Leroy E. Mann is a resident of death row in Raleigh’s Central Prison, where he is a witness to the injustice of capital punishment. He is the author of a memoir and an unpublished novel titled Concrete Seeds, and he has blogged at Word to the Masses for more than six years.
"When someone tells you, “I’ll be by your side forever,” then they just stop writing or visiting... It’s like being in love and having your heart broken; it hurts! I’ve developed a thick skin because I don’t like getting hurt.
Your ancestors have hoodwinked, bamboozled, and murdered for the right to say, “This land is my land.” Yet the ancestors of slaves are paying taxes, and much more, for land that was never theirs to begin with.
Since I’ve been on death row, most executions in North Carolina have taken place at 2 a.m. Friday mornings. In my 19 years here, I’ve seen exceptions, but third shift – when prisoners stand still and prison officers work late into the night – is the state’s designated time for the compulsory transcendence of a soul.