Tuesday morning, August 11, I visited with my friend Jarvis Masters, an innocent man on California’s San Quentin Death Row. On the ground of our common Buddhist practice Jarvis and I have been meeting and talking regularly for more than15 of the 25 years he has already endured on Death Row. All together he has been in prison for the last 35 years. (For details of his case see http://www.freejarvis.org/. You can also follow events which will be posted on my blog www.clearviewblog.org ) On this day Jarvis marked the successful end of a twelve day hunger strike, and he expressed gratitude to his many supporters—people he knows and many he doesn’t know who have been standing beside him at this critical moment.
In mid-July the California Supreme Court notified Jarvis and his attorneys that the court was prepared to hear oral arguments on the Appellant’s Opening Brief, a 515 page document that was filed with the court in December of 2001—15 years ago! This is exciting news because generally the State Supreme Court tends to call for arguments when they have already formed a majority view of the case. So we have reason to believe that Jarvis will be a free man in the near future. This is what we have all hoped for and worked towards for so long.
The compelling radio clip linked here is from the Pacifica evening news on Monday, August 11. Attorney Joseph Baxter succinctly lays out the essence of Jarvis’s appeal and why he agrees about the urgency of making this case now.
I am frequently in touch with Jarvis by phone and by visits to San Quentin. If you have a message for him or ideas about how we might more widely circulate information about his case, feel free to write me and I will forward them to him. Meanwhile Jarvis thanks you for your friendship and care.
—Hozan Alan Senauke