To Alcatraz, Death Row, and Back: Memories of an East LA by Ernie López

By Ernie López

When Ernie López used to be a boy promoting newspapers in Depression-era l. a., his father beat him whilst he did not convey domestic the predicted 80 to 90 cents an afternoon. while the beatings grew to become insufferable, he took to petty stealing to make up the adaptation. As his thefts succeeded, Ernie's feel 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 prison. The system's failure to teach any mercy quickly propelled López right into a cycle of crime and incarceration that ended in his spending many years 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 legal justice procedure. whereas López freely admits that "I've been no angel," his insider's account of everyday life in Alcatraz and San Quentin graphically unearths the violence, arbitrary infliction of over the top punishment, and endless 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 frequently obtain within the American legal justice procedure, in addition to how they demonstrate the indomitable resilience of Chicanos/as and their tradition. As Pérez-Torres concludes, "López's tale provides us with the voice of 1 who—though subjected to a method intended to damage his soul—not merely continued yet survived, and in surviving prevailed."

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