Prop 66 “Death Penalty Procedures Initiative” / "The Death Penalty Reforms and Savings Act”
My name is Timothy James Young. I am an innocent man on San Quentin’s Death Row, and I am also the Solitary Gardener at UC, Santa Cruz. I have been hearing from a growing number of people who are curious about abolition. Many of them have read my essay entitled “Mail Call” and were struck with one sentence: “Friendship is the pathway to freedom.” The question that they most frequently ask me is how does friendship relate to abolition?
Habeas corpus: legal action that requires someone who has been arrested to be brought to trial before a judge or into court; the person is granted the ability to challenge the legal sufficiency and reevaluate errors of their charge after all other direct appeals have been exhausted
Here in prison, amid condemned men, the weather of life is often inclement. The winds of misery blow relentlessly, and for me, one of the only things that I have to look forward to throughout the week is the announcement of “mail call!”
Zaarin documents and shares her learning experience on subjects related to the legal, political, and social systems of California prisons.
After a tumultuous year, an empty campus and discussions with Tim Young, our Solitary Gardener in San Quentin, we have decided to rejuvenate the garden and prepare for spring replanting.
"Friendship is the path to freedom."- Tim Young
“The medical staff said this morning that people who were sick and were having symptoms—there was nothing they could do. They are just going to leave people in their cells...the only way people will be moved is if they are having respiratory problems to the point they can’t breathe” ~Tim Young, San Quentin State Prison, June 23, 2020
If abolition is about building new systems, modes of being, and networks of care that make prisons obsolete, in what ways does gardening fit into a broader abolitionist agenda? In what ways does relationship building with plants - through creative, embodied use of them - align with “planting” abolition?
While waiting for the election to be called last week, a couple of us at the IAS masked up and tended to the changing seasons at Solitary Garden. After discussions with Tim Young, we took out some plants which were failing and seeded the bed with cover crop to add nutrients to the soil over the winter. Our plan is to get the garden ready for a spring replanting.