This is the statement from a prisoner in the United States where freedom is said to be the core of the society but where many states still have ‘slavery’.
“The United States of America has never had a day without codified slavery,” says Curtis Ray Davis II, who spent over 25 years serving hard labour in a Louisiana prison for a murder that he did not commit before he was pardoned in 2019.
25 years of Slavery?
“I worked for 25 years and came home with 124 dollars,” says Mr Davis, who was never paid more than 20 cents per hour for his work, which he says was “against my will and at gunpoint”.
According to the Innocence Project, an organisation that works to clear prisoners who were wrongfully convicted, about 75% of the inmates at the penitentiary are black. At the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, dubbed Angola after the plantation from which many of the local African slaves were brought, Mr Davis held a variety of positions.