Saturday, February 19, 2011
Say a Prayer
Fourteen months ago, my friend was arrested. He was arrested because claims were made that he threatened the life of another person. While under the influence of alcohol, he spoke loosely about this other person in a threatening manner. A few days later, the person's car was "shot at". Nobody saw the shooter, nobody saw the gun, nobody was witness to the crime, and nobody else was in the car.
Jah Roro was arrested along with a few other people. The other people were set free. Jah Roro is still a prisoner.
Now, fourteen months later, he still has not stood before a judge to receive his sentence. This is not uncommon. Most of the people in prison do not deserve to be serving the sentences they have received- assuming they have received a sentence.
For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro has been living in a closet sized cell with, at the least crowded times, 30 other "criminals". For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro's skin has become pale and ashy from the lack of sunlight. For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro's eyes have become yellow from malnutrition. For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro has been able to put his face to the sun for a generous hour per week. For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro has slept in shifts due to the lack of space in the cell. He has been stripped of his dignity- toileted in a bucket with no toilet paper. He has bathed out of a bucket, reaching through the bars of his cell to clean his rag and wet his soap. He has passed his urine through the bars in a cup to be dumped outside. For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro has seen an earthquake, hurricane, cholera, and election riots from inside a cell. He has watched prison-mates come and go. Some set free in the physical sense, others sent back to their maker. For the past fourteen months, Jah Roro has been living in hell.
Yesterday, Jah Roro felt his first glimmer of home in over a year. Yesterday, Linda and I met with a friend of hers who is a lawyer. He generously dropped his Friday afternoon workload, went to speak with Jah Roro in prison, and has agreed to meet with a criminal justice judge on Monday morning. Hopefully to set him free.
Until then, we pray. To whomever you pray to or find your peace in, please dedicate one of those moments to Jah Roro. Pray that he will be released from hell.