Living in a Perfect World: A Voice From the Inside! How Many?
From the blog, Living in a Perfect World
Since 2004, I have been a prisoner and for good reason. I was convicted of two counts of Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter, for the taking of two innocent lives in a drunk driving accident. I was sentenced and remanded to a prison within the United States Department of Corrections. My earliest possible release will be not be for several years.
As on who has carried the burden of his actions, I understand all too well what I have taken. I have hurt so many people by my ignorance that early morning in the summer of early 2003. For what I have taken I am indebted, not just to the families of my victims, but to all of humanity. I cannot fix what I have done. It is beyond any man to change his past, but my future is another story.
It is for that future that I now write. Every so often I come across a news story about a fatal car crash that involved somebody like me. Every time I wonder ‘could that have been the one that I prevented?’
There are so many young ignorant kids out there who are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the fact that their actions have consequences. They are unable or unwilling to see the fact that what they do affects others as well. I believe with all of my heart that my story could help to open their eyes, but in my current state, I am unable to reach them.
There are a few things that judges, lawmakers and the general public need to know about most people who commit this type of ‘crime’. This crime is not one which is motivated by malice. Buy the very wording of the charge itself…involuntary etc….one would assume that this concept was a given. Yet despite a persons lack of intention, life is still lost. Our purpose as a society should not be to punish the ignorant, but to insure that this doesn’t happen in the future.
You have to understand that nobody is afraid of going to jail for a DUI. How many people are killed by drunk drivers each year, how many are convicted and thrown into prison and how much does the rate of fatal DUI accidents differ as a result of those prison sentences? You cannot train a dog by constantly beating him. Fear has never bee, is not and never will be the answer to this problem.
The answer is awareness. The answer is in the enlightening of ignorant minds by using the life experience of those who have been through an ordeal like my own. Victims and offenders need to come tighter and use their collective stories to open the eyes of a public that believes, much like I once did, that this is something that happens and to other people.
As long as people believe that they are in control of their own lives and that they are above this type of occurrence, they will never fear the law. Why fear a prison sentence for something which could not possibly happen to you? How does anyone learn the consequences if nobody is there to teach them?
I was 21 years old and I was on top of the world. Nothing could touch me. I could make it home. Why not? I’d done it so many times before. I am them! I’m your child! Don’t you see? Tougher sentences are not the answer. We have to reach the ears and minds of these people by showing them how much pain one mistake can cause. Prison time has not hurt me in the ways that I thought it would. I can deal with living without for a while, but how many people can live without my story and stories like it. Just like the two victims who perished , how many innocent people will die because someone like myself never got to hear a story that could have changed their lives forever” ?
What’s your “perfect world”?
Thank you to Livinginaperfectworld.com and Jeheshua for this post.
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com
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