DON’T DO THE CRIME– IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME | A THUG’S LIFE ARCHIVE


“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion… while truth again reverts to a new minority.”

–Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

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Circa 1972, NY– Prisoner reading in his cell with photos of women covering the walls in Tombs Prison. — Image by © JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis

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Circa 1954– L.A. Gang Squads.  Image by George Silk for LIFE Magazine.

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Circa 1993– South Central LA 40th Street Gang members show off scars from bullet wounds. — Image by © Mark Peterson/CORBIS

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All my friends know the low rider, the low rider is a little higher. The low rider drives a little slower, low rider is a real good goer.

 

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Tattooed inmates of the California State Prison. -– Image by © Ted Soqui/Corbis

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It’s so easy to laugh. It’s so easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”

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California State Prison in Los Angeles County.  – Image by © Ted Soqui/Corbis

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Circa 1992– East Los Angeles Gang TMC– The Mob Crew. — Image by © Joel Stettenheim/CORBIS

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Circa 1954– L.A. Gang Squads.  Image by George Silk for LIFE Magazine.

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Circa 1992– East Los Angeles Gangs. “Clown”, TMC member with shotgun accident victim. — Image by © Joel Stettenheim/CORBIS

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LA gang members throwin’ up signs– Left, Pueblo Bishops gang members (section of the Bloods).

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“Haven’t had a dream in a long time. See, the life I’ve had can make a good man bad.”

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Circa 1972, NK– Prisoner shaking his fists through the bars in the Tombs Prison. –Image by © JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis

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Circa 1983, Watts, LA– Members of the Hustler Crips. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

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Circa 2008– Inmates of the California State Prison in Los Angeles County. –Image by © Ted Soqui/Corbis

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Circa 1982– Two Crips in Venice, California. — Image by © Ken O’Brien Collection/CORBIS

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Chola must-have accessories– AK-47′s & Pit Bulls. (Left) “Sweet Pea” via, (Right) “Diana” via

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“You shut your mouth– how can you say I go about things the wrong way?  I am human and I need to be loved– just like everybody else does.”

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Circa 1954– L.A. Gang Squads.  Image by George Silk for LIFE Magazine.

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Say hello to my little friend.  Diana with Pit Bull via

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Circa 1971– Graffiti by gang member Bird 1 of Florencia 13. Via

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Circa 1992– East Los Angeles Gangs-TMC: The Mob Crew member. –Image by © Joel Stettenheim/CORBIS

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(L) ca. 1984, LA– Crips Gang Member.  (R) ca. 1996– Prison tats in TX. –Images by © Daniel LainÈ/CORBIS

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“And when I’m lying in my bed, I think about life and I think about death– and neither one particularly appeals to me.”

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Circa 1972, NY– Interior of the Tombs Prison, built in 1840. –Image by © JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis

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Circa 1984, Compton– Crips in Los Angeles’ Compton district. — Image by © Daniel LainÈ/CORBIS

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Circa 1996, Phoenix, AZ– Tattooed gang member inmate. –Image by © Najlah Feanny/CORBIS SABA

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1992, LA– Gang graffiti reading “No banging Just hanging together Bloods and Crips together” written on a wall in response to gang violence, and the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the trial of police officers accused of beating Rodney King. –Image by © Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis

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“I saw my hometown burning that day.  Can’t we all… just… get along?”

–Rodney King

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Uncredited quotes by Steven Patrick Morrissey

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Related TSY Posts:

LA GANG LIFE | DICKIES, THUGS & GUNS THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ROBERT YAGER

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33 thoughts on “DON’T DO THE CRIME– IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME | A THUG’S LIFE ARCHIVE

  1. Pingback: LA GANG LIFE | DICKIES, THUGS & GUNS THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ROBERT YAGER « The Selvedge Yard

  2. I would have never thought Morrissey and the East LA Gang Culture would have been a combo, but for whatever reason it works. Whenever I see these images I tend to think of the great Hispanic hip hop stars-Cypress Hill, Kid Frost etc.

    Great Post Jon

  3. jp, i swear this is my favorite blog. it’s funny u had the morrissey quote mixed in there because several years back i saw an article in a music rag that was exploring the culturally unlikely and inexplicable love of morrissey by latino gang members in LA. coincidentally or not, Morrissey then wrote a song 3 or so years ago entitled “first of the gang to die” that was a send up of that culture.

    • Thanks, man. Yeah, Moz is loved by the latino community. First clip is him profiled on Telemundo. Second clip is Morrissey expressing his love for latino’s hair, skin, and chompers. Nice.

      “I know, I know, it’s serious.”

  4. Hey Just wanted to say I love your site, it seems we share a lot of common interests and I’ve taken it upon myself to give you big props on my blog… I hope you don’t mind.

  5. As much as I enjoy your site, I must criticize your decision to highlight the criminals in this post.

    Remember that these are Bad Guys who do Bad Things: robbery, assault, rape, murder. By featuring them you implicitly endorse them and their crimes.

    I hope that you can find less objectionable subject matter in the future.

    • Mr. Elitist,

      As much as I enjoy your company, I must criticize your lack of faith in other people’s ability to come to the proper conclusions themselves. You’re not the only one with a brain.

      Remember, this is a free country– you are welcome to speak your mind, and I am welcome to post thought-provoking photos on my site.

      I hope that you can find yourself a less condescending attitude, a more open mind, or a more fitting site to read.

      • “I must criticize your lack of faith in other people’s ability to come to the proper conclusions themselves.”

        Said lack has come from seeing all-too-many who lack said ability.

        I’ll keep coming back to your site, because you feature a lot of great stuff. However, for the reasons stated above, I believe that this post is a miss, rather than one of your hits.

        But then again, no one bats 1.000.

  6. Great post! I lived in LA during the late 70′s, 80′ and 90′s hell most of my life, and must say you did a great job showin the culture as it really is.

    Love the whole site!

  7. The photos of the beautiful Chola women are the only photos posted without dates as to when the photos were taken. When were they taken?

  8. There’s nothing romantic about gangs, ok? They rob society of its productiveness to fuel their (gangs) own laziness, stupidity, and ignorance. Hell and gangs deserve each other…

  9. Great post.

    Some really compelling images here.

    Why are we so violent?

    In LA the gangs wage war on each other, maintaining territory and political order.

    In Iraq and Afghanistan, we call it something else. But it’s all the same. Murder is murder.

    Those prison photos almost have a smell to them.

    Something about those two beauties, Sweet Pea and Diana. Hot, and a little scary at the same time… I knew this one from mexico city, Norma, and well… it’s a long story, but the words “fire and ice” quickly come to mind.

    Thanks, JP

  10. Unredeeming. Possibly unredeemable. Also much less interesting than anything else on your otherwise splendid site. I also don’t wish to see into the lives of Phillipino child prostitutes or British chavs or Indian rat killers.

  11. two crips in venice? absolutely not, thats jessie martinez a pro skater throwing V’s in association to venice as a neighborhood while standing in front of venice sho’line crips graffiti at the old pavillion.

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