July 16, 2019

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Discussions and Resources

We welcome all thoughtful comments and suggestions. We try to respond to everyone who writes to us in an honest attempt to discuss Jarvis Masters' case, his life and writings.

Please send your comments to:
Address: The Committee to Free Jarvis Jay Masters
P.O. Box 10032
Oakland, Ca. 94610-0032

Below are some of the comments we have received:

Thank you for your inspiring website and for all your work to free Jarvis Masters, a wonderful human being whose articles I always read in Turning Wheel. He is living proof of the transforming power of the Dharma and—more importantly—of the fact that there are no 'good' or 'bad' people; there are just causes and conditions that, in certain circumstances, lead us to do horrible things to others and ourselves, and in other instances, enable us to awaken to our true nature of interbeing and oneness with all life, our capacity for loving kindness, wisdom, and compassion.

You have my undivided support and encouragement in your valiant efforts to seek justice and mercy for this noble and inspiring Dharma practitioner and teacher who, if freed from bondage, could bring great healing to those who, raised amid deprivation, violence, and abuse, have internalized that violence in themselves.

May our benighted country awaken to its true self, abolish the death penalty, and free Jarvis Masters!

T. E.
Hampton, VA

Recently I picked up 'Finding Freedom' at a local bookshop, and I found it to be possibly the most profoundly moving and inspirational book I have ever read. Having spent the majority of my life drifting with no clear direction, since reading Jarvis's book I have decided to return to study. After all, if Jarvis can achieve peace, balance and harmony in the Hell of San Quentin, surely I can earn a University degree!

The compassion and sensitivity that Jarvis has developed far outstrips that of many people from more 'privileged' backgrounds. I am in awe of this man who has been able to make such positive and life-affirming changes. The fact that these changes have taken place in such an inhospitable environment as Death Row is testament to the incredible intelligence, strength and will that Jarvis possesses.

I have always had mixed feelings with regards to the death penalty, but 'Finding Freedom' has certainly provided me food for thought. What on earth could possibly be gained by killing Jarvis Jay Masters? This is a well read, well spoken individual who, against odds incomprehensible to most of us, has completely altered his actions, thoughts and feelings.

I wish to add my voice to all the others who support and encourage him.

M. B.
Melbourne, Australia

I just discovered the web page for Jarvis and am relieved and grateful for his advocates. I am a teacher in Chicago who is using "Finding Freedom" in my English classes and have seen the lives of my students transformed because of his powerful message. I was looking for a way to contribute money to Jarvis's appeal campaign and have found it. Thank you.

Teacher in Chicago

The biographical information on Jarvis's childhood in Melody Ermachild Chavis's introduction to "Finding Freedom" is so magnificently written, so powerful, and so horrific that I think it would make a valuable contribution to this wonderful site.

W. G.

Punishment and rehabilitation of condemned criminals can be changed by transforming them into beneficial persons to the society and returning back the kindness from the society. Volunteer work in ecological protection, cleaning of public places, building and repairing public facilities should be included in the judiciary system instead of capital punishment. Society's forgiveness after ten to twenty years should be obtained by death row inmates in order to free them from capital punishment.

Crimes are committed by ignorance, and shall be rectified by removing ignorance.


I listened to the radio program "The Execution Tapes" a few days ago and was struck by the last words of some of the men. It seems that many of them have learnt a lot about forgiveness and being human whilst waiting for their execution and that they had a lot to offer the world after their experiences of living with death. what a waste of opportunity for learning and healing. Now, in no way do I support the death penalty, but I wondered how much the fact of facing death had inspired people to think about other ways of being and finding peace. I only mean this for those who have been rightly convicted for crimes. Perhaps it would be interesting to hear about peoples' inner changes whilst serving life sentences.

K. T.
United Kingdom

It's a shame that a country like the USA has still the death penalty. Many Americans think that their country is the home of freedom and justice, but if you know the situation in American prisons, it seems absolutely perverted.

It's a shame that a man wants to become president of the USA who is responsible for the most executions in his country. For me, as European, I can't believe that a so called civilized" people like the Americans agree with the death penalty.

Death penalty is murder!

P. R.