By Ernie López
When Ernie López used to be a boy promoting newspapers in Depression-era la, his father beat him while he did not deliver domestic the anticipated 80 to 90 cents an afternoon. whilst the beatings turned insufferable, he took to petty stealing to make up the adaptation. As his thefts succeeded, Ernie's experience of necessity received twisted up with ambition and experience. At 13, a joyride in a stolen automobile ended in a sentence in California's most harsh juvenile penal complex. The system's failure to teach any mercy quickly propelled López right into a cycle of crime and incarceration that led to his spending a long time in a few of America's so much infamous prisons, together with 4 and a part years on demise row for a homicide López insists he didn't commit.
To Alcatraz, loss of life Row, and Back is the private lifestyles tale of a guy who refused to be damaged by means of both an abusive father or an both abusive felony justice process. whereas López freely admits that "I've been no angel," his insider's account of way of life in Alcatraz and San Quentin graphically finds the violence, arbitrary infliction of over the top punishment, and never-ending monotony that supply upward push to gang cultures in the prisons and virtually insure that parolees will dedicate a long way worse crimes after they go back to the streets. Rafael Pérez-Torres discusses how Ernie López's reports typify the harsher remedy that ethnic and minority suspects usually obtain within the American legal justice process, in addition to how they display the indomitable resilience of Chicanos/as and their tradition. As Pérez-Torres concludes, "López's tale offers us with the voice of 1 who—though subjected to a approach intended to wreck his soul—not purely persisted yet survived, and in surviving prevailed."