On Sept. 16, 2020, the artist’s friend David Fleenor appeared before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for commutation consideration, but he faced a retrial and was re-sentenced to life without parole. William wanted to paint a poster of the hopelessness that David experienced in that moment. The art was submitted to PJP by David with the permission of William’s family.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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William Livingston

William Livingston is an artist incarcerated in Oklahoma since 2010. He began painting in prison as a way to give meaning to his time. His art has been shown at art events in New York, Oklahoma, Canada and Washington D.C. as well as in publications such as the Washington Post and The Guardian. The point of much of his art has been to spread the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive” because he wound up in prison after a DUI fatality wreck.