Entries by Jim

I, The Dung Beetle

I find myself in an increasingly familiar location as I write this long-overdue update on our team’s Ugandan prison project and plea bargaining conference – in the KLM Lounge in Amsterdam.  Nineteen days have blown by, and I have only had the time to summarize the first eight days.  Where I left off on Thursday, […]

Giving Birth

The idea of adopting a system of plea bargaining in order to expedite the criminal justice process for those arrested and detained in Uganda was conceived seven years ago during the summer internship of two Pepperdine law students – Greer Illingworth and Micheline Zamora.  The birthing process has been slow, but steady, during the gestation […]

Can You See Me Now?

Anticipation hovers like a humid fog enveloping the brand new hotel complex in Mbale Monday morning as twelve Pepperdine students and ten American lawyers prepared to join their counterparts from Uganda Christian University and the Mbale legal bar to work arm in arm on behalf of prisoners “on remand” at the Mbale prison.  While these […]

Calm Before The Storm

I have lived the past three days in the calm before our team’s storm of activity here in Uganda.  But I haven’t been idle.  I arrived late Tuesday night after a relatively uneventful 24-hour journey, LAX to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Entebbe.  I have now made this journey seventeen times since 2010, but it doesn’t get […]

Clean Slate

I will remember today for the rest of my life.  When I am old and can’t remember my name or even recognize my children, I will still remember today. Seven years and one month ago, a 16 year-old Ugandan boy named Henry was arrested and charged with murder in conjunction with a mob killing of […]

Divine Collision

There are no coincidences.  That’s the theme running through one of my favorite movies of all time, and the reason the M. Night Shyamalan/Mel Gibson film “Signs” is so high on my list.  I, too, look for God’s hand in events that others may chalk up to chance.  When unexpected events converge in my life, […]

Stomping Grounds

Last Friday morning, we bade farewell to the five Ugandan prison officials, none of whom had ever visited the United States before.  They were effusive with gratitude and determined to incorporate as much of what they had learned as possible.  The other five Ugandans and I (Luke returned home late Thursday night) began the day […]

No More Victims, and No One Dies Alone

Wednesday, our second day at Louisiana’s Angola State Prison, started off with breakfast with the larger-than-life Burl Cain – Angola’s charismatic and transformative warden.  Thereafter, we visited the prison’s vocational training centers that are set up to help the prisoners acquire a skill while incarcerated.  These include auto mechanics, auto collision repair, small engine repair […]

Bringing Uganda to Angola

As discussed in the prior post about how a delegation of Ugandans ended up coming to Louisiana to visit what used to be America’s bloodiest prison, the idea for this prison visit was inspired by Bob Goff’s book, but the plan was executed by Judge Bob Downing.  The original plan was to bring five prison […]

A Tale of Two Bobs and Two Harriets

A caterpillar escapes its cocoon in San Diego, causing a butterfly to flap its wings in Baton Rouge, which changes the passenger list of a plane departing Uganda.  Two Bobs changed the lives of two Harriets. Why?  Because both Bobs understand that Love Does, and both Harriets want to transform their country. One of my […]