Once I got to death row, I thought I’d get executed right away, or at least within months. But then the years started passing. My mind cleared. People said, “You shouldn’t be here forever for a fist fight.” I started reading. I read that the law requires you get an “impartial tribunal” that “preserves both the appearance and reality of fairness.” I read that some courts have ruled that two guys who start a deadly fight are equally guilty, so then why did Schoolboy get manslaughter? I was meeting guys on death row with two or three bodies in their past.
J.T. KIRKSEY as told to MAURICE CHAMMAH — The Marshall Project