For anyone who mistakenly believes that things have gotten better in the criminal justice system, then here’s something you need to know. It hasn’t. And guess what” You had better brace yourselves for what it to come next. It’s not going to be pretty. Most jail-breaks aren’t.
At some point, perhaps, in the very near future, what is going to occur is that ex-convicts are going to start busting their friends out! Do you find this unthinkable? If so, you had better rethink the concept. Whether you know it or not, but the strongest bond between men is forged in prison, and these friendships cemented in the blood, sweat, and tears of an agonizing, organized hell, endure. These bonds, sometimes, are more stronger than family, and more vital than religion.
Sometimes, it’s not merely enough to send your comrade a few dollars, a few pictures of naked women, a card at the holidays. Sometimes, you want him out! I personally know convicts, who, once they had been released from prison, robbed a bank and used the proceeds to hire a lawyer in an effort to get their friend out. And, by no stretch of the imagination was this is an isolated case. However, that was back in the days when a man could still get a fair shake in court. In today’s political climate, such an effort would be like throwing good money away, so why not just bust him out.
Let me relate a personal account that shows that people are not afraid of busting friends out of prison. In 1985, after I had been sentenced to prison for a crime I didn’t commit, I was in the mountains at a little, small, gun camp. Anyway, there was this white guy that was there, and he had been fascinated that I had been a bank robber. He loved to listen to my “war stories” about robbing banks. I even sent home for my transcripts of my bank robberies trials. He cherished them. And then one day just before he was to be released, he told me that he would break me out if I let him rob banks with me. He saw me as some bank-robbing hero, and he was dead serious about busting me out. Plus, he already had it all planned out—and guess what, it would have worked!
I turned him down because I thought Oprah was coming to my rescue. I had written Oprah, 60 Minutes, Geraldo, The NAACP, The ACLU, etc. about my case. I was innocent! I didn’t deserve to be in prison. I really, truly believed that once my story was heard………..Anyway, no one came for my black ass, and I ended up serving over a decade in prison for a crime I did not know a damned thing about. Should’ve taken my white friend up on his offer, but I found out that he didn’t need me after all. He became a pretty good bank robber on his own. I forget where I was locked up at, but I was reading the newspaper and, VOILA, there was a big article about him. He was real smooth. I felt proud. I was sad that he had gotten busted, but I was prouder than a motherfucka that he was true to the game.
I guessed I said all that to say that it doesn’t take much to want to knock a prison over. I will give another testimony. I recall a point during one of my earlier bids where a whole lot of convicts admired the Palestinians who used to hijack planes and then exchange the hostages for their comrades in captivity. I mean this was really given a lot of thought, and several guys I knew had a list of the convicts’ names they would ask for in an exchange.
Here is another tidbit to ponder, if you dig the truth. There was this Jewish gangsta that I had bidded with in the fed joint in Altanta. We were not extremely close, but we were aware of each other, mainly because of my gig in the kitchen. Anyway, just under a decade later, we meet again. This time in the jail. This was in 95, and I had been back in state prison for two years for the crime I did not commit, and I had won a hearing due to an appeal I had filed. Anyway, my old, Jewish acquaintance had just gotten busted for smuggling in a few tons of reefer, and was in the jail cell when I got there.
He was old, and when he used to get high, (He had weed in the cell), he always talked of dying in prison, something that haunted him immensely. Shit, I was in virtually the same boat, but knew that with the right lawyer, I could beat this rap, so I offered him a proposition. He knew about my case, and I promised him that if he would hire me a good lawyer that could whip this case for me, that I would break him out of prison! I meant it and I honored it with my “convict” word.
As fate would have it, I was called to court before C. could get the lawyer for me, and my worst fears were confirmed. I lost at the hearing. If, by chance, I would have gotten the attorney, and would have beaten the charge, I would have honored my word, and I would not have given a damn about where he was, I was coming to get him.
Marion, until recently, was the toughest fed prison, and when I was there, there was a respect for a convict who had been there. There had even been a big article on him in The Rolling Stone, called The Gangster of Love. This guy had two women, (a mother, and a daughter,) to attempt to bust him out of prison. And if that wasn’t enough, he ran for President of The US from his prison cell! At any rate, when the mother failed in her attempt, getting shot and killed in the process, the daughter took it upon herself to continue the quest.
Anyway, stay tuned.