Published on February 8th, 2023 in the Miami New Times:
Fourteen miles west of Miami, along the luminous edge of the Everglades, a guard ushers a tall, lanky inmate into an empty room at the state prison known as the South Florida Reception Center. Gaunt, with a snow-and-asphalt beard, the man sits down at a table and gets right to the point: “I been tryin’ to do everything I could, in my power, my will, to get outta here, because I did not commit the crime.”
At age 78, Boast “Bo” Laster has spent more time behind bars than any other current Florida inmate. Yet, his name isn’t on any list of notorious criminals. No journalist has written about him since 1964. If you don’t count lawyers, Laster says, he hasn’t had a visitor since 1981.
Laster speaks softly, with a cadence from a South Florida era when “South” still described the region’s culture. “I got tired of them beatin’ on me,” he says of the 1963 confession he gave police when he was 18. “They beat me for two days. One of them said, ‘Nigger, we gonna kill you.’ Knocked four teeth out. Cracked my rib. For something I did not do.”
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