Saturday, December 12, 2020

Indefinite Sentencing is Cruel and Inhumane

On 12/7/2020, the Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón gave a public announcement In Special Directive 20 - 14 [PDF downloads on click], which laid out a comprehensive directive or blueprint toward ending state-sanctioned execution in the form of indefinite sentencing, where, for decades, humans in the CDCr suffer permanent imprisonment.

We, the people, support this comprehensive special directive 20 - 14, but believe it falls short as it is not yet reaching the prison population, who have been held indefinitely under cruel and unusual punishment. As a human being who has been subjected to 33 years of imprisonment held in an 8x10 cell for a conviction in the 1980s is cruel and unusual punishment.  To keep any human in such a space for an indefinite period is torture.  The building structure of such a horrible environment has the effect of being a human kennel. In reality, human beings are being held like dogs in a kennel inside of prisons.

Prisons have long since been used to freeze time for many incarcerated people held indefinitely inside them. Yet, they slowly watch as their family, friends and associates sadly pass away over the years during this cruel incarceration, leaving many of us devastated and with serious regrets for what we have done as teenagers or young adults.  

The deprivations that the incarcerated suffer as a result of their conviction is enormous. Permanent disconnect from your family, friends and community. Children are raised without one or both of their parents, and have to try to find their way through a very complicated world. Where many of the lifers who have been held indefinitely could easily be of some benefit to their children, no matter how old the children, because the yearning for a child/adult never stops, when there exists a long absence.

The work that lifers are doing upon release is remarkable and a great asset to their communities, to say the least. An end to indefinite sentencing would end suffering of human beings in and out of prison. Let’s join in a massive campaign to support District Attorney George Gascón in ending torturous treatment exclusively of the incarcerated.

Mutope Duguma, Lancaster, CA