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.