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Obituaries
Inmates writing their own obits reveal regrets, failed dreams
Inmates writing their own obits reveal regrets, failed dreams

In the wrong writer's hands, an obituary can be a dull collection of biographical facts, the type of article that journalism professor William Drummond calls the "lowest common denominator" of newspaper writing. But on this day, he hoped for something more profound from his students, even if his classroom wasn't filled with the high-achievers he was accustomed to teaching at UC Berkeley. Drummond was across the bay in San Quentin State Prison, where he was introducing inmates to the basics of covering the news. The obituary assignment came with a twist. Instead of writing about a pop star's overdose or a political leader's assassination, Drummond told his...

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