Tag: prison reform

Prison Reform: The Aging Population Problem

One of the many problems faced by the federal and state prison system is a fast growing elderly population that is ill requiring special medical attention and facilities. Some of these people, men and women, are serving sentences for violent crimes, others for low level drug possessions and have been sentenced due to mandatory minimums, …

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Have you ever heard of Wilbert Rideau?

Wilbert Rideau who once offered “Conversations with the Dead” has been in the news a few times over the years. This week on CBS Sunday Morning he was back in the news and sounding so much better.

“My name is Wilbert Rideau. And I guess the best way to describe me is, I’m a very, very fortunate man.”

If few people recognize Wilbert Rideau as he jogs through the streets of his neighborhood, they may soon. This week, Rideau’s memoir, “In the Place of Justice,” will be released.

It’s likely to get people talking…

“I guess I should have been dead, and I’m alive, and I’m here to tell you about it – and I’m still amazed,” he said.

The title of the segment was “Life After Death Row.” Wilbert Rideau was a death row inmate for a murder he committed on February 16th, 1961 and he lived to talk about it. Because of that short period of time where the Supreme Court suspended the death penalty, he was spared and his sentence commuted to life. 44 years after a viscous and stupid act that took a woman’s life, he was set free.    

But 44 years was not rehabilitation enough for governor after governor. Even  “Life Magazine” calling Wilbert Rideau “the most rehabilitated prisoner in America” was not enough for the privileged elected. In 1990 Governor Buddy Roemer said, “Frankly given the nature of that crime, I’m not sure his debt’s been paid.”  

The Case of Little Dutch Big Dutch (My Story – Part III)

Note:  I got a little out of sequence with this series and published Part IV – Love and Death in Colombia before this Part III.  This one gets me back on track sequence-wise and sets the stage for Part V.  

Links to the other parts of this series:

This is my story – I hope that it finds you (Part I)

Wear Your Love Like Heaven (My Story – Part II)

Love and Death in Colombia  (My Story – Part IV)

First, so as to set the mood, I present to you a tender love ballad by John Prine and sung here with Iris DeMent called In Spite of Ourselves.

This is my story – I hope that it finds you (Part II)

Disclaimer:  Once again I beg your indulgence for posting a diary such as this during a time of momentous events.  It is neither overtly political nor topical.  It is however a true story of life in these United States and I offer it here for those of us who could use the diversion.  With respect to topical matters I have only this to say:  the ‘bailout deal’ is another Republican rip-off, hold the responsible accountable, and ensure that the American people are the primary beneficiaries of any deal.  At this point I am inclined to say let there be no bailout at all.  Let the market that the fat cats have worshiped be their master.  That philosophical note being made, I think the chances of the American people getting what is best for them out of this situation are, regrettably, slim to none.



There was an overwhelming response to Part I of this series.  The community was very kind and I was deeply touched.  Thank you all for that.  

There were only a couple of comments that were perhaps less than kind – but they had their own merits I suppose.  One person asked the name of the guy who was killed and asked if he was just a statistic to me.  I thought it inappropriate to respond at the time, but after mulling it over I now think I should.