“I can now say I am truly proud to be an American,”
said federal inmate Ricky Bryant of Barack Obama’s
election to the presidency.
Ricky Bryant will watch the inauguration from a prison cell. On the day a black man becomes leader of the free world, Bryant and almost 900,000 other African Americans will mark the event behind bars.
Locked up for 30 years for his part in a robbery and homicide in the District, Bryant is among the more than 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. Prison populations have risen steadily since the 1970s, hitting the 1 million mark in 1990 and breaking the 2 million barrier 12 years later.
The federal government, Bryant said, could save money by reducing the sentences of inmates with clean records while in prison. He said his record is exemplary except for a 1995 incident in which he burned a sheet in a cell to protest being unfairly locked down.
His own case aside, however, Bryant said there is optimism inside prison walls, where Obama’s inauguration is being followed with as much interest as there is on the outside.
“It a historical event,” he said. “I have to watch it. For more people I run across, people are really proud that America has opened its eyes and accepted people for who they are.”
Wow, so a guy who commits murder thinks that because Obama is president he should be
let out so “The federal government could save money by reducing the sentences of inmates
with clean records while in prison”. Hmmmm, how about Obama set an example to men
who are not in prison to commit themselves to a life of work and doing the right thing?
Ricky Bryant crossed the bridge of no return when he took a life. I am all for giving people
second chances but I think Mr. Bryant will have to serve more time while the country waits
to see if an “Obama effect” will take hold that might end the mayhem in our big cities.
In a year or two we should have some solid data. If the data is positive then perhaps
“The federal government could save money by reducing the sentences of inmates
with clean records while in prison”. Until the “Obama effect” has a chance to take
hold I think I would prefer dangerous murderers serve their sentences and be an
example to young people that Obama won’t mean a free pass.