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Life Without Parole

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About the Author

Victor Hassine (1955-2008) was an accomplished author of works on crime and punishment. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was convicted of a capital offense and sentenced to prison for life without parole. While incarcerated, Hassine devoted himself to bettering prison conditions for himself and his fellow inmates and strived to promote prison reform through his written works of fiction and nonfiction. Sadly, Victor Hassine committed suicide in April 2008 shortly after being denied a commutation-of-sentence hearing. Robert Johnson is a Professor of Justice, Law, and Society at American University, Editor of BleakHouse Publishing, and a widely published author of fiction and nonfiction. Sonia Tabriz is a J.D. candidate and merit scholar at The George Washington University Law School, the Managing Editor of BleakHouse Publishing, and is noted for her creative writing and legal commentaries.


"Four editions of Victor Hassine's book have earned a place as esteemed contributions to academia, and as reliable teaching tools in prison courses. The revamped posthumous version of the book provides us with a stirring memoir and a vivid memorial to a troubled but admirable life. Hassine's account is redolent with surprising insights and poignant observations, and with occasional touches of humor. It is also a blow-by-blow narrative of a gifted man's effort to transcend life in confinement."--Hans Toch, University at Albany, State University of New York "For over a decade now, I have considered Hassine's text Life Without Parole to be an essential one in my teaching on corrections and the realities and challenges of this world. The life and death of Victor Hassine epitomizes the full cycle of humanity in our society--with its conflicting message at times of hope and tragedy--and touches upon the themes of justice, race, power, and redemption that are central to our criminal justice system. Hassine's words bring to life the people who work and live behind the walls of a maximum-security prison while simultaneously bringing into the light of day controversial topics for critical discussion in the classroom. Coupled with the thoughtful commentary and background offered by editors Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz, this text is a valuable tool that raises the level of discourse of any course related to corrections or public policy."--Denise Paquette Boots, University of Texas at Dallas "Life Without Parole may be the most authentic prison book ever penned in the English language. This new edition, artfully recast by Johnson and Tabriz, is written in the blood of all the men and women who live in prison cages buried at the end of the world. This is the one book every student of criminal justice should read."--Stephen C. Richards, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh "Life Without Parole charts Victor Hassine's sojourn inside America's dystopian prison system. This latest collection of his work, edited by Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz, locates his narrative within an insightful combination of fiction and nonfiction that reinforces the horror of society's worst kept secret and challenges us to change it. Responding to Hassine's runaway train metaphor, Johnson and Tabriz provide incisive commentary that confirms the author's observations and helps illuminate the crippling pattern of alternating hope and fear that attends a prison sentence. In responding to Victor's death, his family observed that he considered his work done when hope withered and died in a prison isolation cell. He would have been comforted to know that his work will continue, left in the capable hands of Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz."--Charles Huckelbury, PEN Award Winning Author

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