The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue July 2013
Aside from getting into a yearly fight at school with the same boy I’ve only done one violent act and that got me 30 years in prison. When I become eligible for parole I’ll be 66 years old. I’ll have no money, no contact with anybody on the outside, no house or other material possessions. I’m struggling to see what further purpose I can serve.
I’m not going to want to get out in 2043. If the state pension exists it will barely cover the basics; I’m likely to commit a minor offence just to get the free bed and board HMP service offers.
It costs the government a small fortune to keep me inside these four very tall walls, reading, watching TV and performing menial work for weekly pay that would shame a banana republic. So, I ask again: what is the point? Where is the driving purpose to get me out of bed in the morning? I don’t speak to my family; I didn’t before I killed my wife and it’s difficult to see how and why lines of communication would re-open. It’d be slightly hypocritical on my part and staggeringly magnanimous on theirs considering the grief I’ve given them in the past.
I see Dignitas on the news and can’t help thinking it makes more logical sense than sitting here writing you letters for the next 11,000 days. Put me in a chemical coma – wouldn’t that be cheaper?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suicidal or even unhappy; I’m not even being facetious, it’s a serious question I’m facing and asking ‘What is the point of my being? I could apply to the Open University and get the degree I’ve always dreamed of and then never use it; do education, work and treatment courses that are geared to my release; read another book and watch a film – is that what life now is for me? The search for distracting entertainment while I wait for someone to unlock a door, so they can treat me condescendingly, distrustfully, in a manner that brooks no question or deviation from order.
What’s the point?
Comments about this letter
3/7/2013 Yorkshire LeeMaybe this guy should have thought all these questions before he took another life?maybe the wifes family are feeling similar?.
4/7/2013 paul fthe point is jamie, you are paying your debt to society and your wifes family. im sure your wifes family will see the point in you staying there till at least 2034.no doubt somewhere along the line you will do the tsp course where you will learn to think first before you act.
4/7/2013 RedseptemberAs someone who knew Debbie, albeit not well, I cannot imagine the pain you caused the woman you promised to love and to cherish, and the subsequent pain to her family and loved ones.
5/7/2013 Andrew de Berry (Rev) -Jamie, I've not followed your case and whatever the circumstances by which you came to kill your wife feel pretty damn sad for you having to languish in prison until you're 66. I read about you in today's Times. Of course to the victim's family I'm sure 'you've got everything you had coming to you', or some such. But your letter to Inside Time makes a lot of sense. Just what is the point?
5/7/2013 steven battram -The reason you're in prison until you're of no use to anyone, is a paper exercise and political. Politicians increase prison sentences to obtain a couple of votes from electors: self-serving demagogic politicians will stoop to any level for power. Until crime and punishment is independent of politics and implemented by a symposium of experts, crime will be fair game of the snakes in the House of Commons.
5/7/2013 RelativeI feel for you. You kill one wife - just one - and you're never allowed to forget it! It's really so unfair.
5/7/2013 andymc -steve, he's in prison because he committed a horrendous murder
5/7/2013 Phil BrooksI would sit tight close your eyes and think long and hard on the round the world trip you enjoyed using the money you stole, a trip like that is out of reach for most of us. Your life ended when you took the life of another, someone who obviously loved you and someone you'd promised to live and care for. Remember your holiday as it'll be the last happy memory you have, honestly I hope you hate every one of those 11000 days then at 66 hopefully they do let you out, to no pension no money nothing, you'll be a frail tired old man, woefully out of touch with the world you are released back into, nothing can bring that lady back, but you deserve utter misery for the rest of your days. You earned your spot, now it time to live it.
5/7/2013 Friend of Debs' familyI followed your blog with fascination not because it was interesting in itself but because I couldn't get over what a self obsessed idiot you were. Friends and I would read out the most moronic ones to each other and screech with laughter. I remember particularly enjoying a letter you wrote to your nephew that positively dripped with smug self pity. I am not laughing now.
8/7/2013 BillYou deserve everything you got. Stop bleating and get on with serving your time
10/7/2013 LouI'm pretty sure your poor wife would have liked the chance to consider the 'point' of her life too?
26/8/2013 SimonJamie, you ask what is the point of you spending the next 30 years in jail? I can see a few:
You should be ashamed of yourself
Stuart Hall wrongly convicted
Victimised by canteen packers
Unlawful Obstruction of Complaints
Putting a price on justice
The death of legal assistance
Writing is also a job
When it comes to pay, prison is a Third World Country
Current page: Just what is the point
Medical confidentiality means nothing
Stop your moaning
Criminal and depressing
A message to Priti Patel MP...stop pointing the finger
No rehabilitation without education
Learning phased out by A4e
Mentoring is good news
English literature makes me a better thief
HMP Long Lartin ‘radicalising extremists
Revamp recall procedures
Changes to IEP
Rule 39 mail – again
More than an inconvenience
Prisons are too easy
PSI’s must be there for a reason
Bullying and descrimination
We agree with Grayling...
Not a game
Mr Grayling, are you listening
December 2013 Headlines
Ending violence against women and girls
Too many Category A prisoners
Time to close the digital divide between prisons and community
Prisoners for profit
The doctor will see you now
When the smoke clears
Incentives and Earned Privileges
The case of Stephen Keogh
From over the wall
Wish You Were Here
Month by Month December 2013
Support for people with a learning disability or learning difficulties
The end of justice
Legal aid changes
Avoiding the POCA gravy train
The effect of confiscation orders on categorisation
Murder by more than one
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