After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency (commuted double-life prison sentence)… a free man

“They tried to kill me, I feel like, but it didn’t work.” … Tyler was arrested in 1992 and convicted in 1994 for selling LSD and cannabis to a police informant …  [he spent 26 years in prison] …Life after commutation was not easy for Tyler.

He described his time in the mandatory residential drug abuse program (RDAP) as the hardest eight months of his life. He wasn’t permitted to exercise, and even had limited access to food. “What really set it off was they told me I could never listen to the Grateful Dead again. I told them I wouldn’t stop, and I’ll always consider LSD a sacrament, so they tried to make me retake the classes all over again.” … While in RDAP, Tyler lived with two other men in a low-security, cramped cubicle hardly suitable for even two men. The RDAP staff were surprised that he never complained. “They told me I adapt to my environments too fast. They were afraid for me. But of course I had to learn to adapt, over twenty-six years in prison [for LSD].” Tyler never completed the RDAP, even though he helped nine other inmates do so. He was grateful, however, to learn public speaking skills through the program. But after quitting RDAP, he attracted the ire of the program doctor, who campaigned to have him punished. He was put in ‘the hole’ for three months and three days.  Deprived of exercise and a vegan diet, Tyler almost starved. A sympathetic orderly who snuck vegetable scraps under the door helped save his life. “There were days in there I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive.” 

Original Article (Psymposia):
 After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency from Obama, Timothy Tyler is a free man
Artwork Fair Use: Irena Schindley

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