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INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER YOUNG

BY: RAY JASPER

Ray Jasper is the co-founder of the AMITI. AMITI is an organization for prisoners and prisoners
families and friends. Their goal is to educte these people their rights concerning each stage of their
appeals process, so prisoners can raise their chances of gaining their freedom. You can learn more
when you visit their website at www.amitiworld.com.

RAY
What year were you sentenced to death?

CHRIS
I was sentenced to death February 7th 2006. Ive been locked up since November 21st 2004. I actually
stared my trial process i.e. voir dire on January 28th 2006. Then started the guilty innocence phase
on January 31st and was found guilty the next day. By February 7th I was sentenced to death. Whats
that about 10 days start to finish.

RAY
How did you feel when the judge said you were sentenced to die by lethal injection?

CHRIS
I was actually expecting a light sentence, so I was in a state of shock. I didnt have any feeling until
I turned around and seen my Mother pass out. I think that affected me more than the judges rhetoric.

RAY
Since coming to D/R, you joined the D.R.I.V.E movement known for Non-Violent protesting of
prison living conditions and the D/P. What made you become apart of DRIVE.?

CHRIS
When I was introduced to D.R.I.V.E, it was right down my alley of trying to get some change. Plus,
it was multi-racial, multi-cultural and had a reason for fighting. Reginald Blanton had a lot to do
with my involvement. When I met him we clicked like we knew each other for years.

RAY
Reginald Blanton member of DRIVE, gained a lot of publicity surrounding his execution in
October. I understand you and him were like brothers. How did you feel october 27 th 2009 the day
of his execution.

CHRIS
Dealing with Reg's murder was the probably the hardest thing ive dealt with since my father was
murdered. I've had close friends die in the streets, but growing up the way we did, its more so
expected there its different. I knew what Reg was capable of. I knew what type of positive influence
he could have been to youngsters that need a role model. I actually felt him die. We were so close,
that around 6.15 I broke down in tears in the dayroom because I knew my brother was dead. I,m
fucked up. I miss my brother.

RAY
Will you assume a greater responsibility within the D.R.I.V.E movement and helping Reginalds
voice heard?

CHRIS
Reg taught me so much, that everytime I speak, write or teach, you can hear Reg's voice. The thing
about Reg was he wasnt an individualist. He never fought for just himself. He was always
advocating a collective movement. We're all supposed to keep his voice heard. His thing was
inspiring others to fight and stand up to this killing machine.

RAY
What would be the most valuable lesson you've learned about the world during your time on D/R?

CHRIS
Youve heard of the saying “Everything that glitters isnt gold” ? Well I can understand and see that
clear as day. Nothing surrounding the D/P is based morality or humanity, nor is it based on whats in
those law books. The DP is pure politics plain and simple. The political establishment doesnt care
about the crime, the victims family, the accused family, they dont care about any of that. All they
care about is political clout. You can have a person charged with the rape/murder of a child. Then
you can have an 18 year old kid thats charged with the murder of a store clerk. He has no history or
robbery, murder, and hes a 1st time offender. The child case will get offered 20-30 years, and the 18
year old will get the D/P. Why is that?

RAY
With the recent teenage murder in chicago, IL and the gang rape in Richmond CA adults are saying
U.S teenagers are dangerous and out of control. If you could say anything to young people today
what would you say?

CHRIS
First off how can adults say teenagers are out of control when everything that influences teens are
controlled and done by adults? Thats from the upper class down to the lower class. Its hard to tell
young people anything today. I know, Im not too far removed from my teens and I know how I was
when I was 16,17, years old. But if I could hold their attention long enough I'd give them a concise
history of myself, which I'm sure mirrors their own, then show them how different road that theyre
taking leads to the same 2 destinations: Dead or in Jail. The thing about that is these days prison is
glorified in the streets. Going to prison gives you a certain status in the hood. Again something
adults planted in the youngsters heads. So we'll have to change that. There's numerous things we'll
as adults, have to start with.

RAY
Do you feel like the Obama administration should be doing more things for the young people in the
ghetto neighborhoods in the major cities of the U.S.A?

CHRIS
Hell yeah! But what can they do when they don't care. Obama's too busy worring about what Kayne
west is doing or having a beer with Henry Louis Gates. He's too worried about sending troops to
Afganistan and bailing out multi billion dollar companies. Don't expect anything for working class
neighborhoods from the Obama administration.

RAY
With major city public schools being ran similar to prisons. Modt teens actually expect to die young
or end up in prison. What do you think could break this cycle and negative speculation?

CHRIS
For one thats an intersting and acurate evaluation,You've just made. All that goes back to Willie
Lynch's psychology to control slaves. Look at the prison system. Each unit is identical to a slave
plantation, from the warden to the guards. Schools are the same way, from the principles to the
teachers. It's hard to sat what can break this cycle. This is 400 years of psychology! I think it starts
with the teachers working with students more directly, teachers paying attention to students as
individuals more after school programs to keep students busy and off the streets. And stop charging
kids for everything. That alone discourages kids from participating In different activities. The
schools need teachers that care about the students and not the pay check.

I want to thank you for this opportunity. I like what you're doing. D.R.I.V.E supports ya'll 100%