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See Lyle's upcoming projects and new releases below

“Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings.”

-Angela Davis

"Witness: An Insider's View of the Carceral State:" Book Talk with Author Lyle C. May

Lyle May has spent over twenty years residing on death row in North Carolina. In the release of his book by Haymarket Books, he tells his story, offering a scathing critique of the carceral system through an abolitionist lens. In this talk which was coordinated with Dr. Maha Hilal's organization, Muslim Counterpublics Lab, and NLG + NLG chapter/committees, Lyle calls in from death row in fifteen minute increments, recounting his journey and discussing his important book which Mariame Kaba called “essential reading.”

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Witness: An Insider's Narrative Of the Carceral State

by Lyle C. May

Available for order now!

Author's Note:

Two essays in the book Inside: Voices From Death Row also appear in Witness: An Insider's Narrative of the Carceral State. These essays are "Learning to Die" and "A Confirmation of Faith". Learning to Die was originally published in the Copper Nickel. A Confirmation of Faith was originally published in America Magazine under the title " Sealed With a Gift: What Being on Death Row Taught Me About Life", Vol.226, No.3, Whole No.5273, March, 2022. These essays are republished because their topics are critical to remembering the humanity of those the State has executed and seeks to execute.

Author Talk: 
Witness: An Insider's Narrative of the Carceral State

Lyle will be doing a talk about his book with the Muslim Counterpublics Lab, the National Lawyers Guild and Jailhouse Lawyers.

You don't want to miss this event!

Abolishing the Carceral State: From Death Row to Guantanamo Bay and Everything in Between

Lyle will be participating in this panel discussion featuring firsthand perspectives and an inside look on what it means to abolish the carceral state from those directly impacted by this system.

 Break Out 2022 Livestream

"Y'all Ain't Here To Be Rehabilitated" by Lyle C. May was read by actor Asia Kate Dillon at the Pen America Prison Writing Awards Reading & Launch in partnership with Brooklyn Public Library on December 2nd. Read Lyle's essay published on Open Campus Media here.

Go to 45:30 to hear them read Lyle's essay!


Simple Math

Read Lyle's recent publication on The Vera Institute of Justice about how cultural brutality creates a standard of violence towards incarcerated people and obscuring in-custody deaths. 

Read Lyle's newest article on Scalawag!

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Southern Criminal Justice Association Conference 

Lyle recently spoke at the Southern Criminal Justice Association Conference, which took place in Asheville, North Carolina, on September 15. He gave a speech as the first of six panelists to talk about some element of long-term imprisonment and the death penalty. 

A transcription of his speech is available on our website!

Inside: Voices From Death Row

Inside: Voices from Death Row is the second edition of the originally titled Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. Both books were edited by Tessie Castillo and coauthored by Lyle C. May, Michael Braxton, Terry Robinson, and George Wilkerson. Inside: Voices from Death Row was released by Scuppernong Books on September 15th 2022. The collection of essays covers various periods in the coauthors lives in and out of prison as they try to make sense of their different, yet parallel, trajectories that ultimately converge on North Carolina's death row. For more information go to

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