and it made me very uncomfortable, even then. Today, I imagine that I might be able to see the social commentary with a bit more sensibility.


  4. Brubaker was based on a man named Murton who was appointed by Gov Win Rockefeller to straighten up the prisons, he tried and did help for a while but was eventually driven out….Arkansas’ prisons were inland Devil’s Islands with torture the norm.

    • Joyce, I will most certainly have to watch this movie, now. I believe that prisons should be a place of deprivation – no televisions, no gyms, no “comforts” of home, so to speak. But, I do not believe that torture and cruelty should be tolerated, under any circumstances. Even for the worst of the worst, torture and cruelty brings the guards (or, whomever) down BELOW the level of the worst convicts because they are in a situation where they have captives at their mercy.

      I don’t understand why people are the way that they are, in most circumstances. Whether people are pre-wired to be abusive or they are “nurtured” into the roles that they accept and play doesn’t really matter. What I “know” is that some people are simply doomed to be “bad people,” and that many of these people are in positions of power.

  5. I just ran across a very interesting article about how memories are not reliable, and eye witnesses send innocent people to prison, even death row. A very interesting read.


    I also saw a Dateline last night about a young man who is most likely innocent was tried for murder, but was given a “not guilty” verdict by the Jury. He had some great lawyers, but if he had a public defender he would be on death row for sure.

  6. Good link on huff post, Joyce. It helps to illustrate that when bad things happen, it very often can’t be blamed on just one person. There might be one instigator, but it requires other lazy and irresponsible or malicious people to perpetrate the crime.

    Manipulators know that they can manipulate the thinking processes of others if they can “plant a seed” of belief, early on.

  7. The huge numbers, into the several 100s now, that have been released from prisons and from death row itself by the various “Innocence Projects” gives me hope that more truly innocent people will be exonerated and released…that’s why I am no longer for the death penalty because it cuts off the CHANCE even that they can be proven innocent and released. Also the solitary confinement of death row is very numbing to anyone, guilty or innocent.

    And not all the “innocent” who have been released are choir boys, but still, NO one should be imprisoned and/or executed for something they didn’t do. Texas has an intergration back into society for these innocent people, with money monthly, not just a huge lump sum they wouldn’t know how to handle, but therapy and social assistance and it sounds like a very good program.

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