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The Wronged Man by Mark Anthony Given


         A man is a god in ruins.  When men are innocent, life shall pass into the immortal, 
                  as gently as we awake from dreams. #RALPWALDOEMERSON

              I MIGHT have done ten years in prison in one joint after another, from one end of this country to the other and in all that time, I met exactly one innocent man.  He was a Mohawk Indian in upstate New York's Monroe County Jail in Rochester, and he was charged with the murder of a man in a bar room full of people and fifteen or twenty eye witness's, but he didn't do it.   There's a maxim in Law that says bad cases make good law, but I got to tell you up front;  this is the damnedest case you ever heard of, and it's all true....
             THE EMPIRE STATE will lock your ass up with grown men when you're sixteen years old.  I was sitting in the said MCJ after being unceremoniously arrested after the famous car chase I wrote about in "Getting Busted," here on this blog.  I learned a valuable lesson that night:  never steal a car from an auto repair business because it broke down a mile or so down the road with an entire flank of city, county and state authorities right on our ass.   I was sure to leave that part out after being sent to "The New York State Gladiator School," I wrote about, you guessed it, right here on this blog too.  While still in the county jail they brought this young roughneck Mohawk Indian named, Steven ___ (I'm going to leave that part out for now because this was a big case in the nineteen seventies in New York, and I don't want a team of Mohawk Fact Checkers on my door if I get something wrong here.)  You know all the stereotypes you hear about Indians as long black hair, quite, soft spoken, respectful and don't offer them alcohol.  Steve was all of these.  Short, wiry and stewing with energy and I think we were about the same age because we became friends and I was curious how a man could be murdered in front of all of these people and you still didn't do it..... and he told me.  One day he got in a skirmish about the TV or food or a card game, I forget what it was but the guy said to him, probably because of the notoriety of his case on the TV, 

"You think you're real tough, don't you?"  
Steve paused for a moment as he always did before speaking and looked the man right in the eye and said, "There ain't but one way to find out....."  
Fucking chill went down my spine when he said that because I didn't know the truth yet, I still thought he was a murderer...
I told you this would be a helluva story....wait to you here this...
To be continued...
4:47 PM 10/12/2015


Copyright 2015 by Mark Anthony Given

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