Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"The Super Bowl Creed" by Chuck Zehring

The Super Bowl Creed
( A Pro Football Player's Prayer)
Yea though I walk through the valley of the
shadows of the billboards of corporate greed,
I shall fear no evil because the lord of competition is with me,
His tax-payer,subsidized, team manager,
doctor, and life-flight helicopter comfort me,
He hath revealead to me that my head is my helmet
and even though an occasional concussion confuseth
me and maketh me lie down in the short green grass of the field,
I shall fear no evil because this involves higher
cognitive functions that are no longer with me,
His pastor's playbook and locker room talks give me courage,
he blesses me with unsubstantiated wealth and fame before my fans,
He has my knees anointed with coritsone,
Only fleeting consciousness and lasting injury
shall follow me all the days of my life,
But I shall fear no evil because upon my death,
I shall dwell in the locker room of my lord forever,
Now let's play ball!
(c) Chuck Zehring

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Introduction to Juvenile Lifers for Justice: Part I

  • How many members in Juvenile Lifers for Justice?
    SCI Graterford has approximately 70. Statewide there are over 330.
  • When was JLJ established?
    In November 2005 JLJ was established after the Human Rights Watch published their report in October of that year. The US Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons in March of that same year. The report "The Rest of Their Lives"(Human Rights Watch) brought attention to the issue of juveniles around the globe serving life sentences without parole. Included in that report was the USA where there are overe 2,225 juveniles serving life without parole compared to only 11 in three other countries. Pennsylvania has the greatest number of juveniles serving life sentences without parole: 332 and climbing.
    Also, as indicated in the Human Rights Watch report the sentencing of juvniles to life without parole violates the CRC(convention of Rights of the Child) treaty that over 123 nations have signed onto. The USA and Somalia are the only two countries that refused to sign the treaty.

Juvenile Lifer: Colored Pencil by Suave Gonzalez

Colored Pencil drawing of Thomas Tomoney. Thomas was 16 years old when he was charged with murder. Growing up in North Philadelphia, he found himself in a great deal of trouble when he was 13 years old. During this particular time, gang wars in Philadelphia were prevalent and Thomas found himself in many fights because he was from a rival neighborhood. This led to him being placed in reform school and a youth detention center. On the day of his offense a rival gang member was stabbed to death in a fight. Thomas was tried as an adult and he was convicted of first degree murder. As a result of his conviction he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Thomas is now 47 years old and since his incarceration he has obtained his GEd, completed all the prescribed treatment programs recommended to him and he is currently seeking to obtain his bachelors degreee. Thomas has maintained a steady job since he has been incarcerated, and he has been miscondut free for over 13 years.