It ain't easy in the Big House

Posted: July 28, 2003

I'VE BEEN following the discussion about the death penalty for the four kids in the Jason Sweeney murder. The system would be doing them a favor by executing them.

I have been in and out of state prisons for 20 years, more in than out. I struggle with addiction and, by the grace of God, I haven't killed anyone yet. But if I did, I would never, ever consider doing life in a Pennsylvania state prison.

I would either take another life, or my own.

Life in prison sucks. Pennsylvania prisons don't even give a guy getting out hope, they will keep you down at every chance.

I don't wish life without the possibility or parole in Pennsylvania on anyone. And I can't even get help from people out there. In May, I wrote to several state legislators asking for some information on job training, jobs, anything as I max out in seven months and don't know what I'm gonna do.

I haven't heard anything. Do they care? Does anybody care?

At least my mother loves me, so I'm grateful.

John Flaherty

Huntingdon (Pa.) State Prison

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