Daniel Angel Rodriguez
A concise biography and views of the trials and tribulations that consume the life of a young man.
The date was July 24,1994., On that fateful day I was arrested and later convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The felon aspect derived from adolescent peccadilloes, which ultimately attributed to my firearm conviction being egregiously enhanced to 272 months. I make no excuses, I clearly flouted the law and punishment was in order. But surely not the iniquity rendered by the court.
My only true blessing has been my extraordinary parents. With entrepreneurial parents: My brother and I were raised in a garden variety working class household. Although I stubbornly strayed from their Spartan upbringing and often fomented disparaging circumstances, they always proved undeservingly graceful and unconditional. They sacrificed their own status quo, both personally and economically to contest my judicial ordeal, and the unwieldy elements thereafter. I love them to no end, and I’m ashamed that I’ll never in a million years be able to compensate them for the anguish and years of emptiness (no son). I’ll mention that right before I was sentenced, my only beloved brother passed. He was a vivacious 23 year old man and like myself held a promising future. Despite the years between since we lost him, we mourn the loss each waking day!
From viewing the financial crux and emotional drain the judicial process has had on my parents,and many others of those incarcerated, I would venture to accuse the system of bankrupting the American people. This is clearly survival of the fittest! (Darwinism) Those less fortunate become statistics, and fall prey to the very system that paradoxically is designed to protect them.
What I find most troubling, is that our government is more concerned about foreign humanitarian rights: then the uncharted rampant abuse/injustices that exist right here (USA). I remember the hoopla towards Abu-Ghraib in Iraq. Where our soldiers were jailed, disenfranchised and abdicated for merely scuffing spineless insurgents that were being detained. Then the scandal regarding water boarding, and most recently the outcry in Iran over the stoning of a demimonde. These are just three examples, all of which are tantamount to the abuse, torture and gross injustices served right here on American soil. Yet due to the common code of silence among officers, excessive red tape and government neglect- the inmate’s outcries fall on deaf ears.
With all the issues that fraught this great country, we seem inherently preoccupied and meddlesome in the affairs abroad. I’m speaking in general, not of matters affecting our national security. We undermine our greatness by proving obsequious and unnecessarily compliant to other countries, which are often rouge. All at the expense of the American People both literally and figuratively. Sadly, in the midst of what I coined the “American Neglect,” this once powerful and unassailable country is dismantling at the seams. We’re clearly regressing, gradually diminishing the affects of the historical sacrifices made by the American people. I speak of the very sacrifices that catapulted the United States of America to superiority.
As I reflect or search for a panacea I can't seem to pinpoint a direct solution, at least not one one person could shoulder or resonate. Yes, I’m averse to the policies and agendas of the current administration, but they’re not solely responsible for the troubling issue herein; these problems have long existed. It’s irking to see many politicians use issues that generally plague minorities, inner cities, elders and working class to hypocritically pander votes. Obviously the sheer oversight of the predicaments facing the American people is a testament to how voters have been scorned. We actually need more government on issues (shamely) not nationalized and less government within the private sector. We need to demand more then a cursory glance of citizenries. Proletarians (plebs if you will) build this country, now we’re being snubbed…
Although frazzled, I continue my path and my clarion call for sentencing equality. Hoping that one day I’d be given another chance at life. Yes, as a young man I made mistakes, but none worthy of being condemned to so many years of incarceration. It’s almost as if I was sentenced under a regime e.g. Cuba, Russia, Iran, China or Iraq_ because if analyzed we have the same draconian sentencing outcome. We're so hypocritical that we unify to condemn sentences issued in other countries when we should be psychoanalyzing and condemning our own judicial system. I am left to pray that the travails of my experience not go unnoticed, or prove in vain! I’m hoping that (via, http://www.anamericaninjustice.com) We'd be able to provoke sentencing reform, and stage a formidable platform to a sustained review of how Americans are being callously incarcerated.
Allow my trials and tribulations to be a victory for the American people,
Thank you for caring and giving us a voice.