A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story
June 6, 2013
I’m a glazier of sorts, I have always thought so, but I specialize in mirrors…
This is a story about the best friend I have on death row. The implication is that I have more than one friend on death row. This is true, and we’ll get around to the other story sooner or later. I conceal nothing, I promise, but I reveal what I choose, when and how I choose.
My friend’s name is Anthony Ford – Tony for short – though I’m sure you’ve never heard of him. Execution cases are big news when they advance an ugly political agenda, not otherwise. The prisons are full of innocent men, as any one of them will tell you, but there are facts that can trump anyone’s guilt or innocence: When the modern-day equivalent of the executioner’s axe drops, an innocence subsequently proved, a blameless man vindicated, is a consolation to no one.
So is Tony Ford an innocent man falsely convicted, someday to be unjustly deprived of his life? I don’t know. Neither do you. And neither does anyone else – maybe not even the man himself. We are each of us reflections of what we have been before – many, many times before. But we are reflections, too, of what we would have been, what we could have been, what we wanted to be and should have been, if only the world turned the other way.
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“We get TV, as long as it’s crap.” Tony said that. He was in town for a hearing on one of his many jailhouse-lawyer appellate actions and we had a chance to get together in (more…)