21 YEARS A PRISONER

By Uhuru B. Rowe
January 20, 2016

Today marks the 21st year of my incarceration here in Virginia. I remember quite vividly the first day I arrived at the old Richmond City Jail on the 20th of January, 1995. I was barely 18-years old, 140 pounds soaking wet, with no facial hair, naive and completely oblivious to the many struggles that lay ahead of me. Whatever innocence I retained after experiencing and surviving the deadly streets of Richmond was snatched away from me when the jail bars slammed closed behind me. I was thrust head first into a predatory prison environment full of hopelessness, violence, madness, insanity and chaos. Back then, if someone would have told me that after 21 years I still would be in prison, I would have found such a statement quite humorous. But spending decades in prison as I slowly transform from a vibrant teenager into a middle-aged adult with a salt-and-pepper beard is no laughing matter. Continue reading “21 YEARS A PRISONER”

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Support Uhuru’s Clemency Request

Uhuru B. Rowe (a.k.a. Brian L. Rowe), is a self-rehabilitated, self-educated writer, poet and activist who has been incarcerated for nearly 21 years at various prisons with the Virginia Dept. of Corrections.  Uhuru is currently in prison pursuant to a robbery he participated in on 1/19/1995, when he was barely 18 years old, that resulted in the shotting deaths of two people.  Uhuru was not the trigger-man, but he accepted responsibility for his actions and plead guilty.  Even though the sentencing guidelines recommended a maximum sentence of 13 years in prison, the sentencing judge ignored the recommendation and sentenced Rowe to a total of 93 years in prison.  This sentence is eighty years outside of the recommended guidelines.  Because Virginia abolished parole in 1995, Uhuru must serve 85% of his sentence.  Uhuru is a first time felon and deserves a second chance.  If he is not granted a second chance via clemency he will die in prison before his scheduled release date of 5/21/2076.  Uhuru’s clemency petition has been pending with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe since June 2014.  A more in-depth discussion of Uhuru’s case, his accomplishments while in prison and the politics surrounding Virginia’s decision to abolish parole can be found here.  This article, written by Uhuru himself, also contains suggested ways you can aid and assist him.  Uhuru’s family, friends and community needs and wants him home!  You can write to Uhuru at:

Uhuru B. Rowe
#1131545
B.C.C.
P.O. Box 430
Dillwyn Virginia
23936

You can contact Uhuru’s attorney, James B. Craven III, by phone at 919-688-8295 or by email at jbc64@mindspring.com.  Please donate much needed funds for Uhuru’s legal fund by here.  It is imperative for citizens of this country who are fed up with and impacted by mass incarceration to raise our collective voices in support of incarcerated people like Uhuru.  Uhuru, as well as his family, friends and supporters thank you in advance for any support that you can provide.