Featured Prisoner Stories

These are real stories featuring people who have fallen victim to the U.S. Justice System, primarily due to the war on drugs. We would like to thank the ACLU. Many of these stories came from their article: A LIVING DEATH: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENSES and feature heartbreaking stories regarding citizens who were sentenced to die in prison for non-violent offences thanks to the Crack/Cocaine disparity, three-strike-rule, and mandatory minimums.
Equal Justice Matters endeavors to verify the accuracy of THE WALL stories, often written by the prisoners themselves. However, many prisoners are not able to possess the documents necessary for complete verification. Equal Justice Matters assumes no responsibility for the content of these stories.

Equal Justice Matter's WALL Index

Featured stories listed by last name in alphabetical order



Clarence Aaron with his nieces

Aaron, Clarence

A college student with no criminal record, is serving three life-without-parole sentences at age 23 for playing a minor role in two drug deals in which he was not the buyer, seller, or supplier of the drugs.
Charles Alford, at his graduation from the Louisiana State Penitentiary welding program

Alford, Charles

Serving LWOP for attempted possession of more than 28 but less than 200 grams of cocaine.
Donald Allen with his sister, nieces, and nephews

Allen, Donald

Sentenced to serve two life-without-parole sentences when he was just 20 years old.
Ivan Anderson

Anderson, Ivan

Sentenced to LWOP in 2007 for an armed burglary that he committed in 2005, when he was 22 years old.


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Barnes, Keith

Serving LWOP for shoplifting goods valued at $188.22 from a Walmart.
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Bates, Noble

Serving LWOP for aggravated criminal damage to property for hitting a police patrol car while attempting to flee.
Robert Booker

Booker, Robert

A first-time offender with no criminal record, Robert was sentenced to LWOP nearly two decades ago for operating a crack house, despite the sentencing judge’s stated belief that he should serve only 20 years in prison.
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Bourda, Travis

Serving LWOP for possession of 130 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Thomas Bryant

Bryant, Thomas

A former police officer and first-time nonviolent offender, was sentenced to LWOP when he was 32 as the result of a reverse sting operation by the FBI to root out drug-related corruption in the police force.
James Byers

Byers, James

Serving LWOP for selling $10 worth of crack cocaine to a confidential informant within a half-mile of an elementary school.


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Caliste, Damon

Serving LWOP for the theft of several digital cameras from a Walmart in Slidell, Louisiana, in November 2008.
Paul Carter

Carter, Paul

Serving LWOP for possession of a trace amount of heroin residue that was so minute it could not be weighed.
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Carthan, Ricky

Ricky, a junk dealer, is serving LWOP for possession of stolen metal parts.
Elisa Castillo

Castillo, Elisa

Elisa, a Texas grandmother with no criminal record, says she never saw or touched the drugs that sent her to prison for the rest of her life.
Craig Cesal

Cesal, Craig

First-time felony offender serving LWOP for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.
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Chester, Ronnie

Sentenced to LWOP for possession of stolen tools.
Sherman Chester

Chester, Sherman

Sentenced to mandatory LWOP for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and heroin at age 27. Although he had two prior drug convictions, he had never before served a day in prison.
William Clay

Clay, William

Sentenced to LWOP for stealing tools valued at about $250 from the back of a truck.
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Clowers, Pinkney

Serving life without parole for a drug conspiracy he was accused of participating in from age 15 to 19.
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Coleman, Donnel

Serving LWOP for attempted distribution of fake crack when he was 22 years old.
Charles Cundiff

Cundiff, Charles

Serving LWOP for importing marijuana.
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Cushinello, Vincent

Serving LWOP for slashing tires in March 2001.


Joel Daigle

Daigle, Joel

Sentenced to LWOP for armed burglary for stealing DVDs, tools, three World War II rifles, and two bayonets.
Donnie Daniel

Daniel, Donnie

Donnie is dying of end-stage liver disease, a terminal condition, and cannot receive a liver transplant because he is serving an LWOP sentence for 24 grams of methamphetamine found in the motel room of a woman with whom he had spent the night.
Alfonse Danner

Danner, Alfonse

Alfonse, a decorated U.S. Navy veteran, is serving LWOP for armed burglary and grand theft. He has been incarcerated for almost 18 years.
Ricky Darden

Darden, Ricky

Sentenced in 1996 at age 34 to mandatory LWOP for possession with intent to distribute 217.7 grams of crack cocaine.
William Dekle

Dekle, William

William, 63, has served 22 years of his two mandatory terms of life without parole for conspiracy to import and possess large quantities of marijuana.
Leland Dodd

Dodd, Leland

Serving LWOP for trying to buy 50 pounds of marijuana from an undercover officer.
Altonio Douglas

Douglas, Altonio

Altonio, a 51-year-old grandfather, has been incarcerated for 20 years for his first and only conviction.
William Dufries

Dufries, William

Serving LWOP for driving through Oklahoma with 67 pounds of marijuana in his RV.
Larry Duke

Duke, Larry

Larry, 66, has served 24 years of his two life-without-parole sentences for a large marijuana conspiracy.
Douglas Dunkins

Dunkins, Douglas

Sentenced to LWOP at age 26 for conspiracy to possess and distribute crack cocaine.


Marcus Evans

Evans, Marcus

Marcus, imprisoned since age 21, is serving mandatory life without parole for his role in a drug ring over the course of a single year, his first offense.


Leroy fields

Fields, Leroy

Serving LWOP for possession of a stolen car.
Rayvell finch

Finch, Rayvell

Serving LWOP for simple possession of heroin at age 22.

Free, Paul

Paul was arrested in 1994 for participating in a large marijuana conspiracy operated by another man who received a reduced sentence of only two-and-a-half years in exchange for testifying against 31 people, including Free.


Stephanie George

George, Stephanie

Stephanie, a single mother of three, is serving life without parole for drugs her former boyfriend had stored in a lockbox in her attic and for her minor role in a crack cocaine conspiracy.
Samuel Gibson

Gibson, Samuel

Sentenced to LWOP in 1990 for an armed burglary that was committed in 1989, when he was 23 years old.
Oscar Giles

Giles, Oscar

Oscar, 64, is serving a life-without-parole sentence for an armed burglary committed when he was 29. He has been incarcerated for over three-and-a-half decades.
Ignatzio Giuliano

Giuliano, Ignatzio

Ignatzio, 78, has served more than two decades of a mandatory minimum LWOP sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
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Godbolt, Roderick

Sentenced to LWOP for stealing a car radio from a 1988 Nissan Stanza in January 2004.
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Graham, Donald

Sentenced to mandatory LWOP for nonviolent crack cocaine offenses when he was 30 years old.
Walter Gray

Gray, Walter

Serving LWOP for selling crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school zone, even though the “school building” was no longer being utilized as a school at the time of the crime.
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Green, Dale

Serving LWOP for his role as middleman in a sale of $20 worth of marijuana to an undercover deputy.
Teresa Griffin

Griffin, Teresa

Teresa was 26 when she was sentenced to spend the rest of her life in prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine for her role in a drug distribution operation masterminded by her drug-dealing boyfriend, the father of two of her children. She had no prior criminal record.


Kenneth Harvey

Harvey, Kenneth

Serving LWOP for acting as a drug courier. He was arrested after a vial of crack cocaine was found strapped to his leg following a flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City.
Jason Hernandez

Hernandez, Jason

Serving LWOP since age 21 for his role in a drug conspiracy starting when he was only 15.
Leopoldo Hernandez-Miranda

Hernandez-Miranda, Leopoldo

An aging Cuban fisherman with a seventh-grade education, Leopoldo, 74, is serving LWOP for a nonviolent marijuana offense.
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Hood, Cornell

Serving LWOP for attempting to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.
Leon Horne

Horne, Leon

Serving LWOP for damaging two patrol cars while being chased by police in New Orleans when he was 27 years old.
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Hudson, Vincent

Serving LWOP for having a trace, unweighable amount of cocaine in his pockets – an amount invisible to the naked eye.
David Hyatt

Hyatt, David

Serving LWOP for his first offense, a nonviolent drug conspiracy committed when he was 43 years old. Since his incarceration, he has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He is 63 years old and does not know how much longer he has to live.


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Anthony Jackson

Jackson, Anthony

Serving LWOP for stealing a wallet from a hotel room.
Dicky Jackson

Jackson, Dicky

Serving LWOP for a meth conspiracy because he transported and sold drugs to pay for life-saving bone marrow transplant and other medical treatments for his sick son.
Timothy Jackson

Jackson, Timothy

Serving LWOP for shoplifting a $159 jacket from a Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans.
Alice Johnson

Johnson, Alice

Serving LWOP for drug conspiracy and money laundering, Alice is a mother of five and first-time nonviolent offender.
Darrell Johnson

Johnson, Darrell

Serving LWOP for serving as a middleman in the sale of $20 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover officer.
Robert Jonas

Jonas, Robert

Robert, 75, was convicted of conspiracy to possess, import, and distribute cocaine and marijuana in 1992 and sentenced to LWOP when he was 52 years old.
Aaron Jones

Jones, Aaron

Serving LWOP for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for borrowing a co-worker’s truck without permission.
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Jones, Percy

Serving LWOP for possession of a stolen van.
Sharanda Jones with family

Jones, Sharanda

Sharanda, a mother with no prior criminal record, is serving LWOP for a crack cocaine conspiracy based almost entirely on the testimony of coconspirators.


Anthony Kelly

Kelly, Anthony

Sentenced to LWOP for possession of 32 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute.
James Kelly

Kelly, James

Sentenced to LWOP for grand larceny for stealing a money bag from a desk drawer in a municipal building.
John knock

Knock, John

First-time offender serving two LWOP sentences for a large marijuana conspiracy.
Ronald Kyles

Kyles, Ronald

Serving LWOP for simple burglary of a vacant house.


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Land, Curtis

Serving LWOP for prying open the back door of a house in an attempt to burglarize it.
Quierza Lewis

Lewis, Quierza

Serving LWOP for possession of crack cocaine when he was 25 years old.
Mario London

London, Mario

Serving LWOP for shoplifting a computer from a Walmart.


Rudy Martinez

Martinez, Rudy

Serving a mandatory LWOP sentence  for his first conviction, for his involvement in a drug conspiracy from age 22 to 25.
George Martorano

Martorano, George

Served 30 years in prison for managing a large drug distribution enterprise. He believes he is the longest-serving first-time nonviolent offender sentenced to LWOP in the federal system.
Robert Mathis

Mathis, Robert

Robert, a 66-year-old Vietnam War veteran diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to LWOP at the age of 44 for the sale of 8.2 grams of crack within 1,000 feet of a school.
Patrick Matthews

Matthews, Patrick

Serving LWOP for stealing tools from a tool shed and a welding machine from a yard when he was 22 years old.
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Mead, Sylvester

Serving LWOP for a drunken threat to a police officer while handcuffed and sitting in the back of a patrol car on the way to a police station.
Danielle Metz with family

Metz, Danielle

Danielle, a mother of two, is serving three life sentences plus 20 years for her involvement in her husband’s cocaine distribution enterprise, her first offense.
Hershel Miles

Miles, Hershel

Serving LWOP as a habitual offender for forgery and petit larceny for attempting to cash a stolen check.
Ricky Minor

Minor, Ricky

Ricky, a self-described meth addict at the time of his crime, was sentenced to LWOP after just over one gram of meth and over-the-counter decongestants were found in his home.
John Montgomery

Montgomery, John

Serving LWOP for an armed burglary committed while he was off of the medications that treat his bipolar disorder.
Daniel Mosley

Mosley, Daniel

Serving LWOP for buying four ounces of methamphetamine.
Terrance Mosley

Mosley, Terrance

Serving LWOP for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.


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Nicholas, Michael

Serving LWOP for the theft of two used cars in 1996.


Roberto Ortiz

Ortiz, Roberto

Serving LWOP for his first offense, a nonviolent drug crime.
Kevin Ott

Ott, Kevin

Serving LWOP for 3.5 ounces of meth, an amount that could fit in a small envelope.


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Parker, Ira

In 1991, just one week before his 20th birthday, Ira was sentenced to serve LWOP for the sale and possession of cocaine within a school zone.
Kenneth Penton

Penton, Kenneth

Serving LWOP for an armed burglary he committed when he was just 20 years old.
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Pettus, Nathan

Serving LWOP for the theft of three Ed Hardy belts from a Dillard’s department store.


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Robert Riley

Riley, Robert

Robert, now 60, has been imprisoned for 19 years for sharing a miniscule amount of LSD with other Deadheads.

Robinson, Clarence

Serving LWOP for participating as a small player in a crack cocaine conspiracy when he was only 21 and 22 years old.


Lance Saltzman

Saltzman, Lance

Serving LWOP for armed burglary when he was 21 years old, when he broke into his own home and took his stepfather’s gun, which his stepfather had shot at his mother and repeatedly used to threaten her.
Steven Speal

Speal, Steven

Sentence to LWOP after a search following a traffic stop for allegedly making an illegal U-turn; police found meth, marijuana, and firearms.
Kawan Stack

Stack, Kawan

Has been serving LWOP for possession of stolen things since he was only 23 years old.
Alexander Surry

Surry, Alexander

Alexander, a grandfather, is serving LWOP for possession of a single crack rock.


Tyrone Taylor

Taylor, Tyrone

Serving LWOP for a nonviolent drug offense committed at 21 years old. He was sentenced as a habitual offender on the basis of a prior crime he committed when he was only 16 years old.
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Thompson, Landon

Serving a mandatory LWOP sentence for selling a few grams of crack cocaine at a time to support his drug addiction.
Timothy Tyler

Tyler, Timothy

Serving two mandatory LWOP sentences for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute LSD because of 5.2 grams of LSD he mailed to a confidential informant.


Awaiting Content


Stanley Veal

Veal, Stanley

Serving LWOP for simple possession of two rocks of crack cocaine.
Luis Viera

Viera, Luis

Sentence to LWOP for his role in a cocaine distribution operation.


Thomas Wade

Wade, Thomas

Serving LWOP for breaking into an unoccupied car and stealing a gun, car stereo, and bath mat from inside it at 20 years old.
Euka Wadlington

Wadlington, Euka

Serving LWOP following a failed drug sting based entirely on the testimony of co-conspirators.
Scott Walker

Walker, Scott

Sentenced LWOP at age 26 for selling drugs with friends in southern Illinois, which he began doing in order to pay for his drug addiction.
Lowell Washington

Washington, Lowell

Serving LWOP for kicking in the back door of a house during the daytime and entering the home in an aborted burglary attempt.
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Washington, Ronald

Serving LWOP for shoplifting two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot Action athletic store.
Jesse Webster

Webster, Jesse

Sentenced to life without parole in 1995 for his first conviction, which involved an aborted drug deal.
Rufus White

White, Rufus

Serving LWOP for simple possession of less than half a gram of cocaine.
Onrae Williams

Williams, Onrae

Serving LWOP for selling less than a third of a gram of crack cocaine.
Michael Wilson

Wilson, Michael

Michael, a father of three and former business owner, was sentenced two decades ago to LWOP as a first-time nonviolent drug offender.
Fate Winslow

Winslow, Fate

Fate was homeless when he acted as a go-between in the sale of two small bags of marijuana, worth $10 in total, to an undercover police officer.

Wintersmith, Reynolds

Reynolds is a first-time offender who was sentenced to a mandatory LWOP sentence at age 20 for his involvement in a crack cocaine conspiracy starting when he was 17 years old.
Lloyd Wright

Wright, Lloyd

Serving LWOP for selling $50 worth of crack cocaine within a half-mile of a school.


Awaiting Content


Phillip Young

Young, Phillip

Serving LWOP for siphoning gasoline out of a truck.


Awaiting Content
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