Should judges in New York be held responsible or charged with attempted murder if they sentence anyone to prison, or hold them in a jail?
Any judge who sentences such a term is sending the offender to a death camp, never to return. Incarceration makes COVID-19 inescapable. Right?
I am furious. Passive protest is needed now to save offenders from this new form of the death penalty. The Indirect Death Penalty. Or maybe it is direct. The death penalty is alive and well, I guess, in a state where Gov. Cuomo lies that it is illegal.
The solution is alternate holding centers for those who test negative. Easy. And it will create jobs! So, why is this finally being thought of? Judges, prosecutors, public defenders—anyone in contact with offenders doesn’t seem to care. Offenders are just numbers—drag them in, let them get infected, and die. Even the innocent. Kind of like Germany in World War Two—enemies of “the state” were eliminated.
Black, white, olive, red, any color… It seems No Lives Matter Here.
The state’s prisons meticulously announce infected corrections officers and civilian staff but seem to say little about the challenged and infected inmates. They may say one inmate is infected or may die. One? If there’s one, there’s ten!
Inmates are dying. Some being held in a jail on a minor charge have died. Doesn’t anyone care?
I feel for their families. I was convicted on a drug charge, spent time in four New York prisons, and was freed in 2018. Since then I have been a prison reform activist, a commitment that began with helping others at Marcy Correctional’s Transitional Services office, and Florida Cares, an organization helping inmates through prison time.
It’s already easy to lose your life in prison, without COVID. I’d like to see any judge or prosecutor make it through a week of prison.
I began my career at the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal in 1990, and now I volunteer for prison reform efforts. In all that time I have never seen such blatant disregard for human life — it is like Albany wants people just killed off before they can be redeemed.
Brandon M. Stickney is the author of the new book, "The Five People You’ll Meet in Prison: A Memoir of Addiction, Mania & Hope," based on his life in Lockport and its underworld.