22 Aug 08
Convict Justice (by Shane)
Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs he financed with burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations.
I was 19 and in a maximum-security prison. It was my second month there. Wanting to remain independent rather than clique up, I made friends with a couple of recognized independents on the yard.
One such independent became my partner. Although quite an intense guy at times, he was a jovial person. He looked like the ’80’s wrestler Ultimate Warrior. Steve was a character.
“Hey, youngster, I got a favor to ask you. I need you to watch my back today going to chow,” Steve asked one day, a serious expression on his usually smiling face.
“What’s up?” I responded.
“I gotta handle this chomo who just drove up, and I don’t want anybody jumpin’ on me.”
Suspecting Steve was testing me, I agreed to watch his back.
Pointing his finger at me, he ended our conversation with, “Just make sure nobody stops me.”
Still a fish on the yard, cautious but wanting to do right by prison politics and morals, my mind justified what was about to happen. A child molester would get a beat down, and that would be that. Convict justice.
Later in the day, we walked to the chow hall together.
“Fall in behind me and stay with me,” Steve whispered as we weaved our way through the throng of prisoners heading for the chow hall.
As we passed beneath the gun tower, a notorious blind spot for the guards, Steve made his move.
In one fluid motion, Steve turned throwing a right hook to the cheek of a large heavyset man walking next to him. The punch landed flush with a loud crack as bone shattered.
The man staggered backwards, instinctively grabbing his fractured right cheek.
Instantly, the crowd parted leaving the three of us exposed.
As I circled Steve and the man, hand extended towards the crowd, I felt awkward but ready to fight.
Stunned, the man didn’t react other than to grab his face, so Steve took advantage and kicked the side of the man’s thick knee. Another bone-breaking crack sounded. Crying out in agony, the man went down.
He was on his side grasping his knee when Steve kicked him twice in the face, the second kick opening a long, deep gash below his left eye. Blood gushed down his face as he slumped forward face down.
Glancing down at the badly beaten man, Steve withdrew a newspaper clipping from his pocket, wadded it up and threw it in the blood pooling around the man’s head. “Don’t come back, chomo, or you’re through,” Steve said to the motionless man as he walked away, blending back into the crowd, which began its movement towards the chow hall again.
We moved on.
Once inside the chow hall, we split up. It didn’t take long for the man to be found. Minutes after we were inside the chow hall, guards locked both doors to contain us, while the man was transported off the yard.
When the doors were unlocked again, a guard was posted at the exit to do “knuckle checks” as we left the chow hall.
What shocked me more than the savage beating was how the guard waived Steve through without a glance as he exited.
After that day, I distanced myself from Steve. Despite having learned that the newspaper clipping described how the man pled guilty to molesting his six-year-old stepdaughter, I felt a miniscule amount of sympathy for the man having being beaten so badly.
Steve died a couple of months after this from a heroin overdose.
The child molester never returned to the yard, but he survived the beating.
Over the years I’ve struggled with sexual predator punishment. Part of me believes they deserve harsh punishment for their sickening crimes. But there’s a part of me that thinks they are human beings and human beings shouldn’t treat others so cruelly. Even if that person does cruel and disgusting things.
We touched on the subject of convict justice in the blog “Rapist on the Yard” by Warrior. Shane seems to have had a more complex reaction to the situation than Warrior. How do you feel about Shane’s “ miniscule amount of sympathy?”