A Son’s Life Sentence

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About Michael J. Mooney

Michael J. Mooney's work has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, and both the Best American Crime Reporting and Best American Sports Writing anthologies. He is a staff writer at New Times, a Village Voice Media alt-weekly South Florida.


  1. Kayla R. says:

    Jesus, what a tragic story. Very well written though. I hope these men find peace and I pray that baby’s life is better.

  2. My father was gone from the time I was 2 until 10 or 11. That absence and awkwardness Jay feels is exactly what I felt. It is some small amount reassuring to know it is not me, just one of the properties of this event in a man’s life.

    It is a long journey to relationship with a gone-father. both men must choose to show up in each other’s lives. That’s the thing to do: just show UP! My dad made a point, finally, of calling me weekly, a regular discipline, and that went a long way toward making me feel some of the assurance and support that comes from a father. Not everything gets fixed, but when you show up, good does come from having some kind of relationship, in my experience.

  3. Anthony Zarat says:

    Does anyone have the courage to ask hard questions here?

    1) How can a man spend 26 years in prison for this crime (even if he WAS guilty)?
    2) What role did feminism play in transforming justice into cruel vengeance?
    3) What role did feminism play in this tragedy, by persuading a jury that “women don’t lie about rape”?
    4) How many tens of thousands of guilty men face not justice, but vengeance — that is cruel and unusual by any decent standard?
    5) How many tens of thousands of INNOCENT men face the same savage punishment, because of the lie that “women never lie about rape”?
    6) When will we, as a nation and as a culture, come to terms with the incalculable damage that feminist prejudice has done to hundreds of thousands of lives?
    7) When will good men and women begin to speak up against this kind of barbaric brutality?
    8) When will good men and women re-discover that when men feel pain, it hurts just as much, as when women feel pain?
    9) When will we re-dicover compassion for men and boys?
    10) When will we have a conversation about how we lost the ability to feel compassion for men and boys in the first place?

    • Ginkgo says:

      “2) What role did feminism play in transforming justice into cruel vengeance?”

      Anthony, this goes a lot older than feminism, unless of course you see that feminism is just the patriarchy repackaged.

      What do want to bet that his “victim” was white? If it was, this was all about saving the precious white woman from the ravening beast, and when it comes to that, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between feminism and the patriarchy. Protecting and sheltering women is where the burka comes in.

      • Of course she was.

        When it comes to the whole, “Men are sexual beasts just looking for the next woman to get off inside of” meter that shit gets cranked to 11 when the men are black (I think it goes to about 10 when he’s Latino) and the woman is white.

        But time and again people like to portray it as only a race problem as if gender has absolutely nothing to do with it.


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