Having Darrell speak to the class about his experiences in prison and with torture was interesting as well as depressing. The amount of physical abuse he endured accompanied with the mental torture that lasted throughout his prison sentence seems remarkable that a human being can survive and still remain a competent individual. I think Darrell’s terrifying descriptions of life in prison certainly confirm why some prisoners become even more mentally unstable after release. I can almost understand why recidivism rates are high. The one thing that Darrell mentioned at the beginning of his discussion was the torture that he suffered through inflicted by detectives under the command of Jon Burge. I am very disheartenedfor thepain Darrell endured especially for a crime he did not commit, but also with regard to the detectives, it is even more sad that these people whose responsibility is to uphold and enforce the law act in a manner that is very contrary to the Constitution. As a citizen of the US, I as well as millions of other citizens have rights stipulated in the Constitution protecting us from torture by the government; however, for Darrell those rights were clearly taken from him. Darrell’s resilience seems incredibly high to be able to walk away through some of the pains that he suffered during his physical torture. Also, I think it’s incredible that he lasted at Tamms for 10 years in solitary confinement. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for him, for anyone, to have no physical contact with anybody for that amount of time, and to live in tiny cell 23 hours a day seems cruel. It is truly saddening to have listened to Darrell, a competent, well mannered, and seemingly peaceful individual, about his experiences enduring such a hard life. Yet is was very joyful to listen to him about what he has been doing with his time now that he has been out of prison: going to Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and living life. I am also glad to hear that he is pursuing certain measures with the state in court and will help in the prosecution of Jon Burge. I think that is an excellent thing to help in.
In listening to Darrell discuss his experience with torture I could somewhat relate to the physical and emotional stress he must have been going through. During my training in the Naval Special Warfare Command, one aspect of training had to deal with prison life and interrogation if captured during an operation. We were initially given a piece of fake intelligence that if we gave up to the training officers we would fail the school. For a month we lived in tiny cells and had no showers or any method of cleaning ourselves. Food was very minimal. Every day I and the others received physical interrogations: being punched in the face or stomach, water boarding, had my little finger cracked. I failed the first time around but not the second. That experience taught me a valuable lesson and that is simply, where there is a will there is way. A person can get through anything if they keep their mind and body strong. For Darrell it is disheartening that his experience with torture and prison wasn’t a voluntary choice like mine was in the Navy. I hope he at least gets financially awarded with his pending lawsuits.
Filed under: Student Observations |