I, among others, receive a lot of letters from the prison population that generally contain adverse circumstances and their need to tell someone on the outside what is really going on – on the inside. That is good. We need to know in order to alert those who can help.
But, there are still good things going on inside the prisons, even if it only involves one prisoner at a time. Let me give you an example of what I mean. As you know, I am serializing the criminal case of deaf inmate Felix Garcia. In addition, you have seen the videos of an interview that Washington Correspondent, James Ridgeway and I had with Felix in 2011. Felix writes me weekly, and tells me his days’ activities and the bad stuff that goes on, but every once in awhile he writes about something good in his life. Here is one particular accomplishment, which I wish to share with you.
Here in his own words Felix wrote:
On a good note I went and made my speech. Because of my nervousness I stoped and prayed. When I opened my eyes all I saw was all my friends. Mr. H., J., S., V. and you right up front. God knows how to help me and in my prayers I said Lord you lead I’ll follow. I went in stomping said my testimony as I held the microphone and walked among the crowd touching some in silent prayer. At the end everyone was on there feet shouting, clapping, crying. As tears ran down my face all I could do was point up and give him the glory. I did not know how much it affected the people untill I went to the yard and many of them said “awsome,” “blessed,” “thank you,” wow! How can I tell them it was not me but God. It’s never us but through me he did a wonderful thing and I believe lives have been touched and will be changed.
I was certainly moved at Felix seeing this reality. For so many months now, since his story first came out end of December 2011 on MotherJones.com, it has touched peoples’ hearts and has generated a large group of advocates to help him attain his freedom. However, being locked up in prison one knows nothing of what is going on out in the world unless they see it on TV, receive outside information or are told. Well, I have told him – over and over – how his life story has impacted other deaf in prison and on the outside, and the hearing world as well. But when you yourself don’t believe it, it means nothing. Now that he believes it in his heart, his life has purpose and meaning for others. That is something that happened in a cold prison room, where oppression abounds. But the spirit of hope is still alive and that cannot be taken away from any prisoner, as shown by the responses Felix got from his fellow prisoners.
I mentioned this particular event in Felix’s life because it is a turning point. What happened to Felix should never have happened to anyone – being falsely blamed and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Instead of getting bitter, he has chosen to look back and see the positive changes in his character as a gift from God, and has come to the conclusion that his life story is meant to heal others. What greater gift can one give to oneself than that?
- Deaf Awareness Week – Day 5 **Happy Birthday, Felix!** (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Deaf Awareness Week – Day 6, Felix Interview Section 7 (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Finally! Felix #6 is Up! (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- After a Break; Felix Part Five (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Felix Garcia Should Be Granted a Full Pardon (prisonmovement.wordpress.com)
- Crossing the Line: Guest Post by Cynthia Dixon (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- A Brief Update (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
[Editor’s Note: Pat has informed me that attorneys are working on Felix’s case, and should be ready take things to the next level very soon. In the meantime, DeafInPrison.com is working on getting signatures for a petition that will be sent to – among others – the Governor of Florida, seeking a full pardon for Felix.
Any help we can get will be greatly appreciated by both DeafInPrison.com and by Felix himself. Please sign our petition at:
Thank you for all you do,