-WCFP recently received a letter from prisoner Kenny Lawrence, currently doing 30 years, in response to our call for stories in support of parole legislation.
My life before prison was full of work, family, and church about once a month when I had the time. I had been married at the time but not happily. After 14 years, we are finally divorced. I am not sure what information I can supply you with, other than the facts of my case as I recall them. I know that after 17 years of being in prison I am nothing like the monster that arrived here all those years ago.
Believe it or not, some of us actually do deserve to be here for as long as it takes to understand that what we do and how we go about doing it has ramifications for every one we know. I have a son and a daughter, and I have missed being there while they have both grown up without a father in their lives. My parents will both be dead before I get out, and I do not know any of my nieces, or nephews.
The strain that is put on me for what I have done is huge, but that has not touched on the subject of my crime.
I am very aware that my victim has family. My family is going through hell with me being in here and not out there where I can be of some help and support. However, my victim’s family does not have the option of visiting her. She is gone and no matter how much we wish it otherwise, she will remain gone…
I used to be soooo self-absorbed that whenever I did something that would affect others, I would look at what the overall cost to myself would be and then do it if the reward outweighed the risks. I look around me on a daily basis and see dozens of men that are exactly where I was when my time started. The saddest part is simply this, they will most likely get out in a year or two without ever thinking of just how many people their actions have affected nor will they care.
I truly think that my mind finally accepted the horror of what I have done at about ten years in, and it took another year to accept responsibility for what I had done, and these last years have been spent trying to figure out how to make amends for what I have done.
My son is 19 and my daughter is 17. She does not even know who I am, and he is so busy that he does not have time for me. This is my life. This is what I have become because I thought that the world owed me whatever I wanted.
Thank you for hearing me out.