Voir Dire by Santiago Camarena
An Oath to Tell and Seek the Truth

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Voir Dire is an oath that potential jurors are asked to take during jury selection. It’s an oath to tell and seek out the truth during the selection process and throughout the trial. This oath takes on a strong meaning for Vincent Paul Candelaria as he tells his life story in Voir Dire. A life filled with emotional and drug endues highs and lows in the streets of Albuquerque NM. His life develops into a lifestyle that most children are exposed to. This lifestyle puts him in Santa Fe prison during America’s most violent and brutal prison riot in its history. It puts him in New Mexico’s, courtrooms for the murder of an Albuquerque police officer. Vincent Paul Candelaria’s story is about life and death, about living free and living locked up.
His story touches an array of issues that exists across America today. He expresses those issues when talking about the death of his father and how he feels about his life of crime. What he thinks about the injustices he’s endured and the cruelness incarceration brings to the world. His memories explode with killings and rapes he witnessed during the 1980 Santa Fe prison riot. His personal memories of these events are the history of New Mexico and the history of America. It affects everyone directly or indirectly. Like the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger or the tragedy of 911. His story expresses issues worthy of everyone’s resolve.

About Santiago Camarena

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Santiago Camarena, was born 7/25/57. He grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California during the 60’-80’s era. His grandparents had orchards of orange, avocado, lemon, grapefruit, pomegranate and olive. Working the land was a family part of life but it was his mother who taught him the value of work. Having good family values didn’t always equate to a good life style. His parents separating during various times of his life exposed him to foster-homes and juvenile facilities early on. These temporary alternative care meant to protect him inadvertently exposed him to law enforcement, the judicial system and correctional facilities throughout Calif. He spent approximately fourteen years incarcerated by his 33rd birthday. His desire to write developed during this time. He taught himself to write in calligraphy and would write short phrases in letters and cards for other inmates as a hustle for necessities. His audiences for his writing were his children who were too young to write back. His book Voir Dire mirrors his life style, hence the reason he was asked to write it. Aside the extremities in the book, he knows its story intimately.
Published April 29, 2013 by AuthorHouse. 303 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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