Do you know I’ve actually had “cellies” who were not looking forward to going home because they had a better quality of life in prison than in the ‘free world’? What’s sad is they are the ones who seem to make parole. Oh well (sigh), please have a seat next to me on my bunk – no, no there, that’s my soul mate’s seat, sit right here and let me begin acquainting and assimilating you into my crazy, unjust prison experience.
Hello civilized stranger (smile), my name is Shawn Ali Bahrami, but I go by ShawnAli because I have dreams of being a rap star one day; however, to the state of Texas, I’m offender #747451. I’ve been an unwilling ward of the state since I was 17 years old. At 17, I was not allowed to vote, not allowed to purchase a gun, not allowed to sign a lease on an apartment, not allowed to buy liquor, not allowed to enjoy any of the so called benefits of being an adult, but in pragmatic Texas, I was old enough for them to lock my ass up in an adult prison system, and not just lock me up, but to convict me for a crime I did NOT commit, and on top of that I was given a generous 40 year sentence. (To learn the details of my wrongful conviction, refer to the section on the www.FREEShawnAli.com website with my innocence story.)
I’ve been in prison more than half my natural life, 17 years in society, 19 years in prison, but I’ve been in a prison environment so long it now feels like what my mind recalls of the free society is an invention of my fertile imagination, something that I experienced somewhere in the matrix. Sometimes I feel like tough-on-crime Texas convicted me in my mother’s womb, and I was born in a prison cell because waking up in this cell every day is all I know … physically.
However, where the broken Texas legal system succeeded in locking up my body, they failed miserably in trying to confine my mind/spirit, because on the inside, I navigate, and through this blog, articulate, an immeasurable distance of creative freedom that far exceeds any free footstep any person takes on earth, free or incarcerated, much less on a noisy, traffic-jammed, carbon dioxide polluted city street. So you see my new friend, this more than a virtual prison cell, this is a digital megaphone where my inward, painful screams for justice can be heard from my tiny cell all across the world until someone listens. I won’t stop my written screams, won’t stop believing, won’t stop fighting, here I stand, and any time you want to join me in my prison cell to liberate your mind, you’re most welcome.