Lawrence Levi

  • culture November 18, 2009

    Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars by Kenneth Hartman

    In February 1980, just out of his latest stint in California’s juvenile prison system, 19-year-old Kenneth Hartman, drunk and stoned, punched and stomped a homeless man into unconsciousness in a park outside Long Beach. Arrested the following day, Hartman overhears that his victim is dead and enters a new category of criminal: murderer.

    About halfway into the process, the jailer told [another officer] I was being booked for beating someone to death. The blanching of the skin, the curious way fear dilates pupils, the slight drawing away: I saw all this for the first time. I felt a surge of