Meghan's Reviews > Life After Death

Life After Death by Damien Echols
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's review
Sep 21, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

This is a real heartbreaker.

While his case is obviously a terrible injustice, I found the descriptions of prison life and American poverty equally depressing. Surely we can do better as a country.

On mental illness among prisoners:
"I live with men who haven’t been in contact with reality for years. The truth is that insanity is rampant on Death Row, as is retardation. The law says that the insane and the mentally retarded (the law’s terminology, not mine) cannot be executed, yet it happens on a regular basis. It’s both sad and frightening. It’s sad because many of them don’t even comprehend that they’re on Death Row or what awaits them. The mentally handicapped are executed on a regular basis while the politicians all give speeches about being tough on crime. I’ve never come across a single murderer who possessed the mental faculties required to fully comprehend the horror of what they have done. They are not emotionally developed enough to feel empathy. They live lives of nightmare, yet are not even capable of realizing that. They are the dregs of humanity, by both birth and choice. Prison and the prison mentality are not what society has been led to believe they are. These people cannot even take care of themselves, and they suffer from every health problem imaginable. There are no attractive murderers here. It’s like the ugliness inside them manages to transform their facial features so that the outside resembles the inside. There are no conversations here. There are threats, taunts, and screams, but a conversation is an impossibility. Concepts such as love, honor, and self-respect are as foreign to this place as French cuisine. I waver between the extremes of pity and disgust."

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message 1: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol meghan, the so-called justice system in this country, especially in this state, has always appalled me. we CAN do better as a country. but will we?

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