Wednesday, March 18, 2020

''The Guardians''---A Look at Wrongful Imprisonment.

Author John Grisham's best-selling legal thrillers have featured wrongful imprisonment before, particularly ''An Innocent Man,'' based on a real case.

I just finished reading Grisham's newest book, ''The Guardians,'' and was struck by his depiction of several cases of wrongful convictions that had strong parallels to my own forty-two years of wrongful imprisonment. These cases often involve overzealous and corrupt cops and prosecutors, perjured testimonies of convicted felons and jailhouse snitches, withheld exculpatory evidence, and immunity from prosecution for guilty parties.

If you're the least bit interested in how I got to where I am, how easy it is to be an innocent person wrongfully convicted of murder, I strongly recommend ''The Guardians,'' by John Grisham. The dedicated fictional lawyers are based on a real group, ''Centurion Ministries,''
( ) in New Jersey, that has been responsible for scores of legal vindications.

I can only pray that my odyssey ends as positively as some of the fictional cases Grisham so expertly brings to life.


Saturday, March 14, 2020


"FDC Suspends Visitation at Correctional Institutions Statewide''

Officials exercise abundance of caution to protect inmates and staff from exposure to Covid--19 virus.

Tentative plans are to resume visits Sunday, April 5, 2020.


First Love

Carved a heart in the smooth bark
of a grapefruit tree
with a Boy Scout knife,
not as fancy as
a Swiss Army knife,
but its sharp blade served
for what I intended, a memorial,
an expression of the permanence
of First Love.

Days later I returned to our backyard
to verify my handiwork,
the gouges baring white wood beneath,
the heart shape clean and neat,
our initials enclosed, forever,
until we moved, left behind the heart
carved in the smooth bark
of a grapefruit tree.

She moved, too, First Love,
we wrote, for awhile, then
she went on her way,
and I went mine, north, south,
wondering whatever happened
to her, to me, to the Boy Scout knife,
to the grapefruit tree.
I've not been back, the grapefruit tree
is gone, the heart, too. So am I.

God's Table

a poem by Charles Patrick Norman

Sometimes in the dark
I will contemplate
the existence of Heaven,
as older people are prone to do,
'though I don't see pearly gates
or Elysian fields,
or harp-playing angels
wearing white clothes
and floating past on clouds.

Instead I see a long, wide
wooden table, dark mahogany,
covered by a white lace cloth,
plates of food, Sunday dinner,
piled high, with all my loved ones
gathered round, laughing
at a story shared by this uncle
or that one, a story of foolishness,
or fun, one of us the main character.

Everyone takes their turns,
their voices strong, playful,
telling stories of times gone by
when we were together,
thinking it would be forever,
pass the mashed potatoes, please,
A biscuit, some green beans?
God's Table, I call it,
that's my Heaven, for all time.

copyright 2020 by Charles Patrick Norman