Hello, my name is Steve Harmon. I live in New York and was just recently released from a long holding in jail during my trial for murder. I missed my mom, dad and brother while I was away. I was given the verdict of not guilty, because I didn’t kill that man. I did however “case the place” as they say in jail. Let me tell you a little more about my life before I went to prison and while I was there awaiting trial.
I hung out with the wrong crowd of kids before I went to jail. James King, Bobo Evans and Osvaldo Cruz were part of the Harlem street gang and were nothing but trouble. But they were the only other guys my age around, so what was I supposed to do? When I got to jail, I tried not to make any friends or enemies. I did spend some time with Sunset and Ernie, but I don’t think we’ll be making any plans to hang out now that I’m a free man.
The only things inmates seem to like to do is beat each other up, rape each other, and talk about raping and beating each other up. You can’t cry or show weakness in jail because then you’ll basically be asking to be beat up or raped.
Now that I’ve been cleared of the crime I can admit that yes, I did go into the store and look around, but I did not give any signals to King and Bobo. I was supposed to but I couldn’t go through with it. I was long gone before that man got shot. I shouldn’t have been involved with those guys in the first place, because they were nothing but trouble. Crime leads to jail time, which I served while waiting for my trial. But sometimes, crime can lead to things that are even worse, like the death penalty. I learned my lesson, and I won’t be getting into trouble like that again.
I was pressured into helping King and Bobo commit that robbery. I was sick of Osvaldo picking on me about how I dressed and where I went to school, and how I liked to play with my video camera. I just wanted to show them I was tough, like they were. I wanted them to respect me and to think I was cool. Sometimes, being uncool isn’t such a bad thing. I wish I would have known that before the robbery.
It is amazing how many men are raped by other men in prison. Rape in prison is punishment for the victim but pleasure for the attacker. Most of the men in prison will deny that they are gay and say they are only raping other men because there are no women around. Does it really work that way?
The owner of the bodega did not deserve to die. King and Bobo just wanted some money and cigarettes. King and I don’t deserve to die either. King is evil but taking his life because he took someone else’s life is a weird sense of justice. Maybe it’s fair, but I just don’t know if I believe that. I certainly don’t believe it’s fair to kill the lookout, especially if he wasn’t involved in the actual act of murder.