My name is Willian Curl. At 18 years old, I was arrested for a gang-related, capital murder. Because of my juvenile history, the judge said it was obvious society – the system – had failed me. I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. L.W.O.P. is a slow, very inhumane death sentence that tortures the living.
There is no hope in L.W.O.P.
It always had me wondering if today would be the day when tomorrow no longer mattered. I constantly taunted myself with the harsh reality that no matter how much I changed for the better, I would forever be defined by the worst, most shameful period of my life. That depth of hopelessness once made me desire the treatment animals are afforded when they can no longer enjoy a certain quality of life.
I’ve been incarcerated 26 years. In hindsight, L.W.O.P. was appropriate because I lacked emotional and mental stability that made it impossible to properly process traumatic experiences in my childhood. I did not respect and love myself; this was translated in the hateful, destructive disregard I displayed for human life. Now that I have been reunited with the person my parents raised me to be, my soul feels uncomfortable in my body because of the suffering I caused my family and the community.
Since this insight, I’ve gotten a G.E.D., became a facilitator to inmates searching for change, took a job as a peer tutor to students, devote time to a program that allows us to write letters about our experiences so they can be shared with at-risk youth in juvenile hall.
Also, I am currently training to be a H.V.A.C. technician. Now L.W.O.P. is not appropriate. I know I can never change my horrible past, but I will spend the rest of my life trying to restore balance to myself and the community I helped destroy.
L.W.O.P. needs to be abolished and replaced with a sentence that recognizes the immature 18-year-old is no longer the individual being punished.
William Curl K-47268
PO Box 5248
Corcoran CA 93212