Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Dateline: Sunday, July 4, 2010


Against all odds, I have survived my thirty-third Fourth of July in captivity. A long, long time ago, when I narrowly avoided the death penalty for a murder I did not commit, corrupt prosecutor Mark Ober was quoted as saying, "Norman will never survive a life sentence." Sorry to disappoint you, Mark, but you were wrong again.

As you can see from the accompanying photo taken today at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach, Florida, I am alive and well, and still have much of my hair, in much of its natural color. I pose next to one of the last two oak trees left standing by the chain-saw-happy prison administrators over the past five years, but not too close to the razor wire that confines me.

I did not achieve the ripe old age of sixty (sixty one in September) on my own. I have survived this hell on earth only with the support and intervention of a small army of angels including Gary Smigiel and Henry Wulf, private investigator Dick Rivett, some great literary folks from "PEN" and the Anne Frank Center in New York, retired Reverend Bob Anderson and others whose names they'd probably prefer went unmentioned.

I am a loyal American. Despite being denied some of the unalienable rights guaranteed all citizens by the Founding Fathers, I love my country and all it stands for. Despite enduring varying degrees of censorship by prison authorities over the years, and suffering the consequences, with the help of friends I've been able to exercise my First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression to an extent possibly unparalleled by an American prisoner. Google searches of Charles Norman, Charlie Norman, Charles P. Norman, and Charles Patrick Norman, reveal over 200,000 listings of my literary works available. People from twenty-eight countries, many states, most of the Canadian provinces, The Department of Corrections are regular readers of the Free Charlie Norman Now blog. Truly I am blessed to live in this time.

On behalf of Libby and myself, I wish you a Happy Fourth of July at home, surrounded by loved ones, and pray that next year I will be able to do the same.


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