“For the past 25 years, I endured living under solitary confinement with the mental and emotional stress of facing death.”
On May 5 1993, in Pine Bluff Arkansas, Reams and his friend, Alford Goodwin, robbed a drive-through ATM with a single .32 pistol. Alford, in a panic state, shot and killed a victim.
The culprits were offered the same agreement: plead guilty and get a sentence of life without parole. Goodwin took the plea and was sentenced to life. In December of 1993, Reams was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
“For many years my mind was locked in the cell along with my body. I didn’t know by then what the sense of peace felt like in life. Eventually, I learned how to unlock my mind and spirit … and now I am a true testament of the human will to fight.”
His physical contact with other humans has been completely cut off over the past 25 years. Despite this hardship, Kenneth Reams has managed to become an artist, a poet, a writer, and the founder of the nonprofit organization Who Decides, Inc.
Reams’ poetry has been published in several publications, he made the 2013 semi-final round of the National Amateur Poetry Competition and was second-place winner of the 2016 Lifeline Poetry Competition. He has spoken widely on the subject of solitary confinement and the death penalty at a number of universities and public forums. His artistic work has been exhibited in venues in London, California, Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, North Carolina, and New York. He has donated his art to support numerous organizations around the U.S such as Murder Victim’s Family for Reconciliation, the Heyman Center for The Humanities, and the National Association of Univer-sity Women — Queens Branch.
Sorrow of the Soul – 2018
Humming Bird – 2018