Thursday, January 29, 2009

June 29, 2004 (From my livejournal)


Patrick just called from jail. His sentence is life without parole and will be served in Angola. He expects to be sent to Hunt correctional temporarily sometime after he is printed.

He is still asking me to find a picture of him that I had and may still have around here somewhere. Apparently his lawyer wants to use it in his appeal. Some of the witnesses couldn't identify him without a picture and supposedly the jail wouldn't allow him to be photographed.

I told him to send information on what he is allowed to have and of that what he might like to have so that I can send him stuff (when I can afford it). I guess I'm strange because I would see such a sentence as an opportunity to do things I wouldn't have had time for otherwise, like reading or working on my writing or doing artwork. I'd almost welcome the opportunity. I realize that most people don't view life in prison in that light and I suppose that I probably wouldn't because your freedoms are completely taken away. I just tend to look for something positive about all experiences.


  1. Tori. When writing this piece in 2004, I imagine you never suspected that the conditions at Angola you would later experience would move you so deeply.

    I give you this quote from the most distinguished television journalist of all time, Edward R. Murrow:

    "Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them."
    Edward R. Murrow

    Now that you've recognized your inescapable role in your brother's life, I hope you continue your writing and your advocacy, lest you yourself become a prisoner of your own experience.

    Keep up the good work, Tori. And please, if you are the only member of your family to visit Patrick, even if not as often as he'd like, or as pleasant as you'd like, NEVER GIVE UP. His only hope of rehabilitation is to have someone continue to recognize and encourage his humanity.

    It may take years of of visiting and years more of blogging on your part. I think only good can come of it. I've logged on as one of your "followers" so that I can more easily know when you post something new.

  2. No, when I wrote this in 2004, I had no idea what I was talking about. I am my brother's next of kin, he's been fighting to get me listed as such officially at LSP. I have spent the last two years, approximately, wishing I could do more. I just had no clue what more I was capable of. I don't have the money to hire an attorney for him, the wardens refuse to speak to me when I make complaints, if I cause too many issues, I can be removed from his visitation list.

    It isn't as often as either of us would like. It certainly isn't pleasant, though we try to make things as pleasant as possible... to ignore where we are and why we're there and talk about anything but that when we visit and write. I will never give up. I have never given up, no matter what he has done to me (more on that later), no matter what he has done to other people. He is still my brother and I am the only adult who gives a damn about him.

    Thank you for following our story. I do have friends who are also "activists" for prison reform who have linked this blog from their own websites. With their help, maybe we can get someone to see the need for reform. Hopefully I can put a human face on the people in that horrible place for others to see and sympathize with, even if the human face they're seeing is mine and my daughter's.