READER POLL APPEARS BELOW
Wayne Bent had said he’d fast if sent to prison. Tonight, it seems he’s determined to keep his word.
News reports about Bent’s refusal to eat while behind bars are appearing on the Internet this evening. Here’s an excerpt from a report on the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Web site:
The 67-year-old Bent told prison officials he is on a “religious fast,” Tia Bland, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said Wednesday. “He has not eaten anything as of yet. We have medical personnel watching him closely.”
How long will Bent fast? Earlier this month, he indicated that—if sent to prison—he’d fast until death. On Tuesday, Bent learned he’d be going to prison for 10 years (a sentence that could be cut in half with “good behavior”).
Motivations for fasting range from health, religious and political concerns. According to Wikipedia:
In Northern Ireland in 1981 a prisoner, Bobby Sands, was part of the 1981 Irish hunger strike, protesting for better rights in prison. Sands had just been elected to the British Parliament and died after 66 days of not eating. His funeral was attended by 100,000 people and the strike ended only in October, after 9 other men died.
Wayne Bent is no stranger to fasting, either. His efforts to tame his appetite for both food and words are now well-chronicled on the Internet. On October 9, 2008, Bent embarked on what he called his “last fast” and wrote about it in a 43-page offering titled, Going Home.
Cynics have asserted that Bent’s fasts are publicity ploys. His supporters appear to take the fasts quite seriously, and have even joined him by going without food and, at times, water.
Caught somewhere in between the cynic and the fervent Bent supporter are the people on the “outside” of Bent’s Strong City who happen to have family and/or friends living on the “inside” (some of whom posted dramatic pleas on this blog during the “last fast”. That prompted a Beyond90Seconds.com October 24, 2008 interview with Trudy Sayer. Mrs. Sayer, 34, desperately hoped to hear from her mother and step-father).
Beyond90Seconds.com now asks you, the reader, “How long will Wayne Bent’s fast last?” A reader poll appears below.
The poll is not aimed at trivializing the issue. For the argument can surely be made that the health of more than one life is quite likely at stake due to Bent’s declaration.
It will be interesting, though, to gauge the opinions of this blog’s readers.