- By Erri De Luca
“I would like to open a door”—the sentence was uttered by a prisoner on death row for decades now, in San Quentin. For decades now he has not touched the handle of a door.
California has repudiated capital punishment, but when Jarvis Masters was sentenced to death the gas chambers were still working.
I’ve read his life story, recorded by the journalist, David Sheff: A Buddhist on Death Row (Simon & Schuster, 2020, Italian translation, Emanuela Alverà, Uniliber). Masters began practicing controlled breathing and meditation...