"Not Guilty! Let's do it!"


Victoria is a Catholic Navy wife and a new mom. Dahvie is an incarcerated Chicago gang member. They write letters back and forth (you can learn more about it here). In this post, Dahvie shares his desire for freedom, and a sacrifice a friend makes to try and get Dahvie there.

Victoria: With the transition to prison, Dahvie hasn’t had a ton of time to write. Instead of giving you tiny posts with the writing I have, I’m going to start posting two or three posts from him on the same/similar topics.



Dahvie: She not getting shit for her birthday. Not a txt, call, or a card. Fuck it, I’m through with all that goofie shit. She’ll be aight. She knows I love her. I’m really bankin on me getting out this year. My rappie [A “rappie” is someone you share a rapsheet with, that is to say, someone who was implicated in the same incident as you] already gone, I damn near got both my cases trial set for this year its bussin! I’m goin with a jury trial on both cases. I rather be judge by 12 than one any day. I use to think I wanna go with a bench but fuck that I treat people right so I know it’ll come back good for me! Not Guilty! Let’s do it!

Victoria: I’m curious who “she” is. Like, I don’t need to know exactly who she is, but you’ve had a few ‘she’s come up here and there in journal posts. Usually not in the best of lights, usually it’s women who have abandoned you or ignore you or leave you questioning your fidelity and trust. This one seems different. “She knows I love her.” Seems like a relationship you’ve been focusing on, working on. 

When it comes to your trial — this is really tough for me to read, knowing how the story ends. That you plead guilty and went to prison. It’s tough seeing how much you thought you were getting out. You were so hopefully to taste that freedom again.  Instead, well, this didn’t happen. I wonder if it’s hard to look back on this.



Dahvie: My rappie gone. He copped out to 30 yrs at 100%. He’ll hve to do 26 years straight. He’ll be 50 when he come home! And he did it with a smile. I guess he felt like they had em by the the nuts and it was smarter to cop out. I can’t say I agree cuz I’ve seen niggas go to trial and get found guilty and be sentenced to 38 yrs so what’s the difference? I’d rather fight than give up. But the sayin is true different strokes for different folks. Part of his reason was to take the weight of the case as to get me home quicker. That’s real nigga shit. I salute him for that. He already know Ima keep him straight. I’ll never turn my back on my brother. Damn. I hate losing my homies. Seem like like all my friends are either dead or in jail. SMH, the shit sad. But it is what it is…this type of shit comes with the life we live. Either way ain’t shit change it’s still CPDK [Chicago Police Department Killer], fuck the opps. Free all my niggas and only the family (OTF) in my eyes. Money over everything/mind on business, straight up. You either with me or against me.

Victoria: Wow. This journal post…wow. It hits right at the core. How do you…navigate this, jump back from this, find even footing. Your rappie meant so much to you. And to know…to know he’ll be spending TWENTY-SIX YEARS in jail...wow. I’m 25, and I can’t even imagine being 50 (I know that sounds naïve, but honestly! I can’t wrap my head around who I’ll even be at 50).

It’s incredible to hear that he tried to do this to take some of the weight off of you. That’s powerful stuff. You are so remarkably loyal to him and I’m glad that he returns that loyalty. Sometimes I’ve wondered if he deserves the loyalty you give him (just because I don’t know him) but this makes it sound like he really does. That’s amazing.

“…this type of shit comes with the life we live.” I wonder if it’s worth it.


photo credit: T. Lindenhayn, 2019.