Dear Governor Desantis,
My name is Keith Soanes, DC# 191981. A Florida prisoner, housed at Martin CI, serving life sentence for robbery with a firearm. By now you may have come to the conclusion the type of prisoner I am. It may be true that I do not fit the Florida DOC or any DOC standard of rehabilitation, However, Sir the fact remains that my standard of rehabilitation is working, whereas, I have not had a violent DR in over ten years, not because I simply have not been caught, but simply because I have learned essential self criticism and discipline. My record is self explanatory as you will see.
Briefly Sir, this letter to you is not about me, for it is quite clear that based on my prisoners rights activism and political belief, there is a very strong possibility that I will die in prison. This letter to you Sir, is about the Coronavirus pandemic and its deadly effect on prisoners and why you should consider releasing prisoners to avoid or lessen the incoming extermination.
Sir, the reality here is this we all know that the average person in prison is there, not because of the crime they committed, but because we are too poor and miseducated to defend ourselves against the state in court. Objective research will reveal, Sir, that policies create poverty and socioeconomic conditions that give existence to crime and immorality. Sir, the average prisoner in any state prison is poor, failed, disdained and forgotten by the state, disenfranchised from birth. What I’m trying to say Sir is that, the average prisoner within your hold is human, and is not being genuinely rehabilitated by imprisonment, and is therefore not at fault, and don’t deserve to die the kind of death left up to your determination.
You of all people know for a fact that Social distancing of prisoners is impossible here, Sir, once this virus lands here, there is no way to avoid its spread. The watered bleach and caustics is worthless. It’s true, so far so good, only 31 prisoners have been infected as of late, but how did they become infected? That’s the troubling question here, and what can we do to stop it? To not consider these facts is to conclude that every Florida prisoner has, as of current, been sentenced to death, is now on death row. The question to you Sir is, “Is every Florida prisoner sentence to die in prison?” I am speaking in regards to all prisoners Sir, but knowing the reality of the Prison Industrial Complex, we are asking you to at least please consider the lives of prisoners incarcerated for petty or nonviolent crimes.
Social distancing here is only for the cameras, and it is not going to hold once the virus reaches a certain degree of spread. We’re eating two to a table in the chow hall, however. We are in each other’s presence and reach all day, even in the sally port on the way to meals, recreation, and or call outs Sir. Once the spread reaches a certain degree amongst prisoners, there is nothing DOC faculty will be able to do,because by then, DOC faculty itself will be too contaminated to care about prisoners, as is happening in other states.
Sir, you will not lose an inch of local or global political respect or support for making the humanly conscious, historically effective and egalitarian decision. You will be doing the right thing Sir by releasing prisoners, rather than having to die like sitting ducks. I write on the behalf of all prisoners, however, Sir, please don’t hold every prisoner responsible for my assessment of the situation at hand.
With all due respect to you and yours, I will like to thank you in advance for affording me your precious time and undivided attention Sir. Hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you.
Keith Soanes, 191981
1150 SW Allapattah Road
Indiantown, FL 34956