Chapter 3On the Homefront

I remember Judge McBryde saying “life,” and Mom screaming over and over, “You can’t do that! You’re not God! You can’t take someone’s life.”

               —Billy Jackson, son of federal prisoner Joe Jackson

In the classic game Monopoly, the square called “Jail” sits ominously in a corner of the board. It’s a hole into which an unsuspecting player might fall after an unlucky roll of the die, or the drawing of a bad card, or simply stumbling upon a space marked “GO TO JAIL” while ambling along the path to riches or ruin. Once you’ve been “sentenced,” you’ve got just three possible routes out of your lonesome confinement: luck (rolling doubles), privilege (a Get Out of Jail Free card), or money.

But once in a while, players ...

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