Imagine saying sorry, changing your behavior through insight, and living each day being a better person, but no one ever hears you? These inmates would like you to see the progress they have made and publicly say sorry without re-victimizing anyone further.
What if your children had some friends over to your home?
What if they’re playing baseball outside By throwing a ball at your neighbors wall?
What if one of the children broke a neighbors window by throwing the ball at the neighbors window instead of the wall?
Would you punish all the children along with one who broke the window?
Would you hold them equally responsible?
Would you treat them as if they all broke the window?
What if you knew they were throwing a baseball where a window could possibly be broken but you knew that was not their intention, should you be equally punished for the broken window? After all, you didn’t know it was a possibility!
If you did punish everyone of the children, or you yourself were punished, what lesson would be taught?
Should they all be accountable for the action of the one who chose to break the window?
Accountability is the obligation to account for your actions.
Should all the children be held accountable, should you? I think not.
I will ask you another question, should the one who broke the window be only punished for one week and all the others present be punished for three weeks?
If there is an argument that they share equal accountability, shouldn’t they all be punished equally?
I ask this question because my brother has been incarcerated since he was 16 years old (a child by legal standards). He was convicted of a murder under California’s felony murder rule. He was not the principal in his case, which means he did not actually commit the murder; because he was there he was found guilty. I question accountability because in fact my brother is still incarcerated and the actual murder has been set free almost 20 years now. So, in my brothers case, he is being held three times as accountable as the principal guilty party. I ask you, is this system of outdated justice what we want in our society?
My brother has been incarcerated for 29 years for murder that another child committed. He continues to this day to be held to a higher standard of accountability than the actual principal murderer.
In typical situation, for the District Attorney to convict a person of murder proof is needed of three applicable element. 1, That the accused had the intent to kill. 2, malice toward the victim, and 3, afterthought or a plan to kill the victim. Three significant elements demonstrate that person set out to take a life. The Penalty for which is a sentence of 25-to-life in state prison. However, to convict a child, as my brother was, or any other human being, the district attorney need not prove intent, need not prove malice, nor do they need to prove afterthought. All that is needed is establish a theory that one of 19 underlying felonies was committed, in my brothers case it was a robbery. If one of the people involved in that robbery commits murder, then everyone involved can be held responsible for the murder, no matter what role they played.
The past 5 years in prison, after serving three times the amount of time of the actual murderer, my brother got a chance for a parole consideration hearing. He has had three hearings since. These hearing that are conducted resembles a supplementary unlawful trial that consists of a prosecutor and alternate theories of motive and crimes that my brother has never been charged with, he’s never received a fair or legal trial for these new accusations and he was never been convicted of said crimes that the parole board decides to accuse him of at his parole hearing. The parole hearing is intended to find suitability after 29 years of corrections and rehabilitation. These alternative motives, theory, and crimes have been used to question my brothers credibility and insight, resulting in a denial of parole time and time again. In our empathetic and enlighten society, can you see this awful standard that we continue to hold onto? How is it possible that we can? We must come together as a community to correct as archaic and egregious form of states sponsored slavery.
Sending a child or any human being to the department of corrections and rehabilitation should be the purpose of corrections and rehabilitation not to exact revenge or throw a human life away. Our present system is damaged; harsh and excessive sentencing and unjust unrestraint at a parole consideration hearings is unacceptable! We need to develop a sense of righteous indignation when it comes to our legal and prison systems. We need to find a way to hold people accountable for their own individual actions, and assure a fair pro consideration method, with a structured process. after 29 years the department of corrections should find every reason to release my Brother and not make up new “truths” that day, that have nothing to do with his case, and then hold them against him denying him a chance to reunite with society. This is a child sent to prison for almost 30 years for a crime he was present at. Unfair!