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Thanks Jack, that was a timely, moving, and accurate account.
You can find more about Keith's case and the 1993 Uprising in Lucasvile by visiting LucasvilleAmnesty.org. There are many opportunities and ways to get involved in fighting for Keith and the other prisoners unjustly punished for the Ohio prison system's failures.
You have got to love US "exceptionalism" demonstrated by torture for 20 years.....
YES! Yes, Jack Shuler, humanize these human beings. We're all capable of the worst. Not a single one of us, no matter how "good" a person we are, is above it. We ALL have a breaking point, a point at which we would go over the edge; and, without God's help, are capable of doing just about anything ("there but for the grace of God go I"). It's just that, with most of us, the threshold for that breaking point is quite high; but, with some, if not many, for whatever reason(s) it is lower (often that's due to hidden mental and/or physical illness caused by abuse and/or viruses, etc.). And, not to at all lower the sanctity of human life, or in any way glorify murder, but murder is not the unpardonable sin. In other words, people can be forgiven even for that heinous act if they truly repent of it and don't repeat it. So, murder is not the worst sin. The unpardonable sin is never repenting, and driving the Holy Spirit of God away from oneself through the repeated turning of one's back on God. Thus, yes, murderers can and often do commit the unpardonable sin, though it is not murder itself that is such; but, if they truly want it, they are definitely not beyond True Hope and Redemption.
And the foregoing is why we need to be there for even the so-called "worst of the worst". Even most convicts recognize that there are sins, or evils, worse than murder; like child molestation, or the combination of molestation and murder by the same perpetrator(s) upon the same child victim(s). But, even they should receive the Love of God through other human beings. That is why it is such a good thing that you, Jack Shuler, and others visit and/or keep up correspondence with prisoners. As Jesus the Christ so powerfully said, "As you (do) it (whatever it is that is good) unto... the least (people, brothers and sisters), you (do) it unto Me... (And) as you (do) not do (those good things) unto... the least (people), you (turn your back on God)." [Matthew 25:40 and 45; etc.; clarification(s), emphasis and/or paraphrasing provided by me.] So, please keep it up.
Speaking of anti-intellectualism...right on queue....I guess former prison colonies of empire (who are now a US proxy state) are much, much better.....
imo the Prison Warden Arthur Tate, is or was an evil, evil man.
When bad things happen--a prison riot, 9-11--a common response is to lash out at any convenient enemy. The jury that convicted LaMar did just that, and so did George W. Bush in starting a war against Saddam Hussein. One hopes that humans--especially leaders--are capable of more reasoned behavior, but the urge to vengeance exerts a powerful influence on us all.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just such responses, retribution for Pearl Harbor: 100,000 were killed outright in the two bombings, men, women, and children, most innocent of any wrong-doing. We tell stories to justify our behavior, to insulate us from the doubts that we harbor deep inside. All we can every do is question those stories--dissent--loud and clear so that everyone can hear. Tell the truth, however painful it is to the ears of those who would cause so much suffering. We may not be able to change things, but we can always do the right thing.
America continues to strive to be a society more violent and vindictive than any of those we incarcerate.
How the USA can pretend to be a decent country is incredible. Freedom????????