61. Volume: Lyle May: Purpose

61. Volume: Lyle May: Purpose

Does a person lose their value once they’ve committed a crime? The current American prison system acts a black hole for those we view as the bottom rung of society. But how can anyone seek redemption for their crimes if we purposely make it impossible? Society benefits when every human being is allowed a purpose in life.

This is The Psychology of Entrepreneurship,

I’m Ronsley Vaz. This uniquely produced audio docuseries follows me, and my guests from all walks of life. We examine world events and break down the reactions and responses to them from business-minded people. Then, together we go inside and unravel the inner workings of the mind of entrepreneurs, artists, athletes and academics. Our goal is to answer the question, “What is the psychology of our decisions?”.

If you are an entrepreneur or would like to explore the entrepreneurial mindset, this is the podcast for you.

Lyle May was convicted of double homicide at 19 and sentenced to death. And he has a purpose.

We’ve addressed the prison system on this podcast before. And we’ve also addressed the death penalty. But we’ve never heard directly from someone in that system, sentenced to death, until now. Yes, Lyle May is on death row, for committing an unthinkable crime. But I’m not going to address the details of what got him into prison. You can, however, read about them in his memoir, Waiting for the Last Train. I’ve decided to approach this from the perspective of the man he is now. Because the truth is there’s no easy way to talk about this subject. But we need to talk about it.

As I mentioned above, Lyle is a published author. His latest book, co-authored by fellow death row inmates, Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row, addresses issues in the prison system from a perspective not often considered, the prisoners themselves. His writing has been published in Scalawag Magazine, J Journal, The Marshall Project, Copper Nickel and Prisonwriters.com. As you can see, he has a lot to say. This was, indeed, one of the most memorable conversations of my life.

In this volume, Lyle tells me how he believes he ended up in this system. But not only that. He tells me why he believes so many like him end up here, and how the system is set up that way. He views prison as a “catch-all for society’s ills”. And I have to tell you, after focusing on this subject for many volumes now, I can’t say I disagree with him.

You may have strong feelings towards Lyle or people that have committed death row worthy crimes. But perhaps you don’t know the whole story. Shouldn’t we be putting effort into rehabilitating people we see as falling down a dark path? What good does it do any of us by letting human beings sit and wait for death? This volume goes deep into how we got here, and what we can do to spark change. I began this project with a purpose, and I believe that all human beings should be given a chance to find their own.

Other topics within this volume:Quote: It’s important to remember that people in prison are human beings. And that they have the greatest need for understanding
  • Confirmation Bias and its context for this volume
  • Social Psychology
  • The book that sparked change for Lyle
  • How Lyle became a master networker even though he’s never used the internet
  • Being social in prison
  • The power of communication
  • Access to education and its impact on prisons
  • Should we educate people destined to die in prison?
  • Are you the same person you were at 19?

Lyle’s Blog: Beyond Steel Doors

Read Lyle’s Published Articles

Lyle’s Memoir

Crimson Letters

The Tipping Point

What Is Prison Abolition?

Death Penalty 101

Psychology of Entrepreneurship Volume 10: Laura Peterson

Psychology of Entrepreneurship Volume 41: Mark Yettica-Paulson

Psychology of Entrepreneurship Volume 45: Mundanara Bayles

Psychology of Entrepreneurship Volume 60: The Death Penalty

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Author: Ronsley Vaz

Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.

He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.

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