An Insider’s Narrative of the Carceral State
Lyle C. May
Haymarket Books (November 7, 2023)
Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781642599718 •US $22.95 • 6 in x 9 in • 240 pgs.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“tough on crime” views that don’t make society safer or prevent crime, Lyle C. May explores capital punishment, life imprisonment, prison education, prison journalism, and activism from inside to abolish the carceral state.
No outside journalist can adequately report what happens inside death row or what it is like to live through thirty-three executions. Lyle C. May’s grounded writings in Witness challenge the myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about the criminal legal system and death in prison, guiding readers on a journey through North Carolina’s congregate death row, where the author has spent most of his life. Witness is a first-hand
account of the death penalty’s wholly destructive nature. With a foreword by activist, lawyer, and professor Danielle Purifoy, and drawing on the work of Angela Davis, Mariame Kaba, and other abolitionist scholars, Witness shows there is more to life under the sentence of death than what is portrayed in crime dramas or mass media. Lyle C. May’s life, journalism, and activism are a guidebook to abolitionism in practice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lyle C. May is a prison journalist, abolitionist, and Ohio University Alum currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a criminology major. He is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and the Author’s Guild. Lyle’s writings have appeared in Scalawag Magazine, Perspectives on Politics, The Intercept, America Magazine, Inside Higher Ed, and elsewhere. Lyle is also a coauthor of Inside: Voices from Death Row (Scuppernong Editions, 2022) and contributor to Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row (Duke University Press, 2021). He routinely lectures to high school and university students, church groups, and community organizations on the politics, policies, and experiences of mass incarceration. As he pursues every legal avenue to overturn his wrongful conviction and death sentence, Lyle advocates for greater access to higher education in prison.
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