This post is a transcription of a handwritten letter I received from Robert. All typos I made should be blamed on Robert, because that’s what so cool about him not being here to defend himself. As with last time, I’ll forward any comments people leave in this thread onto Robert. –Amp
Dear Barry –
Thank you so much for your gracious letter of 8/13. I read it with a beaming smile on my face. It’s very easy to get “closed up” in prison, to forget that you have friends and loved ones on the outside. Letters like yours break that illusion, and do a lot of good.
You are correct that my robbery was unarmed – no gun involved. (“I just don’t see the point of those things.” -Buffy) Also, that I could be out in a year. Actually, I could be out on “community corrections” (i.e., a halfway home with supervised living and work release – not freedom, but a damn sight better than prison) right now – but that process can take up to 6 months. So I’m expecting quasi-freedom by February 2015 and actual freedom (though with parole) around July 2015.
“Expecting” is too strong a word. “Hoping and planning,” perhaps. Because they don’t have to give community corrections, or parole. They generally do but these are grants of privilege, not rights. So, bird in the hand and all that.
If anyone would like to write me, their letters would be most welcome. My DOC # is 165970 and my current status and mailing address can be seen at the Colorado Department of Corrections website. Note that parole eligibility and release dates are listed there, but these dates are “worst-case” dates that do not account good time, earned time, etc.
For those who have progressed past the material plane and communicate only electronically, there is a website called Jpay.com that allows you to send an e-mail message to me. I receive the message as a letter – they print it out here at the facility. There is a charge for the service but I believe it is competitive with postal rates. All you need is my DOC number.
JPay can also be used to put funds on an inmate’s account, for the purpose of hygiene items, food, and other lifestyle items. Far be it from em to solicit in my own behalf, but I feel obliged to note that as left-liberal dupes, you are all morally bound to support convicts in unearned, undeserved luxury. I’m just sayin’. (Come on, convict-hugging suckers! Daddy needs that flatscreen TV!)
In seriousness, though, I have recognized that my behavior was unacceptable, and my thinking prior to my crime had spiraled into a very dark place. Barry’s preferred cartoon, the “I’m already hurt” one, did not spark a smile on this end because the joke isn’t a joke; it’s reality. Robbery puts a human being in fear. One can rail against the banks 24/7 and get no argument from me; banks are the devil. But tellers are not the devil, they are young men or women who have done nothing wrong other than going to work one morning. And tellers have no way of knowing that a given robber has no actual intention to harm them. I made no threat or show of force; I was at pains to be polite. But Ms. Prudhomme (the teller) was trembling in fear the entire time.
That is indefensible. That is monstrous. I should be, and am, ashamed of that. The bank will get its money back; where does Ms. Prudhomme go to get her sense of safety, her security, her ability to go to work unconcerned, back?
She can’t, and that is 100% on me. So, fuck me. Fuck that guy.
Not self-blaming or self-hatred, just recognition of where the moral responsibility for outcomes lies. Right here.
Well, that got heavy. Let’s go to the mailbox and respond to the comments.
G&W: Incorrect. Tellers are under instructions per bank policy to give money to anyone vaguely engaged in robber-like conduct. They make no assessment or assumptions about the threat. The robbery statutes in Colorado do make that assessment; robbery requires force, threat of force, or intimidation. Use of a weapon is an aggravating factor. that makes it a more serious felony.
Thank you beyond words for giving me the opportunity to be a pedantic lecturer with a 0% chance that a 240-pound man named “Crush” will become aggrieved and destroy me. I’ve missed it.
Brian: I do in fact remember you. Thank you for the good and wise advice, even if stolen. If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.
Elusis: It’s the “incredibly handsome” one. Please make a note of it.
Ben: People who are as wrong as you as often as you should learn to be grateful for correction, not ticked. You keep that up, you’ll wind up in prison.
Jake: Laugh while you can, lackey of the Pop-Tart fascist movement. One day the people will stand up to your imperialist running-dog false state and then it will be your turn against the wall.
True fact: in El Paso County Jail you can get Pop-Tarts on the commissary ordering system. The only available flavor: blueberry.
Grace: I remember that exchange. Damn it, if we can’t apologize when we fuck up, what good are we to anyone? I’m glad you cot value out of the the conversation. I did too, as I always do from you.
Well, that sums up my comment responses. Again, thank you all for taken a moment to brighten my day.
One last word. I plan on getting my life together, starting with my thinking. As a wise fellow inmate told me, “this is the department of CORRECTIONS.” I appreciate all of your honesty and kind wishes, and look forward to returning to Alas in a year or so, to explain to you all once more how you’re wrong etc. I love you guys.
Except for Jake. Jake will burn forever in the special Hell reserved for Pop-Tart sinners and heretics. (You burn for 30 seconds, then pop into the air, flip around, and descend back into the Hell for 30 seconds on the other side. Repeat until you acknowledge the divine suzerainty of strawberry.)