About 20 years ago I read a book by Bo Lozoff titled, We’re All Doing Time. Bo started a foundation back in the 70’s called the Prison Ashram Project—teaching yoga and meditation in prisons—and the book grew out of that experience. As the title of the book implies, it is not only those of us who are confined by penal institutions who are “doing time”—all of us, to some extent, are doing time in prisons of our own making until we experience moksha, or liberation. Last week I received a letter from a man named Tony Egbuna Ford. Tony wrote, “I am on Texas Death Row, and I have been doing Ashtanga Yoga for well over a year. I am pretty proficient with the Primary series and have no problem doing any of the sequences with vinyasa. However, I’m ‘stuck’ as I wish to find literature not only so that I can enrich myself with Ashtanga Yoga knowledge, but also so that I can begin to practice Intermediate series onto the Advanced. Here on death row there is a ‘yoga movement’! And now, since people have been seeing me do Ashtanga Yoga, especially the vinyasa sequences, people have been inspired to take up the Ashtanga Yoga path!” I was blown away by Tony’s letter and mailed him a copy of Gregor Maehle’s book on the Intermediate Series the next day. Later that day I picked up my thirteen year-old-daughter, Leela, from school and shared Tony’s letter with her. After Leela read the letter she was inspired to google Tony Egbuna Ford. “What did you find out?” I asked. She replied, “Egbuna is a Nigerian name and it sounds like Tony is probably innocent.” This led me to begin to research the facts of Tony’s case. Tony was convicted of murdering 18-year-old Armando Murillo during a home invasion in El Paso, Texas in 1991, and also of shooting Armando’s mother and two sisters. Tony’s version of the story goes like this: he was the driver of a car carrying Van and Victor Belton, who went to the Murillo home to collect on a drug debt from Armando’s father. When the Murillo’s refused to open the door, the Beltons forced their way into the house and demanded jewelry and other valuables, including car keys. When Armando’s sister threw the car keys at the Beltons they became incensed and started shooting. Tony insists that he was in the car the whole time and was unaware that anyone had been killed. The Belton’s and Tony were subsequently arrested and charged with murder. Armando’s sister had gone to school with Van Belton and easily identified him. Under police questioning, Van Belton told them that Tony had been the other shooter. The Murillo’s were shown a passport sized photo of Tony and asked if he was the shooter. They were not shown a photo of Victor Belton, who apparently bears a remarkable resemblance to Tony. Tony was convicted of murder on the basis of these “eye witness” accounts and sentenced to the death penalty. No physical evidence linked Tony to the crime and bullets consistent with those used in the crime were found at the Belton’s house. Victor Belton’s clothing, which was seized at the time of his arrest, had numerous bloodstains on it, but was never tested. According to the court reporter, during Tony’s trial the prosecuting attorney asked the Murillo’s, who were seeing Tony in person for the first time, if he was, indeed, the shooter. They looked at each other, shrugged, and said “maybe.” Tony has been on death row since 1993 and has twice been granted stays of execution while he continues to fight for a retrial. During his time on death row Tony has written a book called Through the Eyes of a Tortured Soul, created some interesting art, gotten married, and practiced Ashtanga Yoga.