April 14, 2011

When Is Enough Enough?

by Francis Soffen (author's profile)


By Francis Soffen

I am dying. Hurts me to admit it, but the truth is often times quite painful. I have been locked up in the Massachusetts prison system since 1971. I have been "eligible" for parole since 1987, but my captors have not thus far seen fit to release me. One time I saved a guards life. Have saved many men from the end of a prison shank as well. Now I am not claiming to be a model convict, sure I have fallen short of that mark on many occasions, but by anyones opinion I have done my time, 40 years now, and it is certainly time to say enough is enough.

Today I lay in my bed in the isolation cell of the Hospital Secure unit at MCI Shirley. I cannot get out of bed and into my wheelchair without someones assistance. I cannot use the bathroom without assistance and am forced to wear and adult diaper. It is humiliating sometimes, but most days I am too sick to be humiliated. My legs are in such bad shape that talk of amputating them has come up as of late. You can never know how that makes your stomach feel, to think of a leg being cut off, it is incomprehensible. My liver cannot filter some of the chemicals my body naturaly produces. My smonia level rises and I get drowsy. People think I am on pain medication, and I probably should be, but that is not the case. I am just drowsy from liver failure. some days it feels like knife punctures when I move, but the strongest pain reliever I can get is Motrin. I suffer for most of my waking hours. If you knew me in my heyday you would be shocked. i was a bull of a man with a very healthy appetite for life. Now I can barely keep my food down. The time has come for a compassionate release here in Massachusetts. Why are the taxpayers being burdened with my expensive care? Keeping me in prison, and affording me healthcare in this environment, is like the inner city families who have to go to emergency rooms at the local hospital for their healthcare. It is the highest costing way for them to have their ailments treated. I have to be transported to outside hospitals by armed guards, afforded very expensive care through that process, and then returned each time a follow-up or additional procedure is required. Just like the inner city family this is the most cost-ineffective way to afford me care. If I was allowed to live in a manged care facility the cost of my care would only be a fraction of what it currently is. I no longer pose any type of threat to society, I cannot hold an ink pen let alone a knife or a gun, and keeping me in prison serves no purpose. I require medical release.

Senator Patricia Jehlen has filed Senate Bill No. #SB-1213, which would make a provision in the law for the medical release of prisoners who no longer pose a threat. The time has come for the passage of this measure, and I need you to contact your local state senator and urge them to support it. Make a call to their office. Send them an Email. Drop them a line through the main. Please have compassion for the men who have served their time and are suffering in prison hospital units. It us up to you to strengthen the moral fabric of society with such mercy.



Replies (17) Replies feed

Sonny Posted 12 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 5 months ago   Favorite

The compassion of the people was very clear when you were convicted of your crimes. You got a plea-bargain and were not sentenced to death.

That was compassion.

wenonah Posted 12 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Well, it's been a long time since I have heard any news of you. In my heart I hope you do receive parole this time, I believe you have served more than your share. If for no other reason than to have some time with your family. Good Luck!!!!!

Sonny Posted 12 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Hmm, I wonder Wenonah, if you would feel the same way about Mr.Soffen having served his time if it was one of your family members that had been murdered?

tanyasue327 Posted 12 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
Ok Sonny... well he's my grandfather and his actions affected not only the victims family but us as well GREATLY. He's not a threat anymore Sonny, him being released will allow him to get the closure he needs before dying, which everyone deserves.

Yes what he did was wrong but you also need to think that the people he killed weren't the most innocent either. They were in on the deals with him as well, THEY probably killed people too... so to keep Frank in there for so long is crazy. It's time for the justice system to do what's right instead of doing what they FEEL. He stepped on a lot of toes when he was in the system and now it is biting him in the ass.

Sadly I have no love for the man because I never grew to know him(Sorry Frank, the truth hurts), but I can honestly say that if I had no ties to him, I still would press for his release at this moment in time. What harm is it going to do?

The thing that bothers me the most about these posts Frank is you don't even mention your family or ANYTHING. You just mention yourself and your sicknesses... a little selfish don't you think? I do promise that if you don't get out this time and when I come back to MA I am coming to see you. Your story needs to be written.

Sonny Posted 12 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
Dear Tanyasue,

Gary Dube (One of the men that your Grandfather murdered) is my Uncle, and I know for a fact: HE NEVER MURDERED ANYONE!! HE NEVER ROBBED BANKS OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF BUSINESS EITHER!! Soffen murdered him by putting bullets in the back of his head and then dumped him in the river like he was trash. (Just in case you didn't know the real story). So my dear, he does not deserve anything on this earth other than what he has already received. His CLOSURE will be with God.
I am sorry for you and his entire family, no-one deserves
to have to live with the pain he has caused for so many people. I also often pray for the Perot family, they too have suffered greatly due to Soffen's murderous past.

Janyce Posted 11 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
WELL IT SOUNDS AS THOUGH YOU DONT HAVE THE ENTIRE STORY EITHER. This little caption below can be found in the law library,online in the Springfield union news archives. In fact, loads of other evidence can also be found in the public court documents/transcripts that are found online just type in Francis Soffen and you will be able to read away. I'm sorry about your Uncle but the truth is the truth. These men ran together, did the same crimes together and some of them did not make it out alive.

This was taken from transcripts:
(Soffen was charged with the three armed robberies in March of 1972. Among his co-defendants were Gary Dube, Steven Perrot, Robert Neilson, Louis Swenor, and Edward Uschman.)

Sonny1144 Posted 11 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Fanye, I never said he was a Saint. And he may have had some so called friends that he hung around with. But he was no murderer and just so you know...he didn't rob those banks either. Cannot believe everything that is written or everything you hear. It was Soffen and Uschman.

Sonny1144 Posted 11 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Truth in print is not always the truth. There were other men involved, Gary Dube was not one of them.

SandraL89 Posted 11 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
As the sister to TanyaSue and also granddaughter of Frank I agree that he is not concerned with anyone but himself. I have seen him as a child brush off his crimes as if they were nothing. Here, however, is where I disagree with my sister. While she can find compassion for our grandfather I feel nothing for the man but pity; to be dying alone with much of your family no longer caring must be extremely hard and painful. However, Frank when have you ever cared for us? Where are the posts begging for release to see your children, your grandchildren, or even your great grandchildren whom I'm sure you know little if anything about? Where is your compassion to your son, the man who helped raise your children at a young age because of what you put him and my grandmother through? I do not claim sainthood for my father or my grandmother. No human being is perfect but Frank you don't deserve to be released. You feel zero remorse and I have seen that in you from a young age. It may be possible that "finding god" may have changed some of your feelings, but as far as I know God has always been there. Why do you think "finding Him" now will make people forgive you. Forgiveness is earned Frank and you never did anything to earn that from the families of your victims or even your own family who has succeeded in spite of you not because of you. These posts are nothing more than an old man’s cries for sympathy because he can’t see past his rose-colored glasses to the reason why. If you had felt remorse Frank and showed such remorse to the families of your victim maybe they would feel compassion towards your dying wish. I do not blame them for keeping you in jail. While I see why my sister feels you should be released I myself have been a victim to someone’s abuse and feel that the people who should decide when it is time are those who you have hurt the most. You want God to truly forgive you Frank than seek forgiveness from those you have wronged and hope they have enough compassion to at least hear you out. However, I would not blame them for claiming this to be far too little and far too late. The Frank Soffen I visited in jails when I was younger held no remorse. If you have it now Gramps then prove it. Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words. I can’t say I have love for you because you were never much of a part of my life. I will hold memories with me of times with you when I thought I could love you as my grandfather, but you never tried to stay in our lives Frank. How can you expect others to believe what you can’t even get your own family to see? Yes what you have done in jail has been amazing. You saved a life and the joy from that should be repayment enough. If you have truly found God than you should know that anger and resentment will do nothing but kill you faster. Find a way to find peace and be the bigger man by reaching out to those you’ve hurt.

paxilqueen Posted 10 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 10 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
It was good that you saved a guards life. Sorry to hear of your medical condition. Have you made your peace with God, yet?

Palmermaboy Posted 8 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 8 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
He killed dube so he couldnt testify. But... Dube did not do the 3 robberies that District Attorney Matty Ryan accused him of... You must know the real story.

Sonny1144 Posted 8 years ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Thankyou PALMERMABOY. That is the truth!
Francis has met his maker as of yesterday.
I am glad I will never have to sit thru another parole hearing for him.

Julie_ann_morris@hotmail.com Posted 8 years ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
So he's gone. Too bad. Hope all you idiots are feeling mighty proud of yourselves. Something tells me you're going to feel as empty and worthless tomorrow as you did yesterday when Frank was alive.

Because you see, there's no such thing as revenge. Revenge is merely something WE made up to make ourselvse feel better, but in truth, there is no such thing.

Sonny1144 Posted 7 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Julianne, no one was dancing around happily when Francis died. It was just a great relief to know that we would never have to sit through another parole hearing and listen to the gruesome details of how my Uncle Gary was murdered. No one feels avenged, nothing could ever make up for not having my Uncle Gary with us all these years.

Julie_ann_morris@hotmail.com Posted 7 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Sitting through a parole hearing was an option you didn't HAVE to exercise.

Sonny1144 Posted 7 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Julie, your ignorance amazes me.

Julie_ann_morris@hotmail.com Posted 7 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Two wrongs don't make a right.
Sonny, your insults don't bother me.

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