Quote of the infinity

For people who cannot let go of hate and know not how to forgive, no amount of remorse would matter, no level of contrition would be quite enough, only endless retribution would be right in their eyes. Like Judge Milroy, only an eternity in hell would satisfy them. Given even that in retribution, though, the unforgiving haters wouldn’t be satisfied that hell was hot enough; they’d want the heat turned up. Thankfully these folks are the few, that in the minds of the many, at a point, enough is enough.

– William Blake, in his beautiful, haunting, and beautifully haunting essay A Sentence Worse Than Death, which earned him an honorable mention in the Yale Law Journal‘s Prison Law Writing Contest. In 1987, Blake was sentenced to 77 years to life, and has spent the last twenty-five straight years in solitary confinement. His essay describes just how cruel, unusual, and excruciating this experience has been, in a very dark, almost poetic piece of memoir.

I highly recommend reading it, but if you are particularly suggestible, or prone to depression, I would be wary. Once in, it’s not easy to get it out of your head.

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4 comments
  1. kjds said:

    I started reading his essay and couldn’t stop – so I read to the end. Beautifully written, this guy is articulate. Too bad his apparent intellect didn’t get him out of his rough lot in life – a comment said he was no stranger to prison, that he’d been in and out of lock-ups his entire life, and that he had a tough upbringing. But he, himself said he would never kill again.

    “Because I’m intensely curious to see how this mad thing is going to play out. Am I going to die of old age in prison, someday? Or, am I going to make it back out there, free? I have no intentions of escaping. I don’t want to be hunted like a dog. I wouldn’t make it for long and then I’d be right back here. And I’m not going to kill nobody else, again. Unless I’m attacked and it’s to defend myself. I don’t want another dead man on my conscience,” said Blake. “I’m just biding my time until my time in this world is over. Till I get to the next life and that I ain’t going to screw up as bad as I’ve done this one.”

    • kipp said:

      I read it the same way – it caught my attention and I planned to read the first few lines and save it for later if it seemed interesting, but I couldn’t stop reading until I’d finished it. Remarkably profound prose.

  2. kipp said:

    Very – as heavy as it gets.

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