The Wordman of ADOC

Michael Schumacher was condemned to die in prison at age 24 after a robbery conviction in which he stood lookout with a broken pool cue. He was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment without parole under Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act based on three minor priors, two of which occurred during a single incident when he was 17 years old. Last year, Appleseed won Michael’s release after 36 years of incarceration.

Now, he shares his remarkable story of rehabilitation, endurance, and hope. Michael survived decades in Alabama’s brutal prisons, in part, through the power of words. He developed a talent at Scrabble and became the Scrabble champion of the prison system. He cultivated a supportive network of pen pals with whom he exchanged hundreds of letters. 

Letters lifted his loneliness. 

At age 60, Michael had almost resigned himself to living the rest of his life inside prison walls. Then came the letters from Appleseed.