Imagine your worst nightmare and multiply it by a thousand. Each day, for 21 years, Nick Yarris spent his life in a constant blur of injustice and despair. The luxury we have of waking up from our bad dreams, Nick did not have. Pinching himself did not work, nor did reassuring himself that it was all just a figment of his imagination. Every day, 8057 days to be exact, this man woke up in a sweat of panic as he had found himself as a prisoner in one of the worst place’s the world has to offer: Death Row.
December 15th 1981; an ordinary day for most people was one which was to seal Nick Yarris’ fate. A woman called Linda May Craig was abducted, raped and left for dead. This alone is a crime which is heart-breaking, however this was not the only innocent life to be wasted in the following weeks. A mere five days later Nick was arrested for a traffic offence, whilst high on drugs, and after an altercation was accused of the attempted murder of a police officer. The basis for this highly exaggerated accusation was the fact that the police officer’s gun had been fired into the ground; something Nick Yarris denies was his doing to this day.
This began a chain of unfortunate events, which eventually led to Nick Yarris becoming tangled up in the murder of Mrs. Craig. As a regular drug user, Nick was forced to go ‘cold turkey’ whilst being held in his cell. His desperation reached climax and, having seen the murder listed in a newspaper by his cell, claimed that his friend committed the crime. After investigation by the police, it became apparent that this man had actually died, and so Nick became a scapegoat and target for the police department. The abuse he would suffer on Death Row began in this cell, as he was beaten into a confession. Quite rapidly, Nick Yarris lost his freedom, dignity and pride. What was stripped from him before becoming a Death Row inmate was to be forever lost, never return again.
Upon being released in 2004, after DNA has proven his innocence, Nick was an angry and bitter man. The beatings he received on Death Row were a regular occurrence and upon release, he had to take medication to numb the pain and nerve damage inflicted. Not only did this man feel he had lost any connection to the outside world, the life he was to live was not free at all as he was in constant agony. Fearing a downward spiral which would inevitably lead to a return to his dirty cell, Nick decided to turn his anger to love. The birth of his daughter, Lara, gave Nick a new meaning and purpose. With a person to love, who loved him unconditionally, he could now escape his past and the trauma which still resided deep inside him.
The battle for rights to see his treasured daughter, as well as a legal fight for the ‘loss of opportunity’ with his first book ‘Seven Days To Live’ did not stop Nick penning his new book. ‘Seven Days To Love’ is a brave account of his harrowing experiences on Death Row, as well as a work of art that highlights the need for love in every person’s life. The fantastic accomplishment will be available to the public on June 1st, via Amazon, in Kindle and paperback form. If you’re a fan of social media, you can keep up with Nick’s book campaign by using the hashtag #SevenDaysToLove.
A tale of courage, honesty and love, Nick’s new book is just one example of how he has overcome his demons. Being released from Death Row with no job prospects or real sense of belonging did not stop this inspiring man from achieving his dreams; something all of us can take a valuable life lesson from.