Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Ask an ex-con (almost) anything

Discussion in 'Prisonscape' started by PekkaK, May 19, 2014.

  1. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
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    Potential good news.
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  2. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    There isn't much if a distinction at the prisons I was at. The terms were alternatively used. My guess is that at prisons in larger cities, or on the West Coast, this difference matters a lot but at the places I did my time the meanings melted together.

    Prison changed me a lot. More than I'd probably like to admit. For better and for worse. As time has went on, it's gotten easier. There are days prison seems so foreign, like something that happened in another lifetime or even something I dreamed. Like I clicked my heels three times and awoke. I've rediscovered parts of myself that I buried and I'm not anywhere near as institutionalized. But there are parts of me that existed before prison...my personality, my easy going nature, my kindness, my friendliness and openness that I'll never get back to the extent that they were before I went into the system. I feel more normal than I did at first, but I don't know if I'll ever feel completely normal. I don't even know if I know what normal is anymore.

    I suffer from anti-social personality traits. Not as part as when I first got out, but definitely worse than before. I was very anti-social until high school and I shook it all and ended up working in politics, the opposite of anything anti-social. After prison, it all came back, which is interesting since I was quite social in prison and got along with everyone. The difference is that in prison I wasn't worried about being judged. No one cared what I did. Everyone else had done something too or at least been convicted of it. But on the outside, I felt like I was constantly being judged from the moment I got out. Like I had some scarlet 'F' for felon across my entire body.

    I suffer from PTSD. Not nearly as bad as at first, but it's still there. In the morning sometimes I still wake up afraid, confused for a second about where I am. There have been times someone has woken me up and I awake with a start, shouting and in the fight position. One time someone was in my bedroom getting some Tylenol I had told them I had on my desk if they needed any. I'm a light sleeper anyway so there presence in my room woke me up. I jumped up and found my hand reaching behind me. I realized I was reading for the shank I had kept in a carved out part of the bed. All instinct.

    One time someone about a year and a half after I got out made the mistake of playing a prank on me, jumping out of a trash can I was about to open. Everyone thought it was hilarious but I had a hammer in my hand and was within a second of bashing their head in based on muscle memory. I came to the scary realization that had that happened even 6 months earlier I might have not been able to stop myself.

    I told the story about the day I got out before. Going to Hardee's and feeling so out of place, so weird, so much anxiety. I don't remember if I mentioned this but my dad wanted me to have a good first meal after my release and they were serving lunch but hadn't changed the menu yet. Now I hadn't seen a Hardee's menu in years so I didn't know what they had and my dad got upset they couldn't change the menu, but we figured it out. We were all setting at the table and for whatever reason my dad was still mad. The girl that took our orders was sweeping the floor and my dad said loud enough so she could hear it that "he knew the owner and he would complain" (which happens to be true, he actually helped build the Hardee's years ago) and the girl went back to her co-workers and talked shit loud enough so he could hear. It was the first time I knew I had PTSD because I was so tense and with so much anxiety. It was the same air in prison when conflict would happen and I'd have to be ready for anything.

    When I got to Wal-Mart an hour later, it felt like I was hitting a wall when I stopped in the door. I was assault with people, light and sounds. The first sound I heard was the musical jingle from the claw machine and it had such an impact on me that even until this very day when I go in that Wal-Mart and hear that sound it causes me anxiety. I thought I was going to have a panic attack that day.

    I also before leaving prison had a reoccurring dream about forgetting to contact my PO after I got out and getting in trouble, so that was an immediate source of anxiety when I got out, especially when I was unsuccessful in the first two days.

    Sometimes I see BOP COs at Wal-Mart because Butner is nearby where I live (I didn't do time in Butner, however). The first time I saw one in full uniform I also almost had a panic attack. It took several more times before I got used to it.

    Other than that while in some ways I have more empathy in others I'm also colder, jaded, less trusting. Before prison I slept completely based everyday for at least 14 years. Now, to this day, I still sleep in a t-shirt and gym shorts, just like in prison.

    In prison you go to the commissary and buy 15 of the same item and stock up like crazy. I do the same thing now. I also even purchased these plastic storage drawers and I didn't realize it at the time but it was basically a replacement for my prison locker.

    I am always studying my surroundings, where ever I am. It's fucked up, but I also study people. I judge if they are weak or strong. I watch their body language. I study their intellect and I size them up. I think "can I take advantage of this person?" or "can I take them in a fight?" "what is their weakness?" Not that I'd do anything of those things or even would in prison if I could help it, but I feel the need to take stock always.

    I'm especially watching my surroundings at night in parking lots. Literally I slide my car key between my knuckles so the metal end is sticking out as a weapon and keep it fisted when I walk down the street at night or in a parking lot. Yesterday I was in a gas station parking lot and a dude yelled at me if I had 50 cent. He started walking over and I immediately put my car key in the fist position. Of course, he just wanted 50 cent... but I can't help but prepare.

    At first when I got out...like the first 6 months, I was kinda lazy. I mean in prison you can sleep all day. You have no real responsibilities. No bills. I literally spent years sleeping in, playing Ultimate Frisbee, playing D&D for hours, watching TV, playing board games and just hanging out with people all day. When I got out and actually had responsibilities and work, that was an adjustment, but once I made it I was glad.

    When I was got out I didn't know what to do with myself. I was awkward everywhere. When I first came home it was like sensory overload. Even the different smell through me off completely. I could have done whatever. I was free. Yet I just sat in a hair looking at the wall for HOURS. Not making that up. Then I wrote my cell mate.

    A buddy of mine got out of prison about two years after I did. He had been down 25 years. He calls me after being out a few days while checking out at a Wal-Mart. He was buying a cutting board and plastic container for his soap -- two things in prison you cannot live without.

    One thing that has taken me the longest to get used to is eating around people. Now this is strange, because that's all you do in prison. In the chow hall there are hundreds of people around you while you eat and you're at a table that's almost always with 2 - 4 other people. Yet once I got out I just wanted to eat alone. This wasn't the case everywhere, but for example, I remember when I lived with my parents at first and one of them would cook dinner a night I didn't I'd go ahead and fix my plate and sit at the table to eat (That's another change...before I was the king of eating in front of a computer or TV... now I always eat at the table...just like prison). But they'd be fixing their plates to go take them in front of the TV (we were never a sit down dinner family) and in the process moving all around me and it causes me a lot of anxiety and I'd find myself getting angry. I realized this was because it made me uncomfortable because I couldn't relax and enjoy my food while I still felt the need to take in my ever changing surroundings.


    As for you second question, no, it was not deserved nor was it fair punishment. Forgetting the details of my case for a second, which I think only further show how unfair it all way, I'm not nor was I ever a hardened criminal. I'm not nor was I ever a danger to anyone. I had no priors, no criminal history. My charge was a conspiracy charge, so there never were any actual victims. Yet, despite all this, I was sentenced for a first time offense to 6 1/2 years. For what? Why? It did nothing to help me. It did not "rehabilitate" me. It made me worse. It was about punishment and an unjust punishment. They could have told me they knew what I did and never to do it again or I'd go to prison and that would have been enough, especially considering it had been years since I had done what I went to prison for.

    I was never trusting of the legal system. I am less trusting now. The legal system is fucked, plain and system. The entire criminal justice system is FUBAR. Am I bitter? Slightly, but I've gotten over it because I realized nothing can come from it and my bitterness will only consume me.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. The sentences they give for drug crimes are absurd, especially for something I consider a victimless crime. It's an indictment of the federal system, really, because most drug cases now go federal with its ridiculous sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums and most violent crimes like murder are state level.

    I did time with a guy who got a distribution of child pornography charge because when he was 19 he sent video of his 16 year old girlfriend giving him head to one of his friends. Their relationship and the sex was legal, but the video, under federal law, was not and because he sent it to someone he "distributed it." He got 15 years. Never been in trouble a day in his life. Meanwhile the average conviction for an actual hands on sex offense against a child (child molestation) is only like 6 years.

    I did time with another guy who was a serial sex offender. They civilly confined him at Butner. He had serious problems. The crazy thing is I saw his criminal history and he has FIVE prior sexual offenses against minors and they were all very bad. For each of them he did 2, 4, 5 and 6 years for a total of 17 years for those offenses. Finally he got caught with child porn and that went federal and for that he got a 25 year sentence. How fucking crazy is that? He got less time for all the actual hands on offenses combined than he did for the pictures he got caught with and I'm not depending that, I'm just pointing out how crazy unbalanced the law is just like a drug trafficker getting more time than someone who actually takes a life.

    (BTW, as an aside I remember something the guy I just talked about told me that really made my brain do moral backflips. For whatever reason he opened up to me, maybe because he knew I wouldn't stab him for admitting his past and present problems, but he did. One day he told me about all he had done and he said "I can't believe I got the most time for the pictures. And you know what's crazy? The only reason I looked at them is I knew it would keep me from hurting anyone else...it filled the void I needed to fill. All the other stuff I did, there were only like 2 and 3 year gaps. Between the last time and when I got caught for the pictures, it was 8 years, the longest I'd ever spent free in my entire adult life." I found myself thinking "if these images, which have already been created and exist, can be used to keep predators from actually harming children, maybe it's good to let them look at them?" And, I struggle with that even now. It really makes me feel sick to my stomach just considering it).

    Anyway, got kinda off topic there, but hope that answers your questions.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
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  3. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    I mentioned once or twice in, oddly enough, other threads but my charges were various conspiracy charges related to finance. I didn't actually do anything, but I planned to do something and I set up everything to do it and people said I did it, thus conspiracy. I don't really talk about it much because it's still a bit of a sore spot for me how it all went down. I'm not bitter so much as it's just something I want to forgot. At least I can say good things did happen in prison and it was interesting, but in my mind there's literally nothing redeeming about what led me there. The story is tough to tell because it involved betrayal by people I considered my friends and also because, in the end, it's kinda boring because nothing came from it all. I mean, maybe if I'd gotten away with millions of dollars, but no, it's literally one of the stupidest, my worthless ways to go to prison ever. Also, it's difficult to explain exactly what went down without getting really personal and mentioning very specific details, which I just don't care to do. I wasn't planning on ever mentioning why I went to prison in this thread actually. When Pekka made this thread, that was the one thing I wanted off the table. That's why the thread is called "Ask an ex-con (almost) anything." That's the almost. I mean, I had to produce my paperwork a number of time in prison based on prison rules of survival. Not really sure I want to deal with that here. But at some point someone asked in another thread and I was just like "fuck it."

    Other than it was a lot more based on stuff the DM would come up and it required more imagination, not really. When I started playing, we just had the core books for 3.5 and 4.0 and one of the original Dungeon Masters guide, so without campaign setting books the DM had to make up everything. The 3.5 Players Handbook we had was literally a spiral bounded color photocopy made by someone who worked at UNICOR (the Petersburg UNICOR is a print plant). It was mostly the kind of stuff you'd expect, though: adventuring party, hired assassins, traders. The campaign I played for most of the time I was there -- almost everyday for literally years -- involved a adventuring party with a deep, complex backstory. By the time we ended it there were over 600 NPCs, which the DM kept track of with an alphabetized master sheet. A key point of our storyline was bit off of from The Curse of the Azure Bonds, because we all had several of them and each represented the key bosses we had to fight. In all the years of playing, we literally only beat one and were able to fight the second when one of our key players got transferred so we decided to end the campaign. Needless to say, we got off track and did a lot of other shit. We'd literally spend entire campaign sessions shopping to decorate one of our homes lol.

    Our DM had grown up playing it and also had read a lot of fantasies novels, so he got a lot of inspiration from all that and integrated core details. I didn't realize how much until I got out and started learning more about D&D. I thought Otik's and his spiced potatoes was unique to our world lol.

    Anyway, after we got into the game hard core our DM started getting in map packs and campaign books to use. Before that it was all pen and paper maps for dungeons or whatever. Somehow one time they even let a complete TILE SET get in through the mail. It was a total fluke that should never have happened, but it did. We didn't have figures so we used the figures from a Risk board game. At first we didn't even have real dice, we used homemade dice which are made of paper and glue/laminate and sand/toothpaste, but eventually we got dice sets from recreation which I posted before, including the card that came with it showing we had permission to have the dice.

    I didn't know a lot of people -- maybe anyone really -- who played D&D at the gym, but there were at least 12 active campaigns. You'd go down there and every table was filled with D&D groups. But Tom (DM) (I forgot Tom actually took over this thread for awhile... he was the DM and my cell mate for the last couple years of my time, for the record) knew some of them from his job at UNICOR so he was able to arrange trades of books and materials. At one point we estimated that there were over 300 unique D&D books on the compound. We had 21 ourselves.

    I never played in the gym, though. I could never bring myself to do it. My D&D group was between me and close friends always and we played in the unit in our "cell." The group I played the most with where Tom was DM we literally lived side by side. Me and Tom were cell mates and Fig and Dave were cell mates. Another guy, Tweak, came and played from upstairs in our unit for a few months but got transferred. He had never played before and was a natural and just an all around good dude.

    Before that I played with Dave & Fig in a campaign run by a guy named Ben. Ben was a great DM too, Tom was better overall IMO, but Ben has a very gregarious personality and a lot of charisma. We played in his campaign before Tom started his, but Ben was busy a lot so we didn't play nearly as often. BTW, after I went home a new campaign got started with Tom as DM, two new dudes, Dave and Ben playing. But all of these campaigns, including Ben's and the one after I left were played in the unit, not the gym.

    The reason was because most of the people who played in the gym were extremely weird. A lot of them were also SOs. I'm not saying they were bad people, but I don't think I could have tolerated a lot of them or felt comfortable playing with them. Also, to do so would bring myself under suspicion based on a "guilty by association" logic. Not to mention these dudes were making new characters on a weekly basis it seemed because of party wipes. Fuck that.

    One time I remember hanging around at the gate at the rec yard for "recall" (the time everyone has to come inside for the night) and I overheard some of the guys that played at the gym and it went like this:

    Dude 1: "Man I can't believe that..."

    Dude 2: "What?"

    Dude 1: "That Chris made him sleep in the slave pit..."

    Dude 2: "Well, he didn't want to pay for a room at the inn, that's what he gets..."

    Dude 1: "Yeah, but it was funny when he fucked that slave, though..."

    Dude 2: "The elf?"

    Dude 1: "No, the gnome."

    "Dude 2: "Oh, yeah."

    I also heard stories that over at the Medium, where the seriously bad SOs are, they banned them from playing any sort of role playing game because inmates were using them to live our inappropriate fantasies. Never saw or heard of that happen at the Low, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

    Here's the campaigns I played while in prison:

    1. Contract Adventurers w/ Ben: First campaign ever. Had no idea what I was doing. Played a tiefling rogue/ranger cross class who for some reason welded a heavy Flail. Highlights included us being hired to protect a silk caravan only to kill everyone and sell all the silk, getting a Cohort as a feat who was a fire breathing Kobolt who hated Gnomes (Emong Retah was his name...yeah), me negotiating a deal with another caravan where I sealed the deal by getting them to throw in a random lamp, cutting off the head of my horse for no reason... Yeah, I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. It lasted about 4 months.

    2. Modern Adventure w/ Ben: This was awesome. It was a modern adventure that was Breaking Bad meets Marvel meets apocalyptic. This would have made an amazing Netflix original series. I had so much fun with this one. Ben made up literally everything. He had no books to go off of at all. One interesting thing was we would alternate between sessions as a group and individual sessions because we had our own shit going on and so the others wouldn't find out what we were up to. It lasted about 6 months.

    3. Epic Adventure w/ Tom: By this time we were all seasoned players. What started off on a whim turned into a 3+ year epic campaign. We were an adventuring team called The Council of the Forsaken Mark and we had azure bonds. Our party included me (tiefling rogue/lycanthrope), Fig (Warforge fighter), Dave (Dragonborn Sorcerer) and Tweak (human wizard) for awhile. So many stories and so much shit happened during this campaign to even get into.

    4. Underdark campaign: At some point we decided to take a break from the epic campaign because there had been a period of conflict between the party (namely one member) and the DM over things, but we still wanted to play so we did an underdark campaign where we all played chaotic evil characters, a first. I don't even remember all of the character classes & races we played. I know I was a Drow assassin who worshiped The Raven Queen and not Lolth... I think we all did and that was what brought us together as a party that contracted themselves out for jobs, mostly assassination. Except me, everyone played a class they weren't accustom to and it showed. They sucked at it and hated it. I was also a succubus even though I was male, lol. Anyway, the campaign didn't last because we all sucked at playing truly evil characters by doing things an evil character would never do and we wanted to go back to the epic campaign. I think I was the best in the campaign, though. When rolling for my stats I rolled TERRIBLE for intelligence but stupid good for charisma, so I was basically a dumb hot Drow and I played the shit out of the dumb. I named my character Random as a result because he'd do the most random shit. I killed my sister, bought and killed a slave, threw the owner of a tavern in the oven who was then served to everyone, etc. It lasted about 3 monrhs.

    5. Random individual campaign: One day Dave & Fig had a softball game and me and Tom were board as fuck so he DM'd a one-off solo adventure where I played a Good character who was a half-elf that was a class out of one of the supplements (it was a Druid-like class). I actually was surprised how much I liked playing a good aligned character. It lasted one day.
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  4. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    I forgot to mention that I find myself getting angrier about things I would have just let go before the prison. I have a bit of a temper, but I manage it well and keep it bottled up always. I don't take any shit off anyone, though, where before I wasn't a push over but would have probably been more "flexible" at times. I'm also very impatient. I find myself having road rage I didn't have before, especially when waiting at lights and people are slow to go again, stuff like that. I never like shout it anyone or get aggressive, I just get pissed and cuss to myself in the car. Never did this before prison unless someone was being really retarded. I also hate waiting in lines. Like if I go to Wal-Mart and they only have three registers open and 5 people are in each line and they have groceries and shit. I get really pissed, but keep it all inside and remain friendly. I had this a little before prison, but it's much worse now. It's ironic too, because you'd think prison would have made me more patient because it's all about waiting in big ass lines now for shit. Depending on if I went and ate the three meals in the chow hall I was waiting in long ass lines 1 - 3 times a day. "Rush, rush, wait" is a popular motto for dealing with the BOP. Maybe it's that after doing that for years I'm free and don't want to deal with that shit anymore, so when faced with it I get upset. It's also post-prison anxiety related. It could also be as simple as most of the time when I was waiting in lines in prison I knew people around me I could talk to to pass the time. Not like that in the real world.

    One time I went to Wal-Mart and they had TWO registers open, 5 people in each and I waited 30 minutes to check out, so I was pissed. I went to go out the door and one of their "Greeters" wanted to see my receipt because they didn't bag up my 12 pack of Dasani sparkling water. I was just like "no thanks" and kept going. The girl was insistent "sir, I need to just check your receipt because one of your items isn't bagged." I said "well, that's your cashier's fault. I didn't bag them. I didn't know I was going to be treated like I stole something just because she didn't take the time to bag my water. If I did, I would have made her bag it to avoid this shit. I'm not going to show you my receipt. Look at the cameras. Ask the cashier. But unless you have reason to believe I stole something, get out of my way. If you do, call the cops" and I just walked out. Of course, nothing ever came from it. I refuse to show my receipt leaving Wal-Mart. 9 times out of 10 they don't even check. But this is an example of something I would have just went with before prison and I was already a libertarian before prison, so hated authority even then.

    Another time someone tried to steal something from my business. I caught them sticking it under their shirt and trying to tuck it under their waste band. I caught them red handed and told them they'd have to leave the store. They refused, said they weren't stealing. This back and forth went on for awhile but finally I got them to the door but then they refused again after I snapped a picture of them and told them it would be posted behind the counter and they were never allowed in again. I also told them if they attempted to come back I would post the picture so everyone could see it and call the cops. They didn't like this. They said "shit, call the cops now. Your word against mine" and I said "I have you on camera. There are cameras everywhere." "Call the cops" they repeated and I just snapped. "Listen, motherfucker, fuck the cops. You get out of this store right now or I'm going to fuck you up" and I picked up a hammer and people who witnessed this said I scared the shit out of them because of how serious I looked. The thief left immediately. This was prison at work. Would I have done it? Unlikely unless they attacked me first. In the back of my mind I was thinking "I don't want to get in trouble. I'm on probation. I'm a felon and it's not worth it" but I still put on the front because it was something prison taught me to do. Before prison, I would have just called the cops if he didn't leave and I was someone before prison who carried a concealed handgun everywhere I went. I wouldn't even have shown that I was carrying before to get him to leave (now, I don't own any weapons for obvious reasons, just for the record). But now I don't take shit off anyone.

    I'm not saying I'm "Billy Badass." I'm not very tall and not very strong, but prison taught me how to take stands and fight like my life depended on it and not take shit off anyone. I think I could have taken this guy, because I sized him up as a coward. Lots of dudes could kick my ass, but certainly less since I went to prison because I can get scary as shit when I have to and that intimidates people. Most people back down in life because they really don't want to fight, especially with someone they see doesn't give a fuck and has no rules, which in prison you can't when it comes to fighting. I think there are people out there that prey on people and walk all over them and I think most people in life let people walk all over them because they want to avoid conflict. Predators know this. But most predators are also cowards and in prison they try to prey on the weak and especially "fresh meat," but the moment one of them stands up to them they immediately back down. In prison, you can't let people walk all over you or everyone will. You can't avoid conflict. Be diplomatic as possible, be respectful, be polite... yes, do those things, but you can't just avoid conflict the entire time. You have to stand your ground and not take any shit. This is what I learned and how I carried myself in prison and I still carry myself that way now that I'm out.

    In prison I avoided conflict for nearly the entire time I was there... when it happened, it almost never got past words, either because someone got between us or they backed down. In prison, most people were tougher, bigger and stronger than me but they didn't fuck with me because they knew I'd fight, even if I'd lose and I probably would. But moreover, I gave respect and was honest and treated everyone well and as a result I got a lot of respect. I'd say I was one of the most liked and respected people on the compound within two years. No one had anything bad to say about me and people said good things about me all the time. Thus, no one messed with me and if anyone tried, other people had my back because that's how much they liked and respected me. They wouldn't let anyone disrespect me. But most of the time it didn't even come to that because everyone knew better. Only sometimes someone who just came in from another prison would try me and quickly they'd realize they were messing with the wrong one. Other people never even had to get involved. By the time I was three years in even knew people could tell, just by the way I carried myself, that I wasn't to be messed with. It's like they can smell weakness but I had no such scent.

    I never told this story because I forgot about it but right at about the three years mark this kinda short, smooth talking black sham artist who oozed creepiness came from another prison. He came into my room one day, being really friendly, but I could also tell the dude was bad news. He had noticed I was filling out my commissary sheet and asked me if I could get him a few things because he couldn't go until Tuesday and he had just come in, but he said he had some tunas he could pay me for what I got. So we worked out an agreement and had a conversation. I got him the stuff, he paid me and that was that. Next day he comes by thanking me and wants to come in and "break bread" (this is the act of sharing food with another inmate as a way of initiating friendship). He brought me a cold soda and I accepted, which had it been my first couple years I would have said 'no' because it's generally a bad idea to accept any sort of 'gift' from another inmates as they will want something in exchange, but by this time I knew this dude wasn't getting over on me.

    As we talked I realized he was a passive-aggressive gay predator looking for sex. I wondered if he'd really disrespect me by propositioning me. Finally, he gets to his point "Hey man, can I ask you a question? And I don't mean no disrespect, but you don't like men do you?" and I coldly say "no" and he goes "Yeah., yeah... I knew it... it's just, you know, gay dudes I want to make sure I ain't around them...."

    This is a common thing they do. When they go fishing and they get rejected they pretend they're all homophobic.

    Then he goes "I've never done anything like that before... would you try it if you could, though?" and he grabs his crotch to show me his dick."

    I slapped him so hard the entire side overheard it and looked. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he kept saying with his hands at me in a defensive gesture. As I said "get the fuck out of my room before I kill you!" he was already stumbling out apologizing. About that time about 5 Spanish inmates (I was very cool with all the Spanish inmates) come up to see if there was an issue, ready to beat the fuck out of this guy, but he got out of there and I told them it was not an issue. For awhile after that one of them jokingly called me "Blanca Loco" lol.

    That guy never talked to me again. He saw me he'd go the other way, but walked him so many times try to take advantage of other inmates and act completely fake to everyone. Eventually I heard that he put someone in a headlock who lived upstairs in my unit and tried to force them to suck his dick. Apparently some other inmates put a stop to it. At first I didn't know who the person was who had done that, but once they described them I knew instantly who it was and it didn't surprise me at all. The next day they took him off the compound in handcuffs I assume to the SHU because someone, either the victim or another inmate, snitched. If I had shown weakness, that could have been me.
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  5. sullynathangender: ⚧ Cipher

    Dec 22, 2015
    Not Europe
    talks about prison always devolves to gay shit
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  6. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    Prison is very gay.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  7. veealunegender: ⚧ Learned

    Aug 20, 2017
    Alright. Finally read through all of this.
    What electronics were there that inmates could own aside from those MP3 players? Can you take your stuff outside once your time is up?
    Did anyone in there ever play Durak? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durak) Durak is a card game that is popular with post-Soviet countries, some Russians (if there were any) there may have known it.
    Were there any people who were just pure evil and wanted to fuck with people just for the sake of fucking with people and nothing else?
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  8. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    So, in federal prisons that aren't private you can have MP3 players, which is a new thing that started only a few years ago, and a AM/FM digital handheld radio which is a must for watching TV (since all of the TVs broadcast sound via radio band). The MP3 players, which were made by SanDisk, had a built in FM radio, but it sucked.

    You can also have a digital watch, an alarm clock and at some places you can have electric beard trimmers but a lot of places have taken these off commissary because they are made into tattoo guns. I bought one when I first arrived in prison and they got rid of them 2 years later. It was one of the best investments I made, but I had to be careful because those things were in high demand and were being stolen left and right. I got offered 100 mackerels for it one time (the prison equivalent of $100). I've also heard that some commissaries sell Pedometer, but didn't where I was, which is probably good because this joke would have been made:

    "Hey, you know how I know you're a chomo? Cause my PEDOmeter is going off!"

    Inmates can also have authorized medical devices that are electronic, most commonly breathing machines and blood sugar checkers.

    But that's really it. I've heard rumors that they're working on getting tablets into the federal system, but it hasn't happened yet.

    Now, at PRIVATE federal prisons, it's a different ball game. Since they're in it to make money, they sell inmates all kinds of shit from flat screen TVs to tablets to MP4 players...

    Here's what the tablets look like they sell:



    ere's the TVs:


    Obviously this is an old tube one but they have flat screen ones now too. As you can see, every electronic they sell is transparent. This is for security reasons so you can't hide contraband in the TV. Just about every electronic I ever bought in prison was see-thru. The beard trimmers and radio both were. Even the watch was for awhile. There was one model Sony radio that wasn't. I guess they figured it was too small to hide anything.

    Good article: https://www.wired.com/2010/08/gallery-prison-tech/

    By the way, these transparent tube TVs are actually worth quite a bit outside of prison just like lots of things that are only found on the inside.

    Also, I should mention that in the feds when you buy any electronic they engrave your inmate number into the plastic as a thieft deodorant measure.

    State prisons also typically have more access to electronics like TVs. They also sell handheld CD players, which the feds won't sell because they make the best tattoo guns.

    As for taking home electronics, you can take home any of it. It's your property and it belongs to you. I left right my watch and MP3 player. I gave my radio away to someone as well as the beard trimmers.

    As for the MP3 player that works a little differently. So basically to prevent theft every 14 days you had to re-validate your player or it would lock (this, by the way, actually worked wonders... people would just leave their players on the charging stations in the units unattended... which literally could be done with no other item you had). This involved connecting it to some computers in the unit, logging in and accessing the MP3 service. Once you did that it would automatically re-validate it. Of course, once you left prison there was no way of doing this so what you had to do is send your MP3 player to SanDisk with a $10 money order and a form with some information that I think included your inmate number. They would unlock it for you and send it back. You had to do this I think within 2 years of your release date. There must have been like one guy doing this because it was literally sent back to me in the same box I sent it in with a handwritten address label, lol. Anyway, when it came back they unlocked a couple of features that had been blocked before, like the ability to record audio (which would have been epic to do and have and post here) and they also replaced the back cover so you could have access to the microSD slot which was previously blocked. I had been told they were suppose to send a charging USB cable with it as well as a CD with all of your MP3s on it, but neither of this happened. I still have that thing and occasionally I'll break it out.

    I don't remember everyone ever playing a game by that name but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. There was only ever one Russian dude where I was and he was like 18 years old and got only 4 months for something, which is an unheard small amount of time for the feds. Maybe he flipped on someone.

    Anyway, the most popular card games in prison are: Spades, Hearts, Casino, Tunk, Pinochle and Texas Hold 'Em. Spades is the most dominant game, though. In jail I noticed a lot more people played Casino & Tunk than in prison. We also played a game called Egyptian Ratscrew which involves being the fastest person to slap a pile of cards. Needless to say a lot of us had sore fucking hands after an hour.

    There was also a game called 9 Call, which only me and my group of friends played. My friend Dave taught us the came and said he learned it in county. We got addicted as fuck to it.

    Yeah, there were a few people I met like this. Some I wouldn't call evil, just people who had metal issues. But there were 2 or 3 dudes I met in county that were like that. Real pieces of shit. They tried to pull that on me and I checked them real quick. They were actually pussies who only got away with it because they prayed on the weak, but the second someone stood up to them they backed down. Most of the people I met were good people, though and as far as bad character traits those that did have them to a flaw mostly were of the con artist variety.
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  9. veealunegender: ⚧ Learned

    Aug 20, 2017
    Thanks for the reply, interesting stuff. I remember those prison tablets from years ago, but that slipped my mind when I wrote the last post. It's a shame how uncommon clear case electronics are today. I really like clear case things.

    Durak is only really common here in Eastern-Europe so I'm not surprised, just thought to ask. Very fun card game though, fast and skill based. Basically everyone starts off with 6 cards and the dealer takes the bottom card and puts it face up under the pack so everyone can see it, that symbol will then be the trump card, generally where I play whoever won the last game starts the new one, but it is also done that the person clockwise from the dealer is the starter. The person who starts has to attack the person clockwise to him with any card and can attack with up to 4 of the same value, like 4 2s or 2 kings, and the defender has to either defeat those cards or push them ahead clockwise to the next player with another card of the same value and then that player becomes the attacker, so if someone attacks you with a jack you can push it to the next player with another jack. The same symbol with a higher value or a trump card can kill another card, to kill a trump card you need a trump card with a higher value and a trump card kills any non-trump card and once the defender has killed the cards that he was attacked with everyone in the game can add cards of those values to attack with as well, so if the defender kills a king with a trump ace then people can add either aces or kings that the defender has to defeat, you cannot add more cards than the defender has at hand. If the defender kills all cards and no one adds, the defender removes them from the game, if the defender cannot or does not want to defeat all the cards he has to pick them all up and add them to his deck. The defender then takes enough cards to add up to 6 again once he won that fight first and then the others clockwise, but the attacker always takes up to 6 again last. The defender then (if he won that fight) becomes the attacker but if he picked it up then the person clockwise does instead. This keeps going until the first one to run out of cards wins.

    Edit: Oh yeah, I also used to play a lot of Shithead when I was younger. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shithead_(card_game)
    Speaking of card games, I used to play that shitty old Pirates of the Caribbean MMO game and I probably played the texas hold em in the pub in that game where you could bid for up to 500 gold more than the actual game. Loved that shit.

    I swear I had two things I wanted to ask but I only remember one of them, which one of the gangs was the worst while in county?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  10. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    I didn't play a lot of card games in prison mainly because they usually involved hardcore gambling and stayed away from that (except 9 Card, the game Dave taught us, which we played a lot and no gambling involved). There was a 4 or 5 month period I really got into Spades & Hearts because other people in my social group did. There were people with Magic cards, but I never got into Magic. We played mostly D&D, especially in my latter 3 years, and before that a lot of board games. We played a lot of Monopoly for awhile and I remember how hyped we were when we got a Monopoly game. Like everything in prison, the games often got intense, though and after awhile we kinda stopped playing because people would get mad and it wasn't fun anymore.

    One memorable game had me and Joey (Italian Joey who was crazy, but wasn't actually Crazy Joe who was another inmate) the only ones left standing and basically I was on the ropes. Joey had two monopolies with hotels and I had one with hotels and yet I kept missing his every time and he kept hitting mine. The game literally lasted an hour longer than it should have before he finally won. At one point I landed on his space and I literally had all the money I owed to the dollar so I had no money but no debt, then he landed on my monopoly 2 times in a row and gave it all back lol. He was starting to get frustrated and it was really funny.

    We played Clue once or twice, but never got into it. It wasn't as funny as I remember it when I was a kid. We had this really old Life game that for awhile was literally the only non-chess/checkers game we had in the unit and this was during my first couple of years in prison. It's how I got close to a lot of my initial friends there and eventually we were playing on a table in the lobby every night with the full amount of players. This went on for months and we ended up keeping the game in one of our cells to keep people from fucking it up (you were suppose to get the games from the CO in his office and exchange your ID card for them, but we just waited until a CO that didn't give a fuck showed up and let us have it without ID and held onto it).

    This ended when people started to get too intense and take it too seriously, which happens a lot in prison. Winning a game of Life is all some people have because prison... which I guess is ironic, since they lost the real game of life winning the fake one is the next best thing.

    Years later when we had new board games one of them was a newer version of Life. We tried it out but didn't like the new rules and mechanics so it didn't become a thing again. Also we were playing D&D by then.

    There was also an old Risk game on the COs office from the beginning of my time in prison, but it was missing dice (not uncommon as people take them to gamble with... this is one reason it's hard to get board games with regular dice) so we harvested it its plastic men to use for D&D.

    Eventually we got a complete Risk game. The day it came in we conspired to get it to take the dice out so no one would take them to gamble. We'd hold onto the dice and leave the game on the office and if anyone wanted to play they could borrow the dice from us. But the first day we tried it the CO checked the box for the dice when we returned it so we pretended we had forgotten them, which he knew wasn't the case. He called us on it and I had a good report with him and I explained we wanted to hold them so no one would steal them to gamble with and ruin the ability to play the game. "Not every CO will check like you" I told him. He let it go and the next night with a new CO we had the dice in hand. I kept them in a Tic-Tac box in my locker hidden in an empty band-aid box. The problem was that people knew I had them so they'd come up to me to borrow them, but not to play Risk, but to gamble. I started loaning them out for $1 (3 stamps or a mackereal) an hour to discourage people from asking but eventually it became such a problem that I just told everyone they went missing and when we played we'd have the handmade D&D dice we had out so if someone came by we'd hide the real ones and say we were playing with those.

    Oh and one time we got shook down and another CO found the dice and asked about them and I explained the situation and he let us keep them.

    We played Risk maybe two dozen times while I was there and I literally won every single time. Like, dominated, and eventually people didn't want to play anymore. My strategy was simple: take Australia immediately. Somehow they never caught on to this, even after I told them.

    Towards the end of my time one of our neighbors, Steve, had gotten a hold of a Boggle game and we got into that hard fucking core. It got to the point we were playing every day and partly because there were only certain of us who played and partly because we gave the dictionary the final say there were little problems. We'd actually crack up at some of the words people would put down, especially Dave, who would then swear it was a word. One time he put down some word and we were all convinced it wasn't real.

    "What does it mean, Dave?"

    "It's..... a tool...... used in wood working."

    We all laughed and he did too.

    But he insisted we still look it up and he was FUCKING RIGHT. It was hilarious.

    We made up games a lot. These were the most fun to me. We did the water bottle flip as a game before it was a thing. We'd try to balance chairs. We'd play a version of corn hole that involved a handball and a waste basket. We made an origami frog that jumped and played a game with that based on where it landed. We played a game where we'd get into teams and write down as many movies as we could that a particular actor was in within a time limit (my friend Fig had this huge Movie Hound guide book that was the size of a phone book and had every movie ever in it). We played some word association game where we'd go around in a circle just naming the first thing that popped into our heads. We played our own version of pictionary. We played another circle game where someone would start by naming a movie and then the next person would have to name a movie that starts with the last letter of the movie they said (so if someone said Psycho someone would have to come up with Oceans Eleven or whatever). It was harder than you think and once someone couldn't come up with something in 30 seconds they were out but there was one epic game where it got down to me and one other person and it went from 10pm to 2am. I won.

    One of the best games we played was one my friend Eyeball made up. This was during the end of my time. Basically we'd write a story together. One person would write a sentence, then pass it to the next with their part covered and that person would contributed and down the line until the page was full, then Eyeball would read it and it would be hilarious.

    I talked about the handmade Settlers of Catan before. We played a decent amount of that but I wasn't as into it when they introduced the handmade fish expansion because it made the game all about the fish.

    We played a fuck ton of Uno. We would have epic Uno tournaments with as many as 10 people by putting two decks together. One time we did a 15 person tournament for money (every put in a mackerel) but it got intense because people (myself included) were trying to gang up on other people by finding out what the person next to them needed to screw the next person lol.

    One time we played Uno when we were all drunk and this led to one of the best and most hilarious moments in my entire time in prison. In a game that lasted an hour Ramirez needed to throw down any blue card to win and all of a sudden he reveals his final card -- A RED REVERSE -- and shows it all to us going 'DING-A DING-A A-DING!" loud as hell taunting us and then proudly throws it on the table on top of the blue card. Naturally we're all like "WTF!?" then he realized what he did and we all died laughing.

    At some point about halfway through my time I had a connection down at rec where they had new board games ordered and he literally brought me an entire stack of them we smuggled into the unit and kept in the room behind the bed. There were like 15 games. Eventually the rec department distributed games to the units so there were 10 also in the COs office. Well one day we got shook down and the CO took them all. He marched out of the room with a tower of games in his hand and put them in the office, so we had more games in the office than any other unit and we were the smallest. What sucked is we stored D&D stuff in one of the risk boxes so I had to go to the COs office and talk to him to get it back. I explained the game situation with us wanting to keep them intact and explained everyone knows we have them so if they want them they can just come to us, but he kept them all the same. But he let me get the D&D stuff back. We also eventually had to get the old Risk board back because we used that as a surface to put down D&D maps and tile on.

    Lots of people played Chess in prison. I never got into it. Lots of people also played Scrabble. There was a cult of Scrabble players. They all had Scrabble dictionaries and somehow their own Scrabble boards and letters and all. No one had the boxes though, they just kept the letters & letter boards in hand crocheted bags other inmates made.

    The Bloods -- by far. In fact, it was really only The Bloods since they were the only gang in county that was prominent and that was a worse situation because they literally ran the jail, which meant they could get away with anything. In Tarboro it was especially bad. That placed was a straight up Blood gang jail. When I came into that block that first day I was scared to death, dragging my shit behind me. The CO opened the door, said "good luck" and then closed it. When I went in they started humming a song which is associated with a Blood communicate code and rapping on the walls with their fists to the tune. It was meant to show dominance and also to let everyone know someone else was coming. It was the only time I was genuinely scared I prison. Some white dudes were in the cell in the corner and they were waving for me to come over there "Pssttt... hey, come here!" so I went over and discovered they (all the white people in the cell) were sleeping 5 men to that one cell for protection and because the Bloods wouldn't allow them in the other cells. Literally every cell was for two people but had been converted for one one bunk with a bed and the other turned into a shelf. The COs and staff were powerless. Three out of 5 of the white dudes had Aryan tattoos and it was the closest I ever came in prison to joining a gang. One of them told me "you don't have to believe what we believe, but if you want to stay safe we have to have each others back." They gave me a shank.

    That day I got taken out by the COs for a medical physical. The COs wouldn't even come inside, just told me to come to the door and I did. They sat me in the nurses office, alone, and I broke the chair height adjuster off the chair and hid it in my jump suit. Went back that night, sharpened the end and made it into a giant shank.

    That night for dinner I went to get my tray and they tried to take it, which is a common thing that you experience in county if you're unlucky enough to go. You have to stand your ground immediately. I was like "No, that's mine." "No white boy, it's mine" and I smashed the lid of the tray across the dudes head and pulled out my giant ass shank and he backed down and the rest of them started laughing. I earned their respect and I never had another problem. I'd go up to them and they'd joke "ok shit, here comes that crazy ass white boy..."

    There were some other minor people trying me, but I checked them every time. The first after that was when they tried to take my commissary, another common thing, and I had to pull out my sword again. I was literally the only white person in the entire block who ordered commissary because the rest of them were too afraid to do it because it would be taken. When we showered, all us white guys would stand outside the shower strapped so the person in the shower wouldn't get jumped.

    I saw some crazy shit in that jail. Saw a Crypt come in, do the Crypt walk and get beat to a pulp. I saw a Blood get caught snitching, get held down and have 'SNITCH' burned across his face. They heated up bottles caps off of the sodas until they were melted plastic and used that. Eventually, after pushing my attorney hard, she got me moved to the annex of the jail which was like night and day. You've never known a weight to be lifted off of you like I did walking into that block in the annex.

    It's worth noting in jail one of the Bloods was named Cash and he was kinda like the shock collar/shot caller. I think he kept the rest of them off me because for whatever reason he liked me. Well, I ended up seeing him again at Petersburg of all places and he was a totally different person there so I guess it goes to show people are products of their environment. He was soft there, didn't mess with anyone and didn't run shit. Turns out he was a total fake... and later I found out he was a snitch. He was a total piece of shit, though. I told this story before, but during my second year in prison he stole my new shoes. It wasn't his first time stealing. People respected me so much they literally came up to me offering to beat his ass for free. I decided to let karma handle it and boy did it. After what he did to me, everyone cut him off. He was also trying to be a fake Muslim so he could get the benefits of being one. When the Muslims found out what he did to me, they kicked him out and told him they'd fuck him up if he ever wore a Kufi again. At the same time he was fucking dudes, including this bo-legged punk (gay feminine prison guy) named Kickstand. He got caught (I actually caught him once, which is something I cannot unsee) and outed and that ruined his reputation further, especially with the Muslims. Thing is, some gay dudes got mad respect and love on the compound, but because of how fake he was it was another strike against him.

    Eventually, because he was fucking Kickstand with his 80 year old celly in the room, he was moved to another unit where he tried to steal someone else's shoes and the guy swung at him over it. I hear Cash won the fight, but he got sent to the Medium and where the first day his fellow Bloods invited him out to the yard to "meet some other Bloods" and there they beat the living shit out of him while the Muslims kept watch.... and they did it for everything he did to bring shame to them and to send a message that he wasn't one of them.
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  11. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    Prison recipe:

    Egg Bagel Sandwich

    This is a simple recipe would a sandwich we'd make whenever we could get eggs smuggled out of the kitchen.

    You will need:
    1. One bagel sliced sandwich style (the ones we could buy were in simple packs and already cut in half). I recommend cinnamon raisin for savory/sweet contrast.
    2. Pepperonis
    3. Three eggs
    4. Spreadable processed cheese (we used a brand called City Cow, which you can't get on outside).
    5. Sriracha sauce
    6. Mayo

    1. In a plastic microwavable cereal bowl, put your three eggs and scramble them.
    2. Set four pepperonis on top of running eggs. You want the eggs to become one with the egg. (Optional: put a few thin slices of onion into mix as well).
    3. Cover with paper towel and microwave for about 2 mins until eggs are fully cooked and fluffy.
    4. Pop your bagel into the microwave for about 20 - 30 seconds to soften it.
    5. Spread the bottom half of your bagel with mayo.
    6. Place your egg on top of that and drizzle Sriracha on top of it.
    7. On your top half of the bagel spread a generous amount of the cheese.
    9. Place top half on your sandwich and enjoy.
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  12. GarlandExCongender: ⚧ Arcane

    May 19, 2014
    Recently in another thread something came up about prison (in the thread where I ask for gift ideas for a friend of mine still locked up) and it reminded me of a story I've never told: the time they made me go see a psychologist.

    Basically, I only saw a psychologist four times in my entire time incarcerated. Three times during intake (once in jail and twice in prison... in the case of prison when I first got taken to the Petersburg Complex and had to stay in the SHU for a few days before going to the Low they made me see one during intake there and then again at the Low during A&O, Assessment and Orientation, which is a week long gauntlet where they make you see a bunch of people and go a bunch of places to get you situated and it all commentates in a 3 hour seminar of sorts where a staff member from each part of the prison gives a presentation letting you know how shit is suppose to work while they remind you repeatedly you'll never win -- seriously, those exact words).

    The other time, however, was after an incident. One day I was upstairs in my unit in the common area where the TVs and microwaves and ice machines were. There was also one phone booth upstairs and that day this guy we all called Horsey was using it. Horsey was an extremely short and skinny Mexican guy everyone liked because he was just a nice guy. He barely spoke English and we called him Horsey because he was obsessed with horses. He got magazines on horses. He read books about horses. He showed anyone who cared pictures of his horses. He also had a wife and kids he loved very much. Apparently, that day, something happened... I later heard he found out his wife had cheated on him and out of nowhere he punches through the glass in the phone booth and starts raking his wrist across the shards. I'm like "DUDE WHAT THE FUCK!?"

    So me and this other dude rush over and grab his ass and pull him away. He's screaming, not in physical but mental anguish. I'm trying to calm him down. "Tranquilízate! Tranquilízate! Tranquilízate!"

    As this is going on the other dude runs down stairs to get the CO so they call medical. It just so happened I had my browns on so I ripped off my brown shirt and wrapped it around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Eventually medical shows up and takes over. He was gone for a week, came back bandaged and was very thankful for what I did. He insisted on cooking me a meal, which was delicious.

    But before that they MADE me go see a Psychologist. At first I thought they were just asking if I needed to go and I was like "No, I'm alright, I'm just glad he's okay." and they were like "well, that's good, but you're going to be on the Call Out tomorrow to go see Dr. Pew."

    "Fuck" I said to myself, because I didn't like Dr. Pew, no one did. She was very racist towards white people.

    So the next morning I go but it's not Dr. Pew, it's a Spanish doctor I'd never seen before. He tells me he is actually from Butner but was there to do some training, mostly at the Medium. So he and I talk about what happened, I reassure him I'm fine and he sees that. Thing is, he has no other appointments and I can't leave for another half an hour when the next controlled movement occurs. So he tells me a little about himself. Turns out he was head of the Adam Walsh Sex Offender Program at Butner and not only that but the civil commitment program, which is where they basically put sex offenders in prison forever because they deem them too dangerous for society. I didn't know it at the time, but he would have been the one deciding whether or not to civilly commit Kevin, who I've talked about in this thread before (note: he did). He was also the author of the infamous 'Butner Study,' which became the catalyst for all the increases in federal sentencing laws for SOs. He explained he was at Petersburg to train the people running the SOMP program at the Medium, which is what I figured. Next thing I know he was peppering me with questions about my interactions with SOs and what the SO population was like from my experience and I was taken aback by it. I realized he was basically trying to get a better understanding of what life was like for them at Petersburg. At the same time, curious, I picked his brain about his thoughts on how the criminal justice system treats SOs in general.

    His answers surprised me. He didn't support long prison sentences for most offenders, especially non-hands on, although he did support mandatory treatment. He also opposed sex offender registry laws and everything that went along with it. It surprised me because this guy was head author of a study that had caused the opposite to happen and this was someone who put people away... forever, yet was taking positions much counter to that.

    I asked about the Butner study and that's when I found out he had written it. I didn't know much about it at the time, but I knew about it from an article I had read in Reason magazine. He admitted that law enforcement had seized upon the study to justify tougher sentencing laws and that he regretted that, but said he did not feel responsibility for it. He also said that people who celebrate and condemn the study both cherry pick from it.

    Anyway, I thought that was interesting at the time and still do now.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
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