Where Is The Love for these Female Lifers

Caught this video on TED the order and it made me have to ask where is the love.

My main frustration here is with the system. Surely you can see that something is wrong with your approach when someone can get arrested at the age of 14, and after being institutionalised for 27 years, still not be trusted to return to society. This is what happened in the case of Trina Garnett. It just seems completely inhumane to punish a 14 year old for life for a crime at an age where they can’t possibly be expected to be fully matured emotionally. It was this case in particular that made me ask where is the love?

Now don’t me wrong, it’s nothing to do with the fact that they’re women, but more the fact that they’re human. I have always seen the concept of prison as completely void of love and compassion which I believe are essential if you want to transform people’s approach to life.

Where is the love

I was moved by this performance because I was able to connect with their pain as humans. I was curious to see if I would still ask where is the love after seeing what deeds lead to them being imprisoned for life. Here’s what I found;

Trina Garnett
Time in prison – 37 years
Age when convicted – 14 years

The youngest of 12 children, Trina Garnett at the age of 14, angry that her neighbour refused to let her two sons play with Trina, climbed into their house shortly after midnight through a kitchen window and set it aflame. The house burned down and the boys were killed.

Brenda Watkins
Time in prison – 29 years
Age when convicted – 26 years

Brenda Watkins was convicted of second-degree murder after a jury heard her former lover describe how she had persuaded him to help her kill her elderly “sugar daddy” and then rob him so that the two of them could have money to buy cocaine.

Thelma Nichols
Time in prison – 27 years
Age when convicted – 21 years

Thelma Nichols was convicted of first degree murder after what was supposed to be a robbery went wrong. “I was high on cocaine and I wanted money,” Nichols told the detectives. ”I asked her for money and she said no, and she started to scream. I picked up a lamp from a table and she started scratching me. I then hit her over the head with the lamp.”

Danielle Hadley
Time in prison – 27 years
Age when convicted – 24 years

Danielle Hadley was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted by a jury of setting up a robbery-slaying of a man in his home. The man was beaten, strangled, stabbed and robbed.

Theresa Battles
Time in prison – 27 years
Age when convicted – 27 years

Theresa Battles was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for being an accomplice in the shootings of a man and his daughter in their home.

Debra Lee brown
Time in prison – 30 years
Age when convicted – 29 years

Debra Lee Brown was convicted of first degree murder and conspiracy for the shooting and killing of the parents of her husband at the time.

Joanne Butler
Time in prison – 37 years
Age when convicted – 23 years

Joanne Butler was convicted of first degree murder for the slaying of another woman.

Dianne Hamill Metzer
Time in prison – 39 years
Age when convicted – 25 years

Diane Hamill Metzer was sentenced to life without parole for the 1974 murder of her boyfriend’s wife.

Lena Brown
Time in prison – 40 years
Age when convicted – 30 years

Unable to find any details of the the crime Lena Brown committed.

In all honesty, learning of the crimes didn’t make a difference. I’m still having a Black Eyed Peas moment asking where is the love. It might be because the crimes are so far in the past that I am too detached from them to see the need for continued punishment or maybe I’m just someone who doesn’t see punishment as a useful tool in our society. Maybe it’s time we tried working with a justice system built on love and forgiveness.

What are your thoughts? Should they be left to die in prison?