How Much is Enough?
by Letters to the Editor, December 11, 2009
I left Mule Creek State Prison only to be transferred to another one of the state’s many prisons that they have built from one end of California to the other from San Diego and Calipatria in the south to far north Pelican Bay Prison in Crescent City and cities in between. There are a total of 50 prisons, fire camps, institutions and whatever they want to call them nowadays.
That's way too many prisons for sure. But I find myself right next door to the very prison I started out in 30 years ago which was Old Folsom State Prison. Now here I am again 30 years later in what they call New Folsom State Prison. Yes, I can hear the whistle blow round the bend at noon each day as I could 30 years ago, just as old Johnny Cash sang.
If you are wondering, though: I have never been back out since I came in to prison in 1979. So on February 19, 2010 I will start my 31st year in Hotel California. You can check out, but never leave. How true that is. And yes, I learned my wrong very much so in all this time but folks need to be real — when is enough time for your crime? When they hook you up to the needle that the government/state has to kill its people?
But hellfire, I was young then and I’m old now. I now cost the state of California a lot, lot, lot of money to keep me in these cement boxes. I must have changed from the youngster I was back then to an older but a lot smarter and nonviolent person you hear from today. That's me.
Well, Mr. Editor, thank you for your paper that not only I read and very much enjoy as I did from Mule Creek, but also I have a few cats here who also enjoy your paper. Thanks again. I can't wait to get my next issue.
Respectfully, always here,
Ricky Ray Keel