Singer Steve Earle, who knows something about jail himself,
January 10, 2001 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Singer Steve Earle, who knows something about jail himself, became friends with a death-row inmate in Texas and walked the last mile with him. Earle wrote this piece for Tikkun; the link is to Utne Reader Online reprint of it.
posted by jhiggy (6 comments total)
It is not often that I read something so moving and tragic. After living in huntsville for three years of my life I think back to all those times I saw Peckerwood hill. There was not much room left when I was there in the early 90's. I am sure it is filled even further now.

As I read Steve Earle's story I was overcome with the feeling that my hand was on his sholder instead of the mouse. Supporting him.

The fact that this state kills in such numbers is troubling to the core of our societies values. please, make it stop.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:04 PM on January 10, 2001

the capacity of death penalty advocates to show so much sympathy for criminals and absolutely no mercy for victims continues to baffle me.

this guy killed two people and stole the eyesight of a third person. they were human beings too.

despite this, they rate no more than two dispassionate sentences (after almost 1200 words had passed) before Mr. Earle lunges headlong into 2500 more words of pity for their killer.

posted by justkurt at 10:51 PM on January 10, 2001

I am also for abolishing all murder. Do not mistake my stand against the death penality as having no sympathy for the victims. The loss of life is tragic whenever it happens.
posted by DragonBoy at 11:00 PM on January 10, 2001

I am so, so happy to never have had to contemplate a place called Peckerwood.
posted by aaron at 11:17 PM on January 10, 2001

What a powerful piece.
posted by acridrabbit at 9:00 AM on January 11, 2001

Kurt, I have to disagree with your view that death penalty opponents (not advocates) have little sympathy for the victims of violent crimes. Read Sr. Helen Prejean's book Dead Man Walking. While the movie focused more on the criminal, the book emphasizes Sr. Helen's empathy for both the victims and the murderers that she encounters; Having talked to her, I know that she, and other advocates for an end to the death penalty, struggle constantly against the view that they are FOR the criminals and AGAINST the victims. Much of this has to do with justice system that is based on adversarial relationships, rather than collaboration. Indeed, Sr. Helen early on formed a group called SURVIVE that exists to provide support to families and victims of violent crime.
posted by Avogadro at 9:45 AM on January 11, 2001

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