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Ear to the Ground

Texas Death Row Inmate: ‘Slavery’ Endures in Jails Around America

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Posted on Mar 4, 2014

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In what he says may be his “final statement on Earth,” Texas death row inmate Ray Jasper offers a plainly devastating take on the American judicial system and on Texas’ bizarre law of parties, which allows the state to execute him even though he didn’t commit murder—and even though someone else pleaded guilty to the crime.

Jasper sent his letter to Gawker as a follow-up to a prior contribution he’d made to the site. It can be read in full here.

Under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution all prisoners in America are considered slaves. We look at slavery like its a thing of the past, but you can go to any penitentiary in this nation and you will see slavery. That was the reason for the protests by prisoners in Georgia in 2010. They said they were tired of being treated like slaves. People need to know that when they sit on trial juries and sentence people to prison time that they are sentencing them to slavery.

If a prisoner refuses to work and be a slave, they will do their time in isolation as a punishment. You have thousands of people with a lot of prison time that have no choice but to make money for the government or live in isolation. The affects of prison isolation literally drive people crazy. Who can be isolated from human contact and not lose their mind? That was the reason California had an uproar last year behind Pelican Bay. 33,000 inmates across California protested refusing to work or refusing to eat on hunger-strikes because of those being tortured in isolation in Pelican Bay.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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