You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘prison education’ tag.

Hey, Circle,

Today would have been my Bampi’s birthday.  But, since he has passed on, I guess he won’t be getting older, huh?  I called you guys around 7:30 pm earlier, but no answer.  Don’t know if there is a specific time I should call or what, but I tried and I will again in a day or so.

When I didn’t hear from anyone for a few days I was worried that I had did something to piss you guys off.  But, thank God, just a big worry wart, I guess.

As far as writing goes, I do, or did take writing classes, but I have always loved to write, even before I got arrested.  I am working on a memoir of the Arline Lawless story.

My son, Damien, is doing good.  He starts tutoring on the 11th.  He is a little handsome devil.  He looks just like me.  When I get rich and famous I will send you guys a picture of our visit in May.

I have P.T.S.D.  When a door slams, it sends me into a panic attack.  Guess that has to do with the gunshot wound to the face, but hey, I am also afraid to get into a relationship for fear that the same thing will happen.  I talk to mental health a lot.  I think I might have sensory problems too.

What do you think of that?

Love,

Arline

arline.july.2017

“The Philosopher needed to be trained not only to know how to speak and debate, but also to know how to love.” – Piere Hadot

The philosophers of old were not concerned with ready-made knowledge, but with imparting that training and education that would allow their disciples to “orient themselves in thought, in the life of the city or the world.

When I first started this class I thought that I was ready to be a philosopher, that I would soon be philosophizing with the best of them. I was under the mistaken impression that Professor Bill would give me some magical key and that I would soon unlock the potential to reason and to think. Instead, Professor Bill made me stop and slow down. He showed me that the best thing I can do is to ask questions.

As Plato says, “The un-examined life is not worth living.” I have spent months and years in solitary confinement and have spent a lot of this time “examining” my life. I thought that this meant I was ready to be a philosopher, but I was wrong. The first day Professor Bill asked us two things that I will never forget. The first was that if we could not answer the question of why suicide was not a viable option for us then we were not ready for philosophy. [now, before you (the reader) ask what the hell kind of class is this? Relax. I will explain why that question is important in another letter, so stick with me.]

The second important thing he told us is that Philosophy is about learning how to die. As a Muslim, both of these statements immediately made me think about Allah and my relationship with Him. Suicide is not allowed in Islam and the vast majority of Muslims will automatically think about Allah when the subject of death is broached. For this last critical reflection I will, in my next letter, talk about one of the most important lessons I learned in class: my belief that in order to be a philosopher, you must either believe in either hope, or in God.

As I am,

Prince

Fortune, Daniel

What’s going on?  How is everyone?  I know that I told you that I would writ once a month just to let you know that I’m alright and give you guys an update on what’s been going on with me and I haven’t.  I don’t really have any good excuse.  things have been kind of hectic the last couple months and especially the last couple of weeks.  It’s finals time and I just finished writing all of my papers.  Whew – I’m glad that they'[re pretty much over.

So, I’m going to get right to the elephant in the room.  I can’t imagine that you guys are unaware of the court’s decision to deny my appeals and all the news coverage that I’ve been getting in the last couple of months.  Yes, I got shot down but no, it’s not my final appeal.  I don’t know why the DA said that it was my final appeal.  That is far from the truth.  In fact I was thinking about writing to the Kennebec Journal and talking about a lot of information that Betty Adams gave that was incorrect.  I wrote the letter, typed it up and everything and I just haven’t sent it out.  To be honest, I”m a little nervous, every time they put me in the papers or on the news I feel like shit, but at the same time I know that it is something that is needed.  I know, I know, you guys are probably like, “What are you talking about?”  WEll, let me explain.

Right now for all intents and purposes I am a political prisoner.  They, the State and everybody involved know that I should not be doing all this time.

[Editor’s note: Sentencing guidelines in Maine: Manslaughter 1–20 years, Felony Murder (killing someone while in the commission of a crime) 1-30 years, and for regular ol’ Murder, it’s Life without parole or no less than 25 years. Snax.]

They know that I should get re-sentenced at the very least and really should get a new trial, but as long as public opinion is on their side and there is nothing making them fix the situation, they won’t.  Look and what happened with my man Tony Sanbourn.  He did 27 years and they know that he didn’t do it.  It took his girl staying on them to make them admit that the witness had lied and look at the rest of the shit that is coming to light.  for me, I don’t have that right now; I don’t have a “someone.”.  They can trash me in the newspapers and on the news and it is what it is.  But, at the same time I know that I have people who believe in me out there and the more time that goes by and the more you see people getting way less time for murder and all that, people will start asking questions.  Like, why is Fortune swerving life sentences for accomplice liability?  Or, when the news reporter says that Leo admitted to the attacks but is doing fifty years.  anyways, though, yes, I am OK. Yes, I was hurt and upset when I heard about it.  Yes, I should have reached out to you guys and let you guys know what was going on , but sometimes it’s hard to explain what it is I’m going through when it is what I’ going through.  I still know that I am coming home but it is not going to be right now.  All I can do is to continue to grow and make the best of my time here.  That means concentrating on school and working every day to be the best me that I can be.

On that note, school is pretty much done for the semester.  Like I mentioned earlier, I just finished writing a sixteen page paper on genocide for my history class.  Genocide is a crazy subject; it’s hard to wrap my mind around wanting to annihilate and entire race, or group of people.  Yet, history is littered with genocides.  The two that I chose to wrote about were the ones in Armenia and Rwanda.  Did you guys know that in Rwanda almost a million people were killed in around 100 days?  That’s crazy and the US did nothing.  The movie “Hotel Rwanda” is base don what happened in 1994.  I have ti watch it again.  As for the Armenian genocide, while Roosevelt was the President, he said that the Armenian genocide was the worst crime of the whole war.

My other class was philosophy.  Yeah, that’s right – I’m now a philosopher.  Haha!  Nah, it was a really good class.  I learned just how much I don’t know.  The best thing I learned was the need to ask questions.  There cannot be a value on one asking questions in order to find ones answers for oneself, not settling for what we are being told.  So what happens when we run into questions that we cannot answer,m or if we are in a situation where it looks or feels hopeless?  For me this is why Allah and hope are the most important things in my life.  Both my life and the history of the world are littered with mistakes and “no-win” situations, but this is only possible because we refuse to stay beaten and accept things the way they are.

Philosophy has taught me that I must continue to search for my answers yet understand that some questions cannot be answered, and a lot of situations are beyond my control.  That does not mean that I must curl up and give up.  With hope and faith I can and will not be broken by any circumstances that I face.  I have the tools to make any situation better and endure.  There is a reason why miracles are so special.  It’s because they are beyond human purview.  They are not meant to be understood or explained.  Yet are miracles possible without faith and hope?

In moments like this I think on the Serenity Prayer: “Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”  This class has reinforce my faith and hope by making me realize how much I don’t know by extension how much humanity doesn’t know.  It is because of how small my world and life is that I have been reminded just how strong and powerful hope and faith is.

Alright, I’m about to wrap this up.  Know that  you  guys stay on my mind.  If you ever need to vent on paper, or need advice, or if any of you are even considering making a bad choice, please drop me a line first:

M.S.P.                                                                                                                                                          Daniel Fortune, #86753                                                                                                                           807 Cushing Road                                                                                                                                    Warren, Maine 04864-4600

Remember – I believe in y’all.

As I am,

Prince

portland-press-herald_2950238.jpg

The book, “The basics of Public Speaking – Seeing your speech as life.” said that every person in your audience, no matter how he/she appears is on the same journey as you, from birth to death, consciously or unconsciously are trying to find meaning in this life and mae sense of it all.  Sometimes I am so caught up in my world in the issues that I am going through “my struggle: that I forget that other people are struggling with their own problems, many of them are similar to mine.

“The more you say, the less you say, and the less you say the more you say.”  I am working on that in my life right now.  I think it is because I have allowed myself to be surrounded by people who are not on my level.  I have dumbed myself down in order to not stand out.  In the last eight months, I hve been working hard to change that I am cutting ties with people who are not willing to either travel with me on my journey for better or at the very east support me.  I have realized that in the past I have had to over explain in order to make sure that I
got my point across and as a result I carried this habit over into conversations with people understand me the first time and felt “I talked too much.” I am learning to have respect for the words and because of that, I am learning that many times less is more. On that note I will end with this quote:

“First learn the meaning of what you say , and then speak.”

-Epicitus

As I am,

Prince

prince

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 186 other followers

Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

Only your vigilance on the outside can guarrentee that justice goes on on the inside.

If you'd like to contact one of our inmate bloggers, send us an email.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.