I just received a letter from Michael. It's a bit more introspective than some. I thought I'd post a few lines here, as written..
You know, after assessing my life over a spann of about forty some odd years, I came to the conclusion that when I came to prison I was actually a mess. 18 years of age, fresh out of the Ohio Youth Commission for about the 6th time, not very eduacated, litterally grew up through an imprisoned envirnment - all of my younger life as a child and a youngster and my teenage life. Never having grew up in a stable life or in a home where there is a happy mother and father with brothers and sisters all around, I lacked everything... It literally took my coming to prison to grow up and mature! I had stopped blaming everyone for my problems and accepted the responsibility of where I failed. I began to forgive those who I had felt had abandoned me...
I just didn't want to be the person that incarceration was trying to mold me into being. Some of the people I know who have got sucked into the system are on death row right this very moment, and others have fallen over dead by the use of drugs, and others have gotten so bitter on the inside because they wouldn't change, will probably never get out of prison until they are carried out on their deathbeds! I see and hear of them everyday, and that makes me think way back into my life, and it helps me to be able to be grateful for how I turned out in life. I am able to sit back and count all my blessings and thank God for talking to me way back when he did when I was in that 6 by 8 cell.
As I see it now, there is always more room for improvement, but when it comes to further incarceration, I can only come to the conclusion that enough is enough. They are getting too carried away with it! I have been truthful every step of the way, even to the parole board, but they too will not accpt what I say is truth, they want to give me a parole if I confess to a crime I am innocent of!
I sit in my cell and I weep to an invisible God to please help me! Sometimes it seems He is gonna help, and the I have to wait. I see this, that and the other people keep getting cleared of their crimes through DNA, and I cry out to God, "When is it gonna be my turn Father?" I somehow feel encouraged to keep believing and trusting in faith the He will somehow help me! Other times the devil tell me to just hang it up and hang myself because I am never getting out! I certainly do not want to hang myself, I want to live. And why should I kill myself when I didn't do anything. Hell, I want to be free, and if I kill myself I won't be able to be free. I am afraid that if I kill myself the truth will finally come out about my innocence, but I won't be able to be free to enjoy being found not guilty. And, I have to much to live for, and that my life is more useful than being dead. I often have read about many lives who have been torn apart, never to recover fully, and some have been mended back together! I just know that my life can probably inspire somebody elses! I just don't believe that my being put on this earth was meant for me to be in prison all of my life, I know there is more to this life than being locked up...
There are times like right now when I just want to get away from everyone and yell out, smash my fists against the wall and just cry myself to sleep in order to feel some relief in my heart and my soul! The pain is so real inside, and there is an emptiness, even though I feel I have accomplished alot in my own personal life, it feels hopeless alot of times!
Can you imagine going to prison at 18 and turning 50 behind bars? That would be bad enough if you were guilty. But, what if you were innocent of the crime for which you were convicted?