Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On drinking spiked coffee

I knew right away that something was wrong, when James called me today. His voice wasn't the same. James has been represented by HFP for quite a while now. You've heard me talk about him. The state promised him that an effort would be made to get him re-sentenced if he would simply testify in a murder trial. And the thing is, the state didn't have to make this promise. James would have done it anyway, because it was the right thing to do. The man had boasted to him about involvement in a killing, and James told me that by doing nothing he would be siding with the criminal. But the state DID make the promise.

And so he testified, and the man was convicted of murder. The state was elated.

Now, years later, guess who's still in prison. Yep, the state has a hard time remembering promises like that, especially after it gets what it wants.

Well since that time, as you might expect, word has leaked back into the prison system, and now James lives in fear. He's not getting protection. He's been the target of many unpleasant activities. But last weekend was the worst.

He asked his cell-mate if he would heat up a cup of water for him in the microwave so he could make some coffee Saturday night. Shortly after he drank the coffee, he blacked out. He was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital and, you guessed it: He had been poisoned. Doctors said if he hadn't gotten to the hospital in time, he would have been dead.

That's what happened to the last guy who got poisoned in this prison. He was in a coma for a couple of weeks, but never regained consciousness.

James survived. In his typical Christian thinking, he's confident that God has important plans for him in the future.

The only thing is, he's gotta live long enough to implement those plans.

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