You can help raise awareness among policymakers of the cruelty of life without parole.
The Other Death Penalty Project’s anthology, “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough,” (an anthology of writings by life without parole prisoners and others) will raise awareness nationwide that life without parole sentences are the death penalty and must be abolished. They need to raise $10,000 by May 25, 2013. Read more and contribute here.
Funds raised through this campaign will allow us to print copies of this remarkable book to be placed on the desks of at least 1,000 death penalty abolitionist groups (who support LWOP as a “reasonable alternative” to lethal injection), policymakers, thought leaders, and others of influence nationwide.
A sentence of life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) is a death sentence. Worse, it is a long, slow, dissipating death sentence without any of the legal or administrative safeguards rightly awarded to those condemned to traditional forms of execution. It exposes and caters to that segment of our society that believes redemption and personal transformation are not possible for all human beings, and that it is reasonable and just to forever define an individual by his or her worst act. LWOP is wrong and should be abolished.
The Other Death Penalty Project (TODPP) is a true grassroots organizing campaign comprised wholly of men and women sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, the purpose of which is to end this practice of sentencing tens of thousands to a slow and painful execution in this nation’s maximum-security prisons through a peaceful, well-orchestrated and thought-out plan to change hearts and minds. TODPP’s ultimate goal is to see the permanent end to the use of this form of state-sanctioned execution (along with all other forms), resulting in all life term prisoners having, at least, the possibility of earning parole.
We need $10,000 to pay for printing, postage, and mailing costs for 1,000 books, as well as for targeted advertisements and book contest entry fees. It costs $4 to print each book ($4,000), an average of $3 per book in postage ($3,000), and approximately $800 in office supply costs (mailing envelopes, paper, tape, etc.). The remaining $2,200 will be used to place targeted ads in print and other media and enter “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough” in writing contests which will garner additional publicity for our cause…
“This book, about to be released, is made up of essays and poems by prisoners sentenced to “the other death penalty,” the long, slow, agonizing death of life in prison without hope of parole. This poem by Spoon Jackson is one of them. The editor and co-editors are also serving LWOP sentences, and the cover was designed by a prison artist.”
Susan E Lawrence writes about the book in her article The lowdown on Caliofrnia’s Prop 34: “Recently, I read an extraordinary manuscript for a forthcoming book, “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough,” a unique collection of essays and poetry by life without parole prisoners. It is, quite simply, devastating. For those who have not had the privilege, as I have had, to be allowed a view into an aspect of humanity hidden away from public consciousness, reading this book will be a life-changing experience, after which it should be impossible to consider life without parole a “reasonable” alternative to anything.” The whole article is published in the political newsletter Counterpunch.
This previously appeared on the Spoon Jackson Realness network blog here and here.
Read more on Men in Prison.
Image credit: karen_neoh/Flickr