Imagine you are ten. Imagine your father. A black hood covers his head. A rope around his neck. His arms, tied behind his back. The floor opens. The rope snaps. He's dead. Period.
But not the end of the sentence.
It was just the beginning of the sentence for my mother. She was that ten year old. She never actually saw her father's execution in Folsom Prison, in 1924, but she never stopped seeing it. The vision grew larger and larger until it blotted out the obvious-her art, her family, her life.
My beautiful mother was so intelligent and had such an imagination--she was capable of writing a best selling novel. But she only published two books. Her implosion began when I was 10, the same age that she was when her father was executed.
The rope snapped, the sentence continued.
Read the rest of this moving story about the impact of the death penalty on multiple generations of family members of the executed.