America’s Other Death Penalty Problem and Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOPP) and The Absolute Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment- Notes from the Inside
America’s Other Death Penalty Problem
What does it say about a country that can condemn 50,000 men and women to the slow, grinding death in prison of life without the possibility of parole? In 49 of these United States, the sentence of death by imprisonment is a well-used option. In several states- California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania- there are thousands of individuals suffering under this sentence, in the worst prisons, with the greatest restrictions, and the fewest privileges.
“Some of our communities can’t even drink their own water because it’s so poisonous” said Klee Benally, a Dine revolutionary who works all over America but lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Klee has done work to protect the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff from becoming a ski resort. But, the government went along with it anyways.
[image description: A beautiful black ink hand-drawn portrait of Jack Sun Keewatinawin, a tall, 21 year-old Cree man, drawn in a cross-hatch style. Jackson is smiling softly, wearing a t-shirt, and has long flowing black hair. In the background are bricks that are suggested with hand drawn dots. The drawing was commissioned by Tabitha Johnnie, Jacksun's younger sister, for their mother, Samantha, who has since passed away.]
Life is short for some people and life is long for others and it's hard to except the value of death. But without death there is no living life to the fullest. That's what Mark, a man who died too soon after a hemorrhage and facing the comeback of what the struggle can to people and sadly he had died leaving the world and going on his journey. Mark Flaherty a man who was born in 1969 and died in 2016.
The funeral started around 11 o' clock on a Thursday. At first it began cloudy then about a couple of minutes later it got sunny. The car he was in came, then his sister went along as some of his family and friends saw Mark for the last time. It was sad seeing Aunt Viv cry and depressing for most of his family. Then the pallbearers carried the casket toward the grave, then put it on top of something to carry the casket and lower it down.
Mr. Charles Chatman is a Plantation Prison Correspondent for POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE.
Editor's Note: As currently and formerly incarcerated poor and indigenous peoples in struggle and resistance with all plantation systems in Amerikkka, POOR Magazine stands in solidarity with all folks on the other side of the razor wire plantation. For more information about Mr. Chatman’s organizations, please write to him at
P.O. Box 4490
Lancaster, CA 93539