Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Spark's Notes Doing Time 12

Below are a few more of Spark's notes on Doing Time:
Doing Time 12: A tale of two brothers,
      Jose and Justin were regulars at the Peoria County Jail. Both had been there numerous times, always for the same offense, drunk and disorderly.  After sobering up, two of the nicest men you could know.  The jail has a policy that relatives can not be together while in custody, so I would only see one of them in the church service.  They were always friendly and well behaved.  Then Justin was arrested for murder and he wanted to talk to me.  He started crying as soon as I was in the room with him.  He told me that he had just stabbed his best friend to death and he couldn't remember why he would do that.  He said "We were at my house drinking and talking about what a waste our lives have been and I remember him telling me that he would be better off dead and that I would be doing him a favor if I killed him."   "When I woke up I had a knife in my hand, he was dead and I had stabbed him 24 times."  He was crying the whole time he was telling me this and wanted to get it off his chest.  While he was in jail, his brother Jose was arrested for the usual, and after he sobered up a bit the jail broke their rule and let the 2 brothers be together for a few minutes, knowing that Justin would be going away for a long time.  Then they released Jose with a notice to appear in court on a certain day.  Jose walked 2 blocks to the tavern, drank till about dark and stepped into the highway.  He was hit by 3 vehicles and killed.  I was called and asked to break the news to Justin.  Many tears later Justin told me that Jose had won a blue ribbon at the age of seven for singing a solo in church.  He asked if we could sing that song in the sunday service in honor of his brother.  I told him we would and we did.  The words seem to fit.

Shepherd of love
you knew I had lost my way.
Shepherd of love
you cared that I'd gone astray.

You sought and found me, placed around me,
strong arms that carried me home.
No foe can harm me, or alarm me,
never again will I roam.

     On October the 6, 2011 Justin was sentenced to 33 years with no chance of parole and must serve 100% of that time.  He will be 75 when he is released.

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