About Kenneth Hartman

Kenneth E. Hartman has served 34 years of a life without the possibility of parole sentence in the California prison system. He is the founder and Executive Director of The Other Death Penalty Project, a national grassroots organization of prisoners seeking to end all forms of the death penalty, including life without the possibility of parole. He is also the editor and a contributor to the new award-winning anthology "Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough."

The War on Drugs Isn’t Even Working in Prison

Twice a week, a line of prisoners forms outside the communal bathroom in the education building here at the California State Prison in Los Angeles County. One latex-gloved guard sits at a small desk outside the toilet area, checking identification cards against a computer printout. After confirming you’re on the list, he takes a small piece of cloth, rubs it on one of your hands, and then slips it into a small baggie with your name on it. Another gloved guard looms, holding a small, clear, … [Read more...]

Why California Must Abandon Eternal Punishment

ontrary to the angry rhetoric of the past generation, it isn't reasonable to hold tens of thousands of men and women in prison for the rest of their lives, even if they're guilty of murder. In fact, it's an ahistorical aberration. When I first came to prison, 34 years ago, the average time served for first degree murder in California was 12 years. Some who refused to participate in rehabilitation programs, who continued to act violently, or who demonstrated an inability to become fully … [Read more...]