A first-hand account of the death penalty's wholly destructive nature.
In Witness, Lyle C. May offers a scathing critique of shifts in sentencing laws, prison policies that ensure recidivism, and classic "tough on crime" views that don't make society safer or prevent crime. These insightful and analytical essays explore capital punishment, life imprisonment, prison education, prison journalism, as well as what activism from inside looks like on the road toward abolishing the carceral state.
No outside journalist can adequately report what happens inside death row or what it is like to live through thirty-three executions of people you know. May's grounded writings in Witness challenge the myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about the criminal legal system and death in prison, guiding readers on a journey through North Carolina's congregate death row, where the author has spent over twenty years of his life.
With a foreword by activist, lawyer, and professor Danielle Purifoy, and drawing on the work of Angela Y. Davis, Mariame Kaba, and other abolitionist scholars, Witness shows there is more to life under the sentence of death than what is portrayed in crime dramas or mass media. Lyle C. May's life, journalism, and activism are a guidebook to abolitionism in practice.