Life before lockup: 20 years in prison

Twenty years have come and gone since Gideon last tasted life outside prison walls. That’s a long time for anyone; it’s even longer for an inmate. In prison, minutes seem like hours, days stretch on like weeks, and months slowly grind into years.

During a recent in-person visit, it became apparent that 20 years in prison have made Gideon weary. “I think 20 years should pay for any crime,” he quietly reflected. His blank stare seemed to gaze into the life sentence stretching out in front of him.

To put it into perspective, here are some of the important happenings of 1996, the year Gideon began his sentence.


Today, the average price of a gallon of gas is $2.28.

Donald Trump is the fourth U.S. president to govern while Gideon has been locked up. Gideon’s sentence started a few weeks before Bill Clinton was elected to a second term.


The world has changed a lot since Gideon’s 20 years in prison began.

In 2016, there were 3.4 billion Internet users. Prince Charles is now 68 and married to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Princess Diana died in August 1997.


In 1996, the Spice Girls notched their first #1 hit, “Wannabe.” Braveheart was named best movie at the 68th Academy Awards. Tupac Shakur recorded his last album before being gunned down in September 1996.


Zuckerberg helped start Facebook in 2004. Obama, only five years removed from law school, was elected to the Illinois legislature in 1996.


One thought on “Life before lockup: 20 years in prison

  1. Pingback: For Gideon, photos reveal the passage of time | Escaping the Walls

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