My friends Esther and Ray are facing a choice. Their son Brian has been taken from them. Their own government has conspired against them, repeatedly, and things are now down to the wire. What is most important to them in their lives? Esther and I had this conversation last night. Do you play it ‘safe’, because you are afraid? Or do you face your fears in an attempt to gain that which your heart most desires?
Esther introduced me this weekend to the concept of ‘Diesel Therapy’. I lived in Baltimore when the police there decided to offer Freddie Gray a ‘Rough Ride’, choosing to torture him and ultimately taking Gray’s life. ‘Diesel therapy’ is not as rough of a ride, its threat is time and separation. Inmates are shackled, put on a bus, and sent for a ride. Thirsty? Hungry? Tired? Need the loo? No problem, we’ll be there in 8 hours. And the reason for the move? None. The inmates are moved from one overcrowded facility to another.
Well that’s not entirely true – there are valid reasons to move an inmate that include pulling them from the small bit of comfort they have been able to etch out for themselves where they had been housed. Made a few friends? Family finally figured out how to visit? Got used to the crap food they offer? Know which guards are human and which to stay away from? Aha, then you have it way too easy! What better way to get you to sign a plea deal than to pull you from the little comfort you have found, and place you back down the chute to square one? Your family is too far to visit now. You will need to renavigate the pecking order and hope no one learns of your bogus charges. Any iota of hope, comfort, well being? Crushed. This is the point of ‘Diesel Therapy’.
Brian wants to take a plea on the prosecutors promise that she will dismiss the charges against his parents. He foolishly went to their house when he attempted to flee the corruption found in our judicial system, thus putting them in harm’s way. Only the government is not going to put that in writing, that would be illegal (and immoral). The prosecutor also has no intention of keeping such a deal – they are trying to get the parents to sign a plea deal of their own for probation, which will surely keep them from traveling outside their state to visit their federally incarcerated son. Both parents and son have been told they cannot speak to each other about their cases. In fact, the son’s useless lawyer suggested the son stop contacting the parents to leave them in peace to get on with their lives.
Esther and Ray are 75 and 80 respectively. Brian is their only son. His plea is for 17 years, his parents will surely be dead before he is released. What do you think is the most important thing to these two lovely elderly people? Not hard to guess, they only want to be able to continue a relationship with their son, in any way possible, for the years they have left.
Is that really too much to ask?