Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A True Account of a Current Death Row Life

Now you can read the documented true story of Kerry Lyn Dalton's wrongful conviction in the recently published book, CAGES. To purchase, or find details, along with excerpts, follow this link https://victoriaannthorpe.com/

Now also available on Kindle ! 

Sister Helen Prejean, Author of Dead Man Walking, wrote, "...Cages is a must read that exposes the complexities and faults within the system, while going deeply into the moral issue of capital punishment..." 

Read Tracy Simmon's article at the Washington Post or Huffington Post, click the links below :

(Street Theater enactment of executed persons attended by guards.)

"This painfully moving account of an actual death penalty case is remarkably written. Victoria Thorpe engages the reader on all levels, drawing them into the courtroom drama, along with inviting them into both her sister's and her own personal life.
Whichever side of the fence you are on, Cages is a must read that exposes the complexities and faults within the system, while going deeply into the moral issue of capital punishment. The story of these two sisters will capture your heart."

--Sister Helen Prejean, Author of Dead Man Walking

"Cages is a marvelous and heartbreaking work of art...an eye opener for those unfamiliar with the U.S. system of 'justice.' I finished it last night and am still reeling from my emotional reaction. Kerry's case highlights the grave flaws in our system.
In this chilling book, Victoria Thorpe tells the harrowing story of two sisters' journey through the U.S. death penalty system. Ms. Thorpe's eyewitness account of a prosecutor's reckless pursuit of a murder conviction and death sentence against [her] sister, Kerry Lyn Dalton, reveals terrifying truths about our "criminal justice system", a farcical system of unchecked prosecutorial ambition, jailhouse snitching, careless police work, judicial bias, pro-death jurors, and powerless defense attorneys. However, more importantly, Cages gives voice to the voiceless, bearing witness to the unspeakable suffering of those caught in the U.S. lottery of death. Implicit in this powerful story is a cry for justice and the abolition of the death penalty."

 --Maurina Ladich, Appellate Attorney           (published endorsement for CAGES)

Book Review, July 31, 2012

By Ginny Moos

This review is from: Cages (Paperback)

Victoria Ann Thorpe's entry into the literary world as a story teller is marked by the arrival of "Cages", her first book. She easily weaves a menacing tapestry by pulling threads leading from her childhood, to the day that Irene Melanie May disappears in a dingy trailer park, to the court room trial that somehow leads to her sister Kerry Lyn sentenced to death in California.

In "Cages" the trial that condemns Kerry Lyn to death is haunted by the revelation that no body is ever found and no evidence uncovered that would attest to a brutal "torture" murder.

Victoria Thorpe details courtroom testimony in a style that a court reporter or law student would envy. Long, tedious hours of court transcript are masterfully turned into scenes corresponding to episodes from Kerry's life.

The author spins a stale that passes through the fifty-year life spans of her sister and siblings. In a fascinating literary convention, she approaches the narrative from the perspective of the "third-person." She writes of Victoria as one of the siblings in the story. She simultaneously knits three or four distinct periods of time into a gripping crime story that leads to the fateful day Kerry is convicted by a jury and sentenced to die.

Victoria Thorpe's writing is clear, crisp and focused. She could very easily be creating a screenplay or writing a spine-tingling crime novel. In one passage in "Cages" she refers to the San Diego County Court building as "..an eye sore...Looking like a massive air conditioning unit, all the windows covered by bars." It's in this cage that Kerry and her family encounter the dismal, oppressive, patriarchal California criminal justice system. Kerry Lyn's prosecution relies upon jail-house snitches, hearsay evidence, plea-bargains, overworked public defenders, ambitious district attorneys, and an indifferent judge.

There are side stories in "Cages" that could easily become books themselves.

I found "Cages" to be an easy read. Despite being well over 300 pages, it was hard to put down. I recommend "Cages" as an excellent, eerie, summer read, wonderfully written by a gifted storyteller.

Ginny J. Moos, M.ED., LMHC
Link to this review posted at Amazon:

Here is the amazingly beautiful song composed by Pam Larratt, inspired by Kerry Lyn's story, CAGES, and Victoria's Journey For Freedom.

Click here to listen:


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Day After

Well the Journey has come to the end of this portion, it's been a real blessing to me in numerous ways.
First of all my deep thanks and gratitude to all of you back home who believed, prayed, encouraged and contributed to make the Journey For Freedom come together--You are amazing! Did you realize you all made it happen in just two weeks! That kind of caring has to be effective!

Also, such respect and thanks to Command Central, for their home based coordination of transcribing the blog (setting it up as they saw fit to), handling the finances of the trip, plotting and planning my daily route, fielding calls and emails, and very importantly, sending media releases and contact information over and over and over...You did a fantastic and important job!

To family, friends, and strangers now friends I met from Chowchilla to San Diego; bless you, thank you for listening and participating. Please keep Kerry on your hearts--
And vote YES ON 34 this Tuesday, November 6th.

I join with all of you in prayers for all those affected by the East coast disaster; mercy and healing to all of them.

I have not heard from Kerry Lyn since last Thursday, we will pass along your post cards to her soon. As I leave for the comfort of my home today, with greater appreciation because of this experience, at the same time it is bittersweet; knowing my sister Kerry still remains in a cage in Chowchilla. Gratefully I can feel her smile with me always!

Without the right to life--there are no other human rights.

This is a cause that affects everyone.

~Om Mani Padme Hum~

Peace and love from Victoria and Command Central

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day Seventeen and 1/2 of Journey For Freedom, November 1st, 2012

Started Day 17 1/2 back in Old

Walked in local NBC, was asked to email
them story idea

I arrived at San Diego Superior Court around 11: 45 AM, greeted enthusiastically by Jenny and her brother Frank, JoAn walked with me from Old Town. 

Looks like an air-conditioner, right?!

The channel 10 news vehicle was parked at the curb, so we were hopeful! But alas they were covering another story inside--probably a worthy one, I just wish they would also realize how worthy ours is.

We then tried talking with the people passing and entering the court, we had some success, but also a lot of brushoffs and glares. 

One man spoke up quickly, "That's a no brainer; don't risk killing anyone innocent and save money, what more do I need to know?" Yes! That's what I'm talking about! 

Two women were moved to sign cards for Kerry, and asked many questions.

 Frank told me how to file my petition at the clerks office. We took it upstairs and requested it be submitted to the chief justice. They would have taken it, but let me know the jurisdiction Kerry's case was moved to the California Supreme Court, so it needs to go to San Francisco.

Not only am I disappointed in the general public of Southern California and San Diego, but also in my fellow activists in this area, everyone is so caught up in their daily grind and distractions of goals, seeking self comfort. Seems everyone wants weeks to prepare, but then the opportunity passes...
I am disappointed, disillusioned, dismayed, disturbed, and ultimately depressed. The US receives a "D" for human evolvement, or involvement? In this case it is both terms to me.

I took these photos to help me express the sick feeling of the hypocrisy going on. They are beautiful sentiments, and necessary ideals; but evidently just window dressing.

See the scales of Justice; why
are they uneven...?

How ironic enlightened thoughts should adorn the building directly across the street from the San Diego Superior Courthouse--they are just a reflection, there's no depth to their proclamations.

You may be taken aback by my words; I don't mean to burn any bridges, or even anger anyone by my assessment, however I do hope to push a few buttons, I do hope to motivate participation in our world. Get off your butts and do something about the conditions and issues you bitch about, I am just one voice and will not stop crying out to the wilderness about the injustice carried out on Kerry Lyn (and myself, by stealing my sister from my life). I will see it through to her liberation and continue to reform the system. We need your voices too! You can make a better world.

I had a wonderful time on this Journey; doing good and right is a fantastic feeling! You will feel the same, too.  

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." Thomas Paine

May your hearts be melted and joined with all of mankind. As a woman I met shared in her viewpoint with me yesterday; we are all worthy, all equal, all of us could be in Kerry's place. I can only add; we all have injuries, we all need love and healing. Dare to look in those eyes of a stranger and see yourself.

Peace to you all, truly, from my heart.
Please send me extra positive energy tonight, I need a boost before Kerry calls me, I need to help her be strong and keep her will to survive. 

Namaste', Torrie

Jenny treated me to a Peter Murphy
concert on 31st. He was great!


Day Seventeen of Journey For Freedom, October 31, 2012

It was such a pleasant walk along Mission Bay and on into the Old Town historic area of S.D. 
Joan joined us. A friend of hers, Kelly, came to talk about the Death Penalty too.
I received an email from channel 10 news asking me to call and they got a few more details.

JoAn and Victoria, Old Town San Diego

Day of the Dead in Old Town
Let's all focus on the opportunity to share the realities of the Death Penalty and the truths about Kerry's wrongful conviction.
May we put a stop to the killing and begin reforming the justice system with the goal of a safer more peaceful society for all of us. Let it be.
With sincerity and hope,