About John Espinosa Nelson 


Every soul that has ever experienced “criminal justice” in America carries a story, either about themselves or someone they encountered along the way. No matter the circumstances, it haunts them. It’s a story from which the world will never benefit unless they push themselves to get it out, as if doing so would free them from a sense of disenfranchisement. Driven by that awareness as well, Where Excuses Go to Die is John Espinosa Nelson’s own way of encouraging others ––incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, students of criminology and creative writing, victims, CJR advocates, and storytellers of all stripes–– to find their voice and tell their story.

Nelson has been published in Esquire, Details, Players, the LA Weekly, and elsewhere. He’s written for the United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS) and for Mattel Toys’ Sound Design Studio, helping to create words “…for what the dolls say when you pull the string.” 

Criminal and social justice, anti-recidivism, and re-entry have often dominated Nelson’s blog of the same name. Yet his personal motto, “Get Character or Become One™,” also compels him to write about the funhouse mirror of American culture and the excuses we all make.