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No RedemptionKenneth Law
By K. Rashid Shariat Law,
Jan. 6, 2006

I've been in prison for almost 17 years. Like so many other poor men raised in the ghettos throughout this country, I am guilty of the crime of ignorance, self-hate, and the desire to follow the road to self-destruction.

Though our families tried to give us the tools they felt would lead to a more respectful life, these tools were often fruitless due to the psychological warfares we are forced to deal with. We are molded by our conditions of poverty, resulting in the development of an animalistic instinct to survive. We are purposely handicapped by our real teachers--the media, movies and the music industry--all promoting war, violence, theft, sex and drugs. They call it entertainment. I bear witness that it's a slow death for a young impressionable mind. It's like giving you a rope and instructing you on how hanging yourself with it is okay, and the right thing to do.

Then you have a lot of those who have supposedly escaped this trap, who have selfishly forgotten where they came from, turning a blind eye to the struggling people left behind or joining hands with the capitalists who once contributed to their demise. What good does it do you to gain the world but lose your soul?

I see them as the consciously dead. A conscious death is worse than a physical death because, though you breathe life you are being mentally manipulated and don't realize you're a pawn waiting for the master minds who control your third king to make their next move. Once a person lands in prison, this mental manipulation is taken to the next level. It starts by dividing, then conquering. They set out to destroy you mentally so that your dreams become only of your prison surroundings, and your goals become things that will keep you in prison or bring you back, and your family unit is often destroyed because life goes on for them without you. It's easier to forget about you than to suffer with you. This leaves you mad at the world, a walking time bomb. Violence becomes a way of life, a justified answer to all your problems.

There are those who get that second chance to enter society again, who are the true products of their environment and will prey on their own neighborhoods. Their carefree nature leads them to know no better. Now, the think tank that designed this system must commend itself on a job well done. They lay and await their harvest: your welcome return to prison. Another one bites the dust, another job created. It's nothing personal, just business. I need to feed my family while I destroy yours.

Has it yet to become clear to the American people that this is why they have taken away all productive programs and counseling in prisons? Fortunately, there are some who, after many years of looking in the mirror, begin to reflect and see what they have let themselves become. They start looking for answers, soulsearching, digging deep inside themselves, finding their great attributes as human beings, their journeys become positive, and they aim to save others from the condition they once suffered from, though a man makes these transformations for the good of himself.

America sent a message on Dec. 13, 2005, when they executed Stanley "Tookie" Williams--that there is no redemption for a convicted person and they will never forgive you of your sin. I don't know personally if Mr. Williams was guilty or innocent, and I am sincerely sympathetic to all four families for their loss.

But it was clear that Mr. Williams had changed. His actions spoke loud and clear that his goal was to save lives. Mr. Williams became more of a threat because he was trying to awaken the consciously dead.

This leads me to once again point to the blueprint I lay out for you of what brought us to prison and what keeps us coming back. It's part of someone's plan to keep us consciously dead. America needs to wake up before it's too late. Our children are killing each other in the streets, on the schoolyards, even parents in their homes and it's the "Tookie" Williams of the world and myself that can save them because we relate to their pain. You can learn a lot from a number.

Now I call on every convict or ex-convict to not let Stanley "Tookie" Williams' death be in vain. Embrace that road to change, it's paved beautifully. Pick up a pen and share your transformation with family and friends. Write a book. Get your message out there to the children. I also call on the American people to adopt a prisoner and reassure them that someone cares. A little love can go a long way. Let's give hope and life and stop the death penalty. It's not the answer. May this message be received well.

The struggle continues.

K.A. Rashid Shariat Law
# 52590
P.O BOX 1989
Ely, Nevada

Inspired by Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Mr. Law is determined to become an author, and help young people who might gain from his advice. He is currently writing a book called Tales of the Tier, about stories prisoners share with each other and things he's heard and witnessed while in prison.

He also plans to write an autobiography "that I'm sure will be a positive contribution for those still in the struggle, and an answer for those who don't understand us." Mr. Law has no typewriter and is trying to raise money to buy one. He has few contacts outside of prison, and is unable to get a prison job. He'd be extremely grateful for any contributions you could make toward this purchase. Mr. Law writes, "You can send any donation through Western Union, to the Nevada Department of Corrections (Ely State Prison, P.O. Box 1989, 4569 North State Rt. 490, Ely, Nevada 89301), with my name and prison number (K.A. Rashid Shariat Law, # 52590). You can also send money using the internet, via J-Pay." Here is the J-Pay link

The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners:


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