From Joseph who resides in Monroe, Washington.

From the Belly of the Beast to your eyes and ears

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It doesn't happen to me that often, but having to juxtapose preparing for a future beyond the razor wire, concrete and steel bars while serving a LWOP sentence is indescribable. It mirrors sentence similarities that exist between capital punishment and LWOP, allow me to explain... I strive daily to be a positive role model by which others may gauge their ability to achieve success, I'm fully engaged in every available program designed for positive change, I've complied with all laws, rules, regulations of the prison and have done so for nearly two decades.

If an incarcerated person fails to prepare for a life beyond prison he/she is making a monumental mistake, because legislative changes, DOC's accelerated reentry efforts and new policies, all dictate "we gotta stay ready" because things here are often static and that gate to freedom can open at any time. On the other hand, a LWOP sentence means the denial of hope; it means that good behavior and character improvement are immaterial; it means that whatever the future might hold in store for the mind and spirit of the incarcerated he/she will remain in prison for the rest of their days.

I believe an LWOP sentence is yet another form of the death penalty in that it condemns most to death by incarceration. More often than not, when death sentences are overturned, LWOP re-sentencing automatically becomes the default. Would you like to spend the rest of your life in prison without a chance to demonstrate your rehabilitation? I personally know men who've spent 35-40 years here. I see my reflection in the faces of men I pass, these men are older, mature, senior adults who have fulfilled the conditions of their sentences. It's my belief the prison system overall is actually covertly executing all of its lifers. Did you know the United States is the only country in the world that incarcerates people indefinitely? So I offer this question to you, as a tax-paying citizen, are you more comfortable funding rehabilitation or punishment?

Power To The People !!